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First try at explaining how to create a self-contained extension

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+HOW TO CREATE A SELF-CONTAINED PHP EXTENSION
+$Id$
+
+ A self-contained extension can be distributed independently of
+ the PHP source. To create such an extension, three things are
+ required:
+
+ - Makefile template (Makefile.in)
+ - Configuration file (config.m4)
+ - Source code for your module
+
+ We will describe now how to create these and how to put things
+ together.
+
+
+SPECIFYING THE EXTENSION
+
+ Our demo extension is called "foobar".
+
+ It consists of two source files "foo.c" and "bar.c"
+ (and any arbitrary amount of header files, but that is not
+ important here).
+
+ The demo extension does not reference any external
+ libraries (that is important, because the user does not
+ need to specify anything).
+
+
+CREATING THE MAKEFILE TEMPLATE
+
+ The Makefile Template (Makefile.in) contains three lines:
+
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------
+LTLIBRARY_SHARED_NAME = foobar.la
+LTLIBRARY_SOURCES = foo.c bar.c
+
+include $(top_srcdir)/build/rules.mk
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------
+
+ LTLIBRARY_SHARED_NAME specifies the name of the extension.
+ It must be of the form `ext-name.la'.
+
+ LTLIBRARY_SOURCES specifies the names of the sources files. You can
+ name an arbitrary number of source files here.
+
+ The final include directive includes the build rules (you usually
+ don't need to care about what happens there). rules.mk and other
+ files are installed by phpize which we will cover later.
+
+
+CREATING THE M4 CONFIGURATION FILE
+
+ The m4 configuration can perform additional checks. For a
+ self-contained extension, you do not need more than a few
+ macro calls.
+
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------
+PHP_ARG_ENABLE(foobar,whether to enable foobar,
+[ --enable-foobar Enable foobar])
+
+PHP_EXTENSION(foobar, $ext_shared)
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------
+
+ PHP_ARG_ENABLE will automatically set the correct variables, so
+ that the extension will be enabled by PHP_EXTENSION in shared mode.
+
+
+CREATING SOURCE FILES
+
+ [You are currently alone here. There are a lot of existing modules,
+ use a simply module as a starting point and add your own code.]
+
+
+CREATING THE SELF-CONTAINED EXTENSION
+
+ Put Makefile.in, config.m4 and the source files into one directory.
+ Then run phpize (this is installed during make install by PHP 4.0).
+ For example, if you configured PHP with --prefix=/php, you would run
+
+ $ /php/bin/phpize
+
+ This will automatically copy the necessary build files and create
+ configure from your config.m4.
+
+ And that's it. You now have a self-contained extension.
+
+ It can be installed by running:
+
+ $ ./configure [--with-php-config=/path/to/php-config]
+ $ make install
+
+CONVERTING AN EXISTING EXTENSION
+
+ If you want to distribute an extension from the PHP repository, copy
+ all files from the extension's directory to a new directory and
+ run phpize as described above. That's all!
+
+ For example:
+
+ $ dir=/tmp/new_moduke
+ $ cd php4/ext/mysql
+ $ mkdir $dir
+ $ cp -rp * $dir
+ $ cd $dir
+ $ phpize
+
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