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Generate no-conflict standalone builds of PHP Composer/PSR-enabled software.

Decomposer is also a fantastic dependency linting tool for Composer enabled projects. Try integrating it into your automated Continuous Integration (CI) lifecycle to identify various software issues long before anyone else discovers them.

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  • Quickly reduce Composer/PSR software down to one or two files containing only the parts that are actually used.
  • Three decomposition modes depending on application needs.
  • Easily create and manage projects.
  • A complete, question/answer enabled command-line interface.
  • Has a liberal open source license. MIT or LGPL, your choice.
  • Designed for relatively painless integration into your environment.
  • Sits on GitHub for all of that pull request and issue tracker goodness to easily submit changes and ideas respectively.

Getting Started

The command-line interface is question/answer enabled, which means all you have to do is run:

php decomposer.php

Which will enter interactive mode and guide you through the entire process.

Once you grow tired of manually entering information, you can pass in some or all of the answers to the questions on the command-line:

php decomposer.php list

php decomposer.php create myproject

php decomposer.php -s decompose myproject all

The -s option suppresses normal output (except for fatal error conditions), which allows for the processed JSON result to be the only thing that is output. Useful for automation.

Creating Projects

To create a project, run:

php decomposer.php create [yourprojectname]

cd projects/[yourprojectname]

php composer.phar require [vendor/someproject:~1.2]
php composer.phar require [vendor2/someotherproject:~2.0]

php decompose.php all

This will create a set of directories, run Composer to pull down the various bits of software, and then generate the final decomposed build bundling every file into one fully-validated PHP file in the projects/[yourprojectname]/final directory.

Instrumenting Builds

The 'decompose' command does all of the heavy lifting. Using the 'all' mode will always work but might be a bit more resource intensive (e.g. RAM) than might be desired on the tail end of things (i.e. your application). To minimize resource usage, it is possible to teach the command about the classes that are actually going to be used in the most common scenarios. This is accomplished by instrumenting the build with one or more working examples.

Edit the /projects/[yourprojectname]/examples.php file that was generated during project creation. After that, grab some example code and put it where examples.php says to put example code. Test the functionality by manually running examples.php from the command-line. Note that the usual require "vendor/autoload.php"; should NOT be called as that is automatically handled by DecomposerHelper::Init().

cd projects/[yourprojectname]
php examples.php

Running the code updates 'instrumented.json', which contains a list of files that were loaded by examples.php. This information is used to correctly instrument the build when decomposing later on.

Once the code is working, preferably with no output to the screen, the 'auto' and 'none' modes become more useful.

php decompose.php auto

The 'auto' mode appends an autoloader to the first generated file that loads the second file if the autoloader is ever called by PHP. The 'none' mode is for anyone who likes to live dangerously and is okay with their application breaking in spectacular ways at inopportune times.

Patching Broken Software

Sometimes a Composer project makes assumptions about where it sits in its ecosystem and the developers are stubborn to change the software. If a file called decomposer.diff exists in the project's directory (i.e. a text diff file), Decomposer will automatically attempt to apply the patch to the software before instrumenting it.

If you design a working patch for using a specific project with Decomposer, be a good netizen and commit it back to the original repository. The authors will (possibly) appreciate it.

At the end of a Decomposer run, it outputs any 'warnings' it encountered as well as any 'failed' files. Warnings are emitted for very specific functions that are known to cause issues and will likely require a patch. Failed files are emitted for a variety of reasons and may or may not result in functional output.

Any patches should be extremely laser-focused such that they are idempotent since Decomposer will always attempt to apply all patches before instrumenting every time it runs.

How It Works

Decomposer takes in a number of pieces of information, runs any patches that need to be applied, instruments the build multiple times, generates several PHP files during the process to guarantee that dependency order is maintained and that no errors occur, and verifies the build.

The most interesting parts of the process are extracting just the useful content bits (i.e. code minus comments), the approach used to determine if a file failed to load, and how dependency calculations are made. The built-in PHP tokenizer function token_get_all() does most of the work of identifying things such as comments, whitespace, and namespace keywords. Determining file load failures is a bit trickier but each PHP file that will be loaded is written to disk before it is included. Dependencies are determined by monitoring what additional files are loaded when a specific PHP file is loaded. Removing failed files and resolving dependencies repeats ad nauseum until nothing else can be processed.

Decomposer is somewhat brute force-ish in its approach and abuses the Composer autoloader to get to its destination, which is why it can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to decompose a project.


Generate no-conflict standalone builds of PHP Composer/PSR-enabled software. MIT or LGPL.




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