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Phil Sturgeon:
What is The League of Extraordinary Packages?
October 16, 2014 @ 10:48:29

In his latest post Phil Sturgeon talks about a project that's been running for a while, the The League of Extraordinary Packages and aims to clear up some recent misconceptions about the group and what they strive for in the projects they endorse.

This is the story of group of friends, who decided to write some code, but somehow confused and angered everyone with a keyboard. [...] Where should I release this code [I was super excited about releasing]? Should I release it with a vendor name of Sturgeon? That seemed rather egotistical. I could make something up, but what is the point of a single vendor with a single package? I wondered if any of my buddies were having this problem. [...] Being as hungover as I was, I thought long and hard, for about 5 seconds until something amazing happened in my brain... The PHP Super Best Friends Club! The guys loved it, and we started making plans immediately.

He goes on to talk about The League and some of the goals of the organization including the stated desire for quality code and a constant stream of work on the project (no abandoned or stale projects). He talks about how some of the rules for inclusion were created and some of the members of the various projects it includes. He then gets to the "recent misunderstanding" part of things with the clash of the League and the PHP-FIG (see here). He clears up some of the confusion in that thread by stating that:

  • League != PHPClasses
  • League != PEAR

He finishes off the post talking some about the leadership of the group (hint: it's an organization, not really run by a person or persons) and some of the work he's doing to ensure the future of the League and the packages it includes.

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Link: https://philsturgeon.uk/blog/2014/10/what-is-the-league-of-extraordinary-packages

Amazon Web Services Blog:
End of Life of PEAR Channel
August 20, 2014 @ 11:14:18

If you're a user of the Amazon AWS Web Services SDK software and are using the PEAR channel for installing the tool, you'll need to check out this new post to the AWS blog about its retirement.

There's been a noticeable wave of popular PHP projects recently announcing that they will no longer support PEAR as an installation method. Because the AWS SDK for PHP provides a PEAR channel, we've been very interested in the discussion in the community on PEAR channel support. PEAR has been one of the many ways to install the AWS SDK for PHP since 2010. While it's served us well, better alternatives for installing PHP packages are now available (i.e., Composer) and literally all of the PEAR dependencies of the AWS SDK for PHP are no longer providing updates to their PEAR channels.

He goes through several of the major dependencies the AWS SDK has (like Phirum, PHPUnit and Guzzle) and how they've announced the retirement of their own PEAR channels. Updates to the AWS SDK PEAR channel will cease on September 15th, 2014 but will still be available for downloads of older versions of the library. He also links to the location of the latest Phar and Zip archives if you'd like to use those.

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Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/TxFFMBZ80DA1OJ/End-of-Life-of-PEAR-Channel

PEAR Blog:
PEAR 1.9.5 is out
July 14, 2014 @ 11:09:24

The PEAR blog has posted a new announcement about the latest release of the PEAR PHP package manager, version 1.9.5.

The PEAR installer version 1.9.5 has been released today. The new version - three years after the last stable 1.9.4 and 2 weeks after the preview - is a bugfix only release. 13 bugs have been fixed.

Fixes include things dealing with broken Windows pathing and a change to report the correct php.ini setting for the installed XDebug.

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Link: http://blog.pear.php.net/2014/07/12/pear-1-9-5/

Hannes Magnusson:
I have a dream
May 26, 2014 @ 09:23:54

In his latest post Hannes Magnusson describes his "dream" about a future for PHP where things like upgrading and working with extensions would be simpler, faster and more manageable.

Today we will revolutionize PHP. We will make it easier to upgrade the things you care about. We will make it easier to not upgrade things you don't want to upgrade. We will make it easier to distribute your extensions. We will make it easier to release according to your own schedule. We will make it easier to add functionality. We will make it easier to work. Ok, today is a white lie here maybe... I haven't actually implemented this, but bare with me here for a second.

With the introduction and huge growth of Composer, the PEAR package manager is fading in popularity and is slowly being abandoned. Unfortunately, it's still the primary mechanism for deploying and installing PHP extensions (PECL packages). He talks about some of his recent experience reviving a package and issues he had around the use of the packaging manager. He proposes the creation of a new "pecl install" tool - a package manager dedicated to PHP extensions, decoupled from PEAR.

The manager would just install basic PHP then leave it up to you to pick which features you need from there. The idea is still in its early stages, but the idea has taken roots and plans are being worked through to see if this idea will work for the future of the language.

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Link: http://bjori.blogspot.com/2014/05/i-have-dream.html

Fabien Potencier:
The rise of Composer and the fall of PEAR
May 05, 2014 @ 09:17:32

Fabien Potencier has a new post to his site today talking about a recent trend in the PHP community around dependency and package management, the rise of Composer and the fall of PEAR.

As a good package manager to let user easily install plugin/bundles/MODs was probably also a big concern for phpBB, I talked to Nils about this topic during this 2011 hackday in San Francisco. After sharing my thoughts about libzypp, "..., I [Nils] wrote the first lines of what should become Composer a few months later". [...] So, what about PEAR? PEAR served the PHP community for many years, and I think it's time now to make it die.

He goes on to talk about how he personally has used PEAR in the past and when he stopped work on Phirum, a simplified PEAR channel manager. Based on some logging results, he found that most dependencies on his channels were related to PHPUnit's needs. When Sebastian Bergmann announced the move of PHPUnit away from PEAR Fabien decided to make his own move to deprecate and eventually remove new releases from the PEAR sources.

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Link: http://fabien.potencier.org/article/72/the-rise-of-composer-and-the-fall-of-pear

Community News:
PHPUnit Announced End of Life on PEAR Installation Method
April 21, 2014 @ 10:29:53

There's a new addition to the GitHub wiki that's quite important for the PHPUnit users out there. Sebastian Bergmann has officially announced the end of life for the PEAR version of the installer for the popular PHPUnit tool.

Since PHPUnit 3.7, released in the fall of 2012, using the PEAR Installer was no longer the only installation method for PHPUnit. Today most users of PHPUnit prefer to use a PHP Archive (PHAR) of PHPUnit or Composer to download and install PHPUnit. Starting with PHPUnit 4.0 the PEAR package of PHPUnit was merely a distribution mechanism for the PHP Archive (PHAR) and many of PHPUnit's dependencies were no longer released as PEAR packages. Furthermore, the PEAR installation method has been removed from the documentation. We are taking the next step in retiring the PEAR installation method with today's release of PHPUnit 3.7.35 and PHPUnit 4.0.17.

Included in this end of life, they'll also be decommissioning pear.phpunit.de to happen no later than the end of 2014.

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Link: https://github.com/sebastianbergmann/phpunit/wiki/End-of-Life-for-PEAR-Installation-Method

Ben Ramsey:
The Fall of PEAR and the Rise of Composer
November 27, 2013 @ 09:17:35

Ben Ramsey has an interesting post to his site today looking at what he calls the Fall of PEAR and the rise of Composer when it comes to package management in the PHP community.

PEAR's biggest selling-point -the curation of packages by a governed community - was also its biggest problem. There was no choice, and things moved slowly. If a package stagnated in development, I couldn't find another actively supported one to solve the same need. In theory, the maintenance of the package could be taken over by someone else, but this didn't always happen, and contributing patches was not clear or easy.

Ben talks about how, despite the PEAR development's best efforts, the proposed new package manager (Pyrus and PEAR2) couldn't keep up. Then, from a discussion had at a conference, the idea of a standards group was formed, the PHP-FIG, and the first standard soon followed, PSR-0 for autoloading. With this in hand and becoming widely adopted, a new tool was created to make it easier to share and install packages with this new standard - Composer.

Composer is what PEAR should have been. Through Packagist, Composer is the democratization of PHP userland libraries. Many libraries in the repository implement similar functionality, but through a show of popularity, the community self-selects the packages that are of the best quality. [...] In just a few short years, Composer has revitalized the PHP community and changed the way we do development.
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Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2013/11/the-fall-of-pear-and-the-rise-of-composer/

Rob Allen:
Setting up PHP & MySQL on OS X Mavericks
November 04, 2013 @ 09:52:25

For those that have made the switch to OSX Mavericks and are wondering how to get PHP and MySQL into a working state, Rob Allen has posted a quick guide to getting it all set up.

With OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple chose to ship PHP 5.4.17. This is how to set it up from a clean install of Mavericks. Note: If you don't want to use the built-in PHP or want to use version 5.5, then these are [other] alternatives: a binary package from Liip, Zend Server and a Homebrew install.

He provides all the commands you'll need to get things up and running including checking file/directory permissions, installing MySQL and using the command line to work with Apache (no more "Web Sharing"). He also includes the configuration changes to be made to the php.ini including how to enable Xdebug. There's lots of other good things included in the guide as well like setting up Composer, PHPUnit and how to compile a few handy extensions.

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Link: http://akrabat.com/computing/setting-up-php-mysql-on-os-x-mavericks/

PHPMaster.com:
Sending Email with Swift Mailer
December 04, 2012 @ 11:34:54

On PHPMaster.com today there's a new tutorial showing you how to use Swift Mailer, a popular (and well-established) mailing tool.

Sending emails programmatically is a common task that programmers must deal with often. Although you can use PHP's native functions, they can be too low-level, especially when you want to attach one or more files to your message. If you don't want to use the native functions, or if you want to send mail using an object-oriented approach, then this is the article for you. I'll introduce you to Swift Mailer, a powerful component-based library that let's you send emails easily. Started in 2005, Swift Mailer is a library that provides several classes that allow you to send emails from within your PHP scripts or web applications.

Included in the post are a basic example of sending a plain-text email, working with attachments and including a template into the body of the message (with spots to fill text in).

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Rob Allen:
Setting up PHP & MySQL on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
August 30, 2012 @ 09:09:12

Rob Allen has posted some notes to his site helping you get PHP set up on OSX Lion (10.8) successfully.

With OS X 10.8, Apple continues to ship PHP 5.3 with Xdebug, PEAR, GD and PDO_MYSQL. This is how to set it up from a clean install of 10.8.

He's broken it up into a few sections including the MySQL setup, Apache configuration , updating the main php.ini and setting up PHPUnit ("and friends") for your testing. He also includes setup instructions for the mcrypt and the PECL OAuth extensions.

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