It happen that I wrote an article about exactly this - advantages and disadvantages of framework programming, with a special reference to Yii framework. If you are interested in reading it, please contact my via PM (personal message) and I’ll send it a copy of that article.
Like were? A cookbook article? I’m not sure, if it is enough Yii-oriented to be published there.
I’ve sent it to Qiang with proposition of publishing somewhere and got reply that article is OK (with few minor corrections) but no reference to publishing it among community! :] Therefore I assumed that it is it much theoretical bla bla bla to be shared among specific Yii community! :}
As a part of preparation for above mentioned article I’ve read two or three Ph.D. theses about theoretical background and all the work done upon creating own framework. All I can say after that reading is that Qiang has done something that only a really small group of people on this planet is able to do! I don’t know like others, but I personally would have to be hit by a low flying airplane, directly to my head, to get at least thinking of creating own framework! :]
Yeah… and after all those years you wake up one day or another and see what a person like Qiang done within only three years, which is far, far better than this bunch of reusable code and you think to yourself: Damn, I was stupid! ;} :} ;}
For permanent pages you could consider using urlManager with including index.php in address turned off and by creating new controller (for example aboutController) with default action showing contents of that page. But this is as ugly solution as we can imagine. Therefore, your idea with using that extension sounds much more reasonable.
For non-permanent user creatable pages, I would rather consider using .htaccess file or permanently configuring Apache server so it would threat (redirect) pages like yourpage.com/username to for example yourpage.com/users/showuser?user=username. Then you could create simple usersController with showuser action to show whatever you want for passed username.
Since htaccess is already being used to redirect all requests via index.php, how would that work? Also how will it determine that mysite.com/username refers to a user page, rather than another page on the site?
Check out .htaccess file an example WordPress installation can generate for you. It is quite complex and maybe among it, you will find what you are looking for.
I’m on the other hand a complete newbie to Apache’s Rewrite Engine therefore I may be thinking about something else then you are thinking. But I heard that with mod_rewrite you can do absolutely magic, it is that extensible and flexible. There was even a whole book published only on this subject - understanding Apache’s mod_rewrite.