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phake - Rake/Make for PHP 5.3 Build Status

© 2010 Jason Frame [ / @jaz303 ]
Released under the MIT License.

A wee clone of Ruby's rake for PHP 5.3. Uses closures for ultimate coolness.

Questions abut phake? Come and chat in #phake on Freenode!


  • Download
  • Create a Phakefile in the current directory or a parent directory
  • Invoke ./phake task:name to invoke task or ./phake -T to list defined tasks

Defining Tasks

Define tasks like this:

task('dependency1', function() {
    echo "i will run first!\n";

task('dependency2', function() {
    echo "i will run second!\n";

task('task_name', 'dependency1', 'dependency2', function() {
    echo "i will run last!\n";

This task would be invoked from the command line by ./phake task_name

Task bodies are optional if you want to create some sort of "super-task" that just invokes a bunch of others:

task('foo', 'dep1', 'dep2');

And multiple bodies can be added to tasks, all of which will be executed when the task is invoked:

task('foo', function() { echo "task work item 1\n"; });
task('foo', function() { echo "task work item 2\n"; });

Grouping Tasks

Like Rake, we can group tasks:

group('db', function() {
    task('init', function() {
        echo "i'm initialising the database\n";

This would be invoked by ./phake db:init

Describing Tasks

Call desc() immediately before defining a task to set its description:

desc("Initialises the database");
task('db_init', function() { echo "oh hai it's a database\n"; });

Output from ./phake -T:

db_init    Initialises the database

After/Before Blocks

Sometimes you may want to specify that some code should run before or after a task (distinct from dependencies), a bit like Capistrano. Phake supports this:

before('foo', function() { ... });
after('baz:bar', function() { ... });

Task Arguments

Phake allows arguments to specified on the command line:

# Execute task `quux` with the given args
./phake quux name=Jason city=Glasgow

This format must be matched exactly; do not put spaces between = and the argument name/value. If you need to put spaces in the argument value, place the entire assignment in quotes.

Arguments are made available to tasks by the application object's ArrayAccess implementation:

task('task_with_args', function($app) {
    $name = $app['name'];
    $city = $app['city'];
    // do some stuff...

Aborting Execution

To abort execution of a task sequence, simply throw an exception.

desc('Demonstrate failure');
task('fail', function() {
    throw new Exception;

Running phake fail will yield:

- jason@disco phake % ./bin/phake fail
(in /Users/jason/dev/projects/phake)

(See full trace by running task with --trace)

A Somewhat More Complete Example

This is what a complete Phakefile might look like. It also highlights some of the more complex name resolution issues arising when dealing with groups.

desc('Load the application environment');
task('environment', function() {
    echo "I am the outer environment. I should run first.\n";

desc('Initialises the database connection');
task('database', function() {
    echo "I am initialising the database...\n";

group('test', function() {

    // 'environment' dependency for this task is resolved locally to
    // task in same group. There is no 'database' task defined in this
    // group so it drops back to a search of the root group.
    desc('Run the unit tests');
    task('units', 'environment', ':environment', 'database', function() {
        echo "Running unit tests...\n";

    // another level of nesting; application object is passed to all
    // executing tasks
    group('all', function() {
        desc('Run absolutely every test everywhere!');
        task('run', 'test:units', function($application) {
            echo "All tests complete! ($application)\n";


// duplicate group definitions are merged
group('test', function() {

    // duplicate task definitions are merged
    // (although the first description takes precedence when running with -T)
    desc("You won't see this description");
    task('units', function() {
        echo "Running a second batch of unit tests...\n";

    // use ':environment' to refer to task in root group
    // we currently have no cyclic dependency checking, you have been warned.
    task('environment', ':environment', function() {
        echo "I am the inner environment. I should run second.\n";


task('default', 'test:all:run');

Here's the output from ./phake (implied task to run is default):

jason@ratchet phake [master*] $ ./phake
(in /Users/jason/dev/projects/phake)
I am the outer environment. I should run first.
I am the inner environment. I should run second.
I am initialising the database...
Running unit tests...
Running a second batch of unit tests...
All tests complete! (<phake\Application>)

And the corresponding output from phake -T:

jason@ratchet phake [master*] $ ./phake -T
(in /Users/jason/dev/projects/phake)
database        Initialises the database connection
environment     Load the application environment
test:all:run    Run absolutely every test everywhere!
test:units      Run the unit tests

Bash Autocompletion

Bashkim Isai has created phake-autocomplete, a bash-completion script for phake task names.