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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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Lorna Mitchell:
Installing PEAR Packages Offline
July 30, 2012 @ 12:09:41

Since you can't always be online when you need to install new libraries you'll need for your PHP work, Lorna Mitchell has posted a quick guide to downloading and installing PEAR packages when you're offline.

As with most tools that work really well, I know very little about PEAR. I mean, I use it all the time, and I love it for getting all the extensions installed that I need for the work I do. [...] However I'm now in a situation where I might need to install PEAR packages with a connection that may or may not be working, and I'm not sure exactly which packages I might need, so I wanted to know whether I could use PEAR as my packaging tool even when I wasn't able to reach the usual channels. And guess what? I can!

The install is a pretty simple two-step process - just download the package(s) you'll need for your development and point the PEAR installer (you'll need this installed first, obviously) at the archive file. It's smart enough to take care of the rest.

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Stuart Herbert's Blog:
Getting PEAR Working On Windows 7
May 10, 2012 @ 10:43:49

Stuart Herbert has a new post today showing how to get the well-established PEAR package management system working on Windows 7 so you can easily call "pear install" on whatever your needs might be.

So that I don't forget how to do this next time around. Worked for me, your mileage may vary. First step is to get a working install of PHP. [...] At this point, you should be able to open up a Command Prompt, and type 'php -v', and see the response 'PHP v5.4.latest ' appear as expected. Now for PEAR itself.

He gives step-by-step instructions on how to get PEAR up and running - downloading and configuring it with the correct Windows-based paths and using the PEAR_ENV.reg file to update your registry.

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Phil Sturgeon's Blog:
Packages The Way Forward for PHP
March 07, 2012 @ 08:29:57

In this new post to his blog Phil Sturgeon talks about what he (and apparently several others) think is the "way forward for PHP" to make it a better language and ecosystem - packages.

What is a package? A package is a piece of reusable code that can be dropped into any application and be used without any tinkering to add functionality to that code. [...] Most package systems also allow for something called dependencies. [...] This is how most modern programming languages work, but to make a generalisation: PHP developers hate packages. Why? Well while other languages have great systems like CPAN for Perl, Gems for Ruby, PIP, PHP has had a terrible history with package management going back years.

He talks about one of the main current packaging systems, PEAR, and how, despite its attempts, it just hasn't seen the adoption the package management of other languages has. Phil makes a recommendation that is slowly becoming more and more popular in the PHP community - building "unframeworks". These sets of reusable components (similar to the ideas behind Aura, Symfony and Zend Framework 2) are designed to be dropped in and used without the dependencies of the frameworks they live in. He points to the Composer/Packagist dynamic duo as a way through all of the current packaging issues - a simple way to make any project an installable package just by adding a configuration file.

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Till Klampaeckel's Blog:
Deploying PHP applications PEAR and composer resources for chef
February 27, 2012 @ 13:17:57

In a new post to his site Till Klampaeckel shows how to use PEAR and composer resources (two popular PHP package management tools) from inside of a chef deployment script.

This is something experimental I have been working on for our chef deployments. So the objective was/is to find a sane way to install PEAR packages and install dependencies with composer.

He shows how to set up the configuration script to discover a new PEAR channel, make the chef script not "fail hard" if a command returns a failed response code (as PEAR will do if the channel is already discovered). The "ignore_failure" configuration directive comes in handy for this. He also shows how to implement a LWRP in chef for both a PEAR and Composer resource.

You can find the code for this and other cookbook examples on his github account.

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Sameer Borate's Blog:
Building a adjacency matrix of a graph
February 17, 2012 @ 09:19:12

Building on the graphing tutorial in his last post Sameer continues on looking at graphs in PHP with this new post showing how to create an "agency matrix" of a currently built graph.

Building a graph is not enough; we also need the ability to search through it. To make it easier to build search algorithms, it is useful if we can represent the graph and its connections in a different way; adjacency matrix being one such representation. An adjacency matrix is a means of representing which vertices (or nodes) of a graph are adjacent to which other vertices.

He includes some sample code to extract the data from a graph (built with the PEAR Structures_Graph package) and create a basic "table" of information about each nodes' connections.

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