PHP/MySQL application framework!

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(Click images for larger view)

Main administrative screen

Module Configuration screen

People display screen

Please note that dadaPHP has been superceded by the Manifesto Content Management System. This page is retained for historical purposes only.

About dadaPHP

In the course of developing PHP based web applications, it quickly became obvous that having a consistent framework and toolset would prove to be invaluable. A series of class objects and a library of functions that would provide a universal API for communicating with databases, handling authentication, listing search results, and quickly developing new modules, or applications. dadaPHP was born. The framework consists of a series of networked Class files for frequently used objects, and common methods for manipulating their properties. Data retrieved from MySQL can be quickly displayed using the Listing class. Authenticated users are tracked and verified with the AuthUser class, which allows various access privileges to be set. The Connection class handles all communication with MySQL in a uniform manner, and the Oracle class provides a consistent API for requesting and saving records corresponding to objects back to MySQL.


  • Admin (Providing admin access to the dadaPHP framework settings)
  • AuthUser (Handling any authenticated users and their access privileges)
  • Connection (MySQL communication)
  • Date (Date handling and manipulation)
  • ErrorObject (Uniform object for error handling and display)
  • Listing (Creating and formatting HTML tables based on array input, e.g. retrieved rows from MySQL)
  • Module (Defining specific application properties)
  • Object (Parent object for all sub-classes)
  • Oracle (Consistent interface for creating SQL queries)
  • PageConfig (Display template settings, stylesheets)
  • People (Biographical and contact information for anyone that might appear on your site, i.e. admins, users, authors, artists)


  • FunctionLibrary (provides common and top-level routines)


  • The modular design of the framework allows rapid development of web-based applications built on top of dadaPHP
  • Define a new database schema in MySQL, and have dadaPHP's ObjectBuilder script automatically generate class files and methods, as well as display and edit scripts
  • Modules can easily be configured as top-level domains or sub-directories
  • Modules integrate with the dadaPHP framework by including a top-level master file to load all the necessary class files and function libraries
  • The master file also includes any module-specific classes, and defines functions common to that module
  • Programming logic and page layout are moderately separated. This is not a template-based system (which is often more convoluted, and with more overhead, than is worthwhile), but achieves a large degree of separation between code and content. PHP code on pages for display is kept to a minimum. Many aspects of page design (color schemes and stylesheets) is fully independant of programming logic, and may be configured with a graphical interface.
  • For Apache-based servers, module design includes a pre-processor script that allows search-engine friendly URLs for all your data, avoiding the "index.php?param-value" style that many robots will ignore

PreFab Applications

  • List Archives (providing automated, searchable archives for any mailing list, fully searchable and with rudimentary threading capabilities)
  • Text Library (fully searchable, collection-based article library, with cross-referencing, author biographies, and printable formats)
  • Picturebook (an image slideshow module, perfect for cartoons or portfolios)
  • Cardshop (an alternative e-greeting card system, with user notification)

Custom Development

The dadaPHP framework was designed to facilitate quick implementation of PHP-based web applications. As such, it provides an enormously cost-effective way of starting new PHP projects. dada typo is available for any custom development needs you might have, or, if you prefer constructing your own applications, you may contact us to discuss licensing.


dadaPHP is not freely available for download. It is intended for use in customized development by dada typo (always happy to find more work). If you are interested in licensing the framework for building your own applications, please contact us to discuss pricing.

Contact spud(at)

Dada Typo is a full-featured design and consulting firm, offering print and website design, Macintosh and Internet consulting, and custom scripting solutions for a wide range of products.

dada typo / 2710 n. calvert st. / baltimore, md 21218 / usa
Ph. 410.235.8565

Last modified: 5/13/01