On the Symfony blog today, Romain Dorgueil shows how to create tasks to help automate things in your application like database updates, console scripts or other "repetitive maintenance tasks".
Symfony 1.1 extends symfony 1.0 pake tasks to create a powerful and uniform command line utility for your projects, fully integrated with the symfony Command Line Interface (CLI).
This means that is has the abilities to automatically support a "help" parameter, to grab a current task list the app is using, correct handling of the input parameters, set up a good environment and make sure that the source is readable. The post shows how to create a new task for your application - their examples are a "doNothingTask" that, well, does a lot of nothing and the typical "doHelloWorldTask" that just echoes.
They show how to define the task (including a namespace for it) and how to run it, outputing the results of the execute() method ("I did nothing successfully!" in the first case and a string of passed in parameters in the second.