PEAR is the PHP Extension and Application Repository, a collection of open source classes that work together. Developers can use PEAR classes to generate HTML, make SOAP requests, send MIME mail, and a variety of other common tasks. A pear is also a tasty fruit.
To find general information on PEAR, read the PEAR manual; to discover the latest PEAR packages, go to http://pear.php.net. A summary of each week’s happenings can be found at http://pear.php.net/weeklynews.php.
Only a few core PEAR packages are bundled with the main PHP release. However, part of PEAR is a program called, appropriately enough, pear , that makes it easy for you to download and install additional PEAR packages. This program is also known as the PEAR package manager. Recipe 21.2 shows how to use the PEAR package manager.
PEAR packages divide into two major parts. One is the PHP Foundation Classes — object-oriented code written in PHP that’s high quality and usable in production environments on any platform and web server. The other is PECL, or PHP Extension Code Library. PECL, pronounced pickle, is a series of extensions to PHP written in C. These extensions are just like ones distributed with the main PHP release, but they’re of more specialized interest — such as an interface to the XMMS multimedia player or the ImageMagick graphics library.
Additionally, the PEAR package manager allows you to use the PEAR class management infrastructure with your personal projects. By creating ...