Finding lightweight libraries that don’t pull in lots of additional code dependencies is much harder than it should be. Mostly I think that’s attributable to PHP devs being more interested in framework-specific development.
I’m seeing more and more of this “framework-specific development” out there. There are job listings for Symfony coders, Cake coders, Drupal coders (hah), but in the end, isn’t it all PHP with the occasional template engine thrown in? Don’t get me started on template engines for PHP, I think Smarty and the others have left the building with js engines kicking ass and taking names.. More on that later.