Benjamin Eberlei has a new post today about a deployment technique he's trying out - using PEAR and PHAR to create deployable packages.
With PHP 5.3 the PHAR extension is a pretty powerful concept for all your deployment needs, however it does not tell the complete story. [...] With Pirum being a simple PEAR channel server there is also momentum for projects to distribute their code via PEAR. However PEAR is mostly used in the server-wide configuration use-case, which is not very useful if you plan to distribute your complete application in one PHAR file.
He shows how to create a sample package from a Zend Framework application, set it up in a PEAR channel complete with the ability to run a "pear upgrade" to get the latest version of the package. He also includes a bit of sample code to work with the PHAR archive and load the libraries inside.