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What can I use Packagist for?

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So... I build web applications, but all my applications are on an internal server, for internal customers (colleagues, really) so they can shift data around etc. The point is, I never get to put stuff out on the internet.


Therefore, things like OAuth (as I understand it) isn't really something I would ever need. My colleagues don't need to be logged in to Facebook in order to use my applications! Or need a shopping cart!


I have my own development environment outside of work, I have got composer installed and am currently building something using Laravel 5. I am looking to expand my knowledge of open source. I am sure that Packagist has it's uses... But I'm struggling to see any that would benefit me. All I see when I look through it is symfony dependancy after symfony dependancy and a bit OAuth. Is it really that great? What have you used Packagist for that might be of use in a "data processing" type application?


I'm not complaining and I mean no offence to people who use packagist a lot. I am basically just trying to keep up with coding for the internet.. and not just focusing on easy internal applications.

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Packagist is a web interface to the packages available on composer. You can search for packages just like with composer search and then composer browse. If you develop packages yourself you use it to register and manage your packages.

Edited by ignace

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Composer and packagist were an extremely important step in the evolution of php.   Other trends like the rise of git to prominence in the software development world, also contributed to this, but in the modern world of development languages, having a universal package manager like node has with NPM, RubyGems for Ruby or Python has with Pip is more or less expected by any serious software developer these days.  


Prior to the addition of namespaces to PHP and subsequently PSR-0 and eventually composer & packagist, using libraries in your project was a perilous and potentially error-fraught exercise.


For example, someone may have developed the most amazing image processing library for use with Joomla, and there was just about no way possible that you could make use of that library with Drupal, or your own home grown framework.


We had numerous competing frameworks with their own conventions and modularity and just about no reuse available.  This lead to rampant reinvention of the wheel, and the libraries and components themselves were often slipshod and lacking in unit tests or other quality controls, and frequently would fall behind as the original developers moved on.


Compared to other languages PHP was far behind in this regard.  An early attempt to address the problem was PEAR, but it was far from successful for many reasons.


Now that we have Composer and packages, PHP has entered a new age, where we've seen the development of discreet well tested component libraries that tackle individual problems, and using composer you can integrate them into any project you want, whether that project is based on a framework, or one you built yourself.


You create systems and I assume, intranet or not they need to do things.  For example, they may store files, or manipulate images, or could benefit from MVC or templating for seperation of data and presentation.  If you take a look throught packagist you will be floored by the sheer quantity of libraries out there, and how they solve problems and can make daunting development tasks as easy as adding a new component and creating an instance in your app.


With composer, and a quick perusal of packagist you can be up and running with one of any number of libraries in record time, and without the need to download and copy the libraries, or determine if they depend on other libraries.


Quite simply, it's a huge game changer for the PHP community, and if you aren't using composer, you just aren't doing it right.

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