PEAR : PHP Extension and Application Repository

The PHP Extension and Application Repository, or PEAR, is a framework and distribution system for PHP code components. The PEAR project seeks to provide a structured library of code, maintain a system for distributing code and for managing code packages, hdmi extenders and promote a standard coding style. Though community-driven, the PEAR project has a PEAR Group which serves as the governing body and takes care of administrative tasks. Each PEAR code package comprises an independent project under the PEAR umbrella. It has its own development team, versioning-control and documentation.

A PEAR package is distributed as a gzipped tar file. It can consist of source code or binaries or both. Many PEAR packages can readily be used by developers as ordinary third party code via simple include statements in PHP. More elegantly, the PEAR installer which comes with PHP by default may be used to install PEAR packages so that the extra functionality provided by the package appears as an integrated part of the PHP installation. Unlike the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) archives, which PEAR took as its model, PEAR packages do not have implicit dependencies so that a package’s placement in the PEAR package tree does not relate to code dependencies. Rather, PEAR packages must explicitly declare all dependencies on other PEAR packages.

The PEAR base classes contain code for simulating object-oriented destructors and consistent error-handling. Packages exist for many basic PHP functions including authentication, caching, database access, encryption, configuration, HTML, web services and XML.

PECL (PHP Extension Community Library) is conceptually very similar to PEAR, and indeed PECL modules are installed with the PEAR Package Manager. PECL contains C extensions for compiling into PHP. As C programs , PECL extensions run more efficiently than PEAR packages. PECL includes modules for XML-parsing, access to additional databases, mail-parsing, embedding Perl or Python in PHP scripts and for compiling PHP scripts. Originally PECL was called the PEAR Extension Code Library, but it now operates independently of PEAR.

List of package categories

    * Authentication
    * Benchmarking
    * Caching
    * Configuration
    * Console
    * Database
    * Date & Time
    * Encryption
    * Event
    * File Formats
    * File System
    * Gtk Components
    * Gtk2 Components
    * HTML
    * HTTP
    * Images
    * Internationalization
    * Logging
    * Mail
    * Math
    * Networking
    * Numbers
    * Payment
    * PEAR
    * PHP
    * Processing
    * Science
    * Semantic Web
    * Streams
    * Structures
    * System
    * Text
    * Tools and Utilities
    * Validate
    * Web Services
    * XML

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