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What is it?
Phing is a PHP based build tool. In theory it is kind of like "make"
without makes drawbacks and with the full portability and performance
of PHP. (PH)pmake (I)s (N)ot (G)numake
Why another build tool when there is already make, gnumake, nmake, jam, ant,
and others? Because all those tools have limitations that the binarycloud
development team could not live with when developing software across
different platforms. Make-like tools are inherently shell-based: they
evaluate a set of dependencies, then execute commands not unlike what you
would issue on a shell.
This means that you can easily extend these tools by using or writing any
program for the OS that you are working on; however, this also means that
you limit yourself to the OS, or at least the OS type, such as Unix, that
you are working on.
Makefiles are inherently evil as well. Anybody who has worked on them for
any time has run into the dreaded tab problem. "Is my command not executing
because I have a space in front of my tab?!!". Tools like Jam took care of
this to a great degree, but still have yet another format to use and
remember. Of course there is the Java based build tool ant, that is very
good approach to what now Phing is. But still based on Java you have to have
at least a running JRE installation on your plattfrom.
Great for Java projects but we thought this is very consistent way to build
a PHP based project. Additionally ant does not support a autoconf tool that
writes out proper buildfiles based on some simple rules prior defined in a
XML Configuration file.
Phing is different. Instead of a model where it is extended with shell-based
commands, Phing is extended using PHP classes. Instead of writing shell
commands, the configuration files are XML-based, calling a target tree where
various tasks get executed. Each task is run by an object that implements
a particular Task action.
Of course, this removes some of the expressive power that is inherent in
being able to construct a shell command such as
% `find . -name foo -exec rm {}`
but it gives you the ability to be cross-platform - to work anywhere and
everywhere. And if you really need to execute a shell command, Phing has an <exec>
task that allows different commands to be executed based on the operating
system it is executing on.
The Latest Version
Details of the latest version can be found on the Phing homepage
Documentation is available in XHTML format in the docs/ directory. In particular,
open the docs/phing_guide/book/index.html in a frames-compatible browser to see the
phing user guide.
For installing see INSTALL.<platform> files in the Phing root.
This software is licensed under the terms you may find in the file
named "LICENSE" in this directory.
Thanks for using PHING.
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