Early on in discussions with the excellent folks at Zend, one of the possibilities that made everyone in the room excited was the ability to use server-side smarts about client-side work to automate performance optimizations in ZF apps. After lots of great work on getting Dojo integrated, Zend Framework is making that a reality by support automated custom builds in ZF 1.9.0’s preview release.
What does this buy you? You get to use the Zend helpers for Dojo as you normally would, simplifying how you pull in code, declare components, and build your UI. What this new integration saves you is the tedium of figuring out which components you’re using everywhere, building a layer file for it, kicking off a build, and remembering to re-visit the layer definition when you project adds or removes modules. Hopefully ZF 1.9 should lower the barrier to taking advantage of the full range of Dojo-based optimizations, making it easier to prototype quickly and deploy easily. Exciting stuff!