Often, while working on software projects, one finds, that there are repetitive tasks, which would be much easier to deal with, if automated. In the C/Unix world, this task is often solved by Make, Java programmers prefer Apache Ant, Ruby programmers use Rake. The fact, which is not commonly known, is, that PHP also has such instrument, and it is called Pake. It was originally created by authors of Symfony framework. Unfortunately, they never wrote any documentation, which killed adoption rates.
He shows what a sample "Pakefile.php" file might look like and links to the github page for his revamp of the project to add a few more helpers. You can also install it as a PEAR pacakge.