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With or without MVC is up to you
A thing you have to look out for in the Zend Framework is the MVC pattern. If you don't know and completely understand the MVC pattern you can still use the framework. That's fine, great actually! I bet that many developers use the framework without MVC. However, if you have to write a web site from scratch with more than just a few dynamic pages and you don't take advantage of the MVC pattern you are missing out on the framework.
Unfortunately, and no matter which way you are going to use the framework, the reference guide mixes up things in many places. They either bring in stuff that applies only to MVC (and they don't make it clear) or you will have to figure it out by yourself. How do I squeeze that specific class into their MVC pattern. This is tricky especially for developers who don't know the MVC pattern, they will not spot the sometimes subtle differences.
What the heck is MVC
If you had to take a break and look up what the heck MVC stands for you, you will have the exact same problem in the reference guide. I knew what MVC was but never used or worked with a MVC pattern. I constantly had to look up stuff elsewhere. It comes natural to me now and the framework is actually awesome to learn and see MVC at work--but it was a tough and rocky start. The framework and the build in MVC pattern really rock but they don't talk much about it in the reference guide. Knowledge about the MVC pattern is implied, a prerequisite they do not mention.
Again, you can use the pieces in the Zend Framework for your project without thinking about and using any MVC pattern. But, if you want to unlock the full potential of the framework you will have to read, learn and understand MVC. If you still don't know what MVC stands for here it is: Model-View-Controller. Feel better?
I might write some pages later about the MVC pattern or at least a collection with some links but I am not there yet. So, please bear with me.