That's only the Facade. Behind the facade you will find a landscape of elegant classes, see the API for advanced usage/more information. The API closely resembles the interface of the facade class.
If you're not planning to swap frameworks regularly you can rely on the easy-to-use static facade functions like R::dispense() and R::load() etc. People often complain about static methods but in reality many of those so-called pure OOP style projects tend to become heaps of powerless miniature objects and countless wirings. I don't believe that works very well.
Because I believe the best way to prevent race conditions is to use database transactions. RedBeanPHP offers simple functions to use transactions: R::begin(), R::commit() and R::rollback(). All you need to do is bundle your related queries together in a transaction by wrapping them in a begin-commit block. Not familiar with transactions yet? Read about Transactions on Wikipedia or read this discussion on StackOverflow.
RedBeanPHP is distributed as one file to ease installation and deployment. The build script called Replica compiles the RedBeanPHP class files to one file. So in reality, RedBeanPHP is not one file, read more about Replica.
RedBeanPHP is being developed quite actively by me and the RedBeanPHP community.
Depends. RedBeanPHP is being developed in a very careful way. I try to keep RedBeanPHP clean yet comfortable. It's tempting to implement lots of features but that would make RedBeanPHP bloated. Feel free to write your own plugin or fork the project.
You can use Replica to strip all modules and plugins you don't need. The default distribution is not bloated but you can compile a lighter RedBeanPHP by using the Replica build tool.
The idea of RedBeanPHP is to generate a useable and queryable
schema based on your code and without any configuration.
Custom table mappings don't fit very well in this model.
However there are other reasons as well. Many so called
power features like deep-copy have to make assumptions about database
layout and table naming conventions. They can of course use
some kind of configuration file to figure things out, but hey the whole
idea of RedBeanPHP was NOT to use configuration!
In the past RedBeanPHP had a bean formatter for custom mappings, this functionality does not exist anymore. If you still require custom mappings, for instance to use RedBeanPHP with existing schemas you might want to try to use VIEWS. Simply map the views to your tables. If you only change table names and column names your views can be used for updates as well. Although not a perfect solution we have received some positive feedback about this approach.
I do not believe in portable query languages or database independent query builders. The whole point of selecting a database is to choose the system that provides the most useful features. A portable query language by definition can't use database specific features, so you simply get the worst of all. Just dare to choose your the database system that fits the best for the task at hand.
Underscores ARE allowed in property names, just not in type names. RedBeanPHP uses underscores to denote relationships among beans. Uppercase characters cause problems on different operating system platforms. These characters have one further disadvantage; because programmers like me are often lazy, they get overused to form ambiguous words. The English vocabulary is quite big and you should better be creative and find the best word for the concept your bean or model describes. For instance; instead of "user_project" or "ProjectUsr" you can use "participant". This makes your database prettier and easier to read as well.
Note that RedBeanPHP 3.4+ supports so-called beautiful column names, this will turn camelCased column names in underscored_column_names. You can turn this feature off as well. For more information please consult the RedBeanPHP documentation on how to create and store beans.
RedBeanPHP Easy ORM for PHP © 2014 Gabor de Mooij and the RedBeanPHP community - Licensed New BSD/GPLv2