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Important: Please, I really hope you don't jump right at the following link and leave this page because you should at least read the first steps before you do so.
The official documentation of the Zend Framework is called the Programmer's Reference Guide. If you look at the heading of the page you will see the words documentation and manual but it is more like what you see in the title of the page--it is a Reference Guide. Please, read on!
Your first steps
I have mentioned in the front page that the documentation for the Zend Framework is quite extensive and actually pretty well written. There is a little problem, though. It is right in the title of the first page. It is a "Reference Guide" an even more: for "Programmers". If you think of (and expect) a documentation to take you by the hand and lead you through all steps you will find something like that but only in the first two chapters
Unfortunately, that will be not enough to fully understand the framework. After that you are pretty much left alone and you need a basic but good understanding of the framework to understand anything.
If you just fly over the first two chapters it will not stick, it will not be enough. If you don't make it stick in your head and venture into the next chapter I promise you, you will be lost and frustrated. I speak from experience: It happened to me! I hope you will take this advise serious and stop and go over and over and over these first two chapters until you completely understand them. Use the examples and complete them repeatedly.
The Zend Framework has and follows a Coding Standard for PHP. The chapter is, unfortunately, not at the beginning of the documentation. I urge you to read this standard very early and stick to them when you begin hacking your own code.
The MVC pattern
I have decided to give this topic a separate page in the introduction. Please read on, though, and then click the next link at the bottom of this page. You should really read that page if you want to unlock the full potential of the framework but also for understanding the reference guide.
The next steps
The following and third chapter, Zend Framework Reference, is exactly what it says it is. A reference [guide] usually singles out parts and explains these parts in more details. They also usually expect you to bring a certain knowledge to the table and do not reiterate things that are written somewhere else. If you are lucky you will have a link to that piece but mostly you don't find one. The Zend Framework Reference is no different. It explains the different main classes in the framework. Since the framework is based on object-oriented program (OOP) you must have a good understanding of classes in PHP. How they work and how to use them and work with them. If you don't have that knowledge yet you will be up for a coaster ride and throw the reference and the framework away.