PHP Web Developer & Photographer | Phoenix, AZ

Sparks Package Management

So, many of you that read this blog (that are in the software dev industry) might have heard about PEAR packages or RubyGems once or twice. I think we can do better then that.

PEAR is a centralized package management system for PHP that has thousands of libraries built by developers all over the world. They have these nifty little commands you can run to install packages to your system, and with some configuration, your PHP project can then use these packages at will…although, I can’t tell you the last time I used PEAR, because it’s rather archaic in my opinion, and the times that I have had to use it, it was quite difficult to get it to “work the right way”.

Now – RubyGems are fantastic! RubyGems.org is a centralized package management system for the Ruby language. I’ve used this many times, and I love it. It’ll handle dependencies and install everything you need to your system, so all you have to do is call it up in your Ruby project, and you can use it. Hmm…like!

Finding Codeigniter libraries is kind of difficult. There are tons of fantastic libraries built for CodeIgniter out on the net, but it’s sometimes hard to find them, and it’s even hard to know if they suck or not without popping them in to your code and giving them a try.

Setting up ANOTHER system every time I move code is a pain in the ass. I’ve done it several times – when working in a new environment, you have to install all these libraries to your system, waste more time getting setup to go, and get all invasive with yet another environment. That sucks.

Cue in Sparks – the Package Management System for Codeigniter. First off, it solves 2 things right off the bat – it’s easy to find new packages (we’re finishing up the search in the alpha phase), and everything is attached to your project – not your system.

Sweet…a portable Codeigniter project with libraries that can be added/updated from a central repository in 1 command?!?!?!

A group of 4 of us came up with this idea, and put it together in a matter of a few weeks. It’s in ALPHA release right now, so we’re still finding/squashing bugs & adding new features. I would write more and more about how Sparks works in detail, but I’ll go ahead and let the site do the talking and let you experience it for yourself. Feel free to give us some feedback!

This is gonna change everything with Codeigniter!

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