Here is some quick example how to use zend framework rest client and google maps geocoder API together.
$client = new Zend_Rest_Client('http://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/geocode/xml');
$client->address('Cesta Andreja Bitenca 68, 1000 Ljubljana');
$res = $client->get();
The old way to make a grid was very time consuming. Basically it is just copy paste but still there is a lot to rewrite. You have to take care of the actions, pager and maybe a filter.
So i tried ext js grid. Since extjs renders the grid alone and looks a lot better then my grids which are done with smarty, html table and css.
For my new huge project, i did some research so I would work less. I started with cake php and after one week learning i decided that it is no good for me. My last project is not a web site and cakephp looks like it is done for making blogs and news pages.
Then i started to look at ZEND FRAMEWORK. It is a lot more flexible then cakephp and i also didnt needed scafolding. So after learning about a week I started to work on the project. In the begining it went very well, but after 2 month the pain started. I just got to lazy and depended on the framework.
On my earlier projects I allways wrote a small framework which would help me to work through the project. If i had to write something more than twice, I decided to write a function or even better an object.
When i work with zend framework, i just skipped the first process and started to write hardcoded in to the actions. Now as things get more complicated I have a great lack of my usual objects and classes.
So i learned, never get layz of writing the helpers of a project. Take around 30% in the begining of a project for writing your own objects. This will also help you to solve problems even before they occur.