On NetTuts.com today there's a new tutorial introducing you to one of the more popular package management solutions for PHP, Composer. This new article gives you the basics of installing and using this very handy tool.
Let's face it: PHP has had a rocky history with package management, and as a result, it is pretty rare to find a developer who actively uses systems like PEAR. Instead, most developers have chosen their favorite framework, which has code specifically written for it to handle various things, like DB interaction, ORM's, OAuth, Amazon S3 integration, etc. The downside here, though, is that switching frameworks (or returning to not using a framework at all) can be a nightmare, as it involves relearning everything to use brand new tools - and that is no easy task. Well, Composer can fix that!
He includes the whole process - getting the latest version, installing the PHAR version and getting a sample composer.json defined to pull in the external libraries. He also includes a "Real World" section talking about integration with Facebook libraries and keeping your installation up to date.