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PHP Packaging Tips



package.xml provided in pear/pecl channel archive describe the dependencies of the package, e.g.


In your spec

# From package.xml - required
Requires: php(language) >= 5.3.0
Requires: php-pear(Foo) >= 2.0.0
# From package.xml - optional
Requires: php-curl


composer.json provided in lot of libraries/applications describes the dependencies.

See The composer.json schema

  • "require" becomes "Requires", using the virtual php-composer(foo)
  • "require-dev" usually becomes "BuildRequires"
  • "suggest" are optional dependencies, which can becomes (packager choice) "Requires", "Recommends" or "Suggests"
  • "conflict" becomes "Conflicts" (be careful, usually not needed)
  • "replace" becomes "Provides" (and "Obsoletes" if needed)



Composer: most library and lot of applications are now "composer" aware. Which means composer is used to install dependencies and create a suitable autoloader. Composer is mostly a "Bundled every library in every project", not something we want in Fedora.

Consumer Autoloader: in some case, we can add an autoloader for an application and all its dependencies. It seems this is not the best solution, if the dependency tree change, the autoloader need to be fixed.

Provider Autoloader: if each library provides an autoloader for its classes and its dependencies, a consumer just have to include this autoloader. This seems the best solution, so recommended here.

Providing an autoloader is not mandatory (so not in the Guidelines), but seems a good practice.


There are various way to create an autoloader

upstream: when upstream provides an autoloader, no need to use another one ;)

classmap: when "composer.json" describe a library to autoload a classmap, e.g.

"autoload": {
      "classmap": ["src/"]

The simplest solution is to generate an simple classmapp autoloader, using the fedora/autoloder, e.g.

BuildRequires: php-fedora-autoloader-devel
Requires:      php-composer(fedora/autoloader)

%{_bindir}/phpab --template fedora --output src/autoload.php src

Another deprecated solution is to generate an simple classmap autoloader, only using the phpab command, e.g.

BuildRequires: %{_bindir}/phpab

%{_bindir}/phpab --output src/autoload.php src

PSR-0/PSR-4 when "composer.json" describe a library as compliant:

"require": {
   "php": ">=5.3.2",
   "symfony/console": "~2.5 || ~3.0",
   "foo/baz": "~1.0"
"autoload": {
    "psr-0": { "Foo\\Bar\\": "src/" }

Using the new fedora/autoloader:

BuildRequires: php-composer(fedora/autoloader)
Requires:      php-composer(fedora/autoloader)

cat <<'AUTOLOAD' | tee src/Foo/Bar/autoload.php
require_once '%{_datadir}/php/Fedora/Autoloader/autoload.php';

\Fedora\Autoloader\Autoload::addPsr4('Foo\\Bar\\', __DIR__);

        '%{_datadir}/php/Symfony3/Component/Console/autoload.php', // SF3 preferred
        '%{_datadir}/php/Symfony/Component/Console/autoload.php',  // SF2 as fallback

   // no optional dependencies

Notice: this solution reduce the dependency tree, avoiding pulling some big framework. It will also avoid some conflicts when multiple version of the Framework exist.

Symfony Framework: alternative solution when your package already pull some symfony components and is PSR-0/PSR-4 compliant, e.g.

In your spec (autoload.php can also be a separate source file):

BuildRequires: php-composer(symfony/class-loader)
Requires:      php-composer(symfony/class-loader)

cat <<'AUTOLOAD' | tee src/autoload.php

if (!isset($fedoraClassLoader) || !($fedoraClassLoader instanceof \Symfony\Component\ClassLoader\ClassLoader)) {
    if (!class_exists('Symfony\\Component\\ClassLoader\\ClassLoader', false)) {
        require_once '%{_datadir}/php/Symfony/Component/ClassLoader/ClassLoader.php';

    $fedoraClassLoader = new \Symfony\Component\ClassLoader\ClassLoader();

// This library
$fedoraClassLoader->addPrefix('Foo\\Bar\\', dirname(dirname(__DIR__)));

// Another library (dependency)
require_once '%{_datadir}/php/Foo/Baz/autoload.php';

Notice: in this implementation proposal, $fedoraClassLoader can be shared between libraries when various autoloader are stacked.

Zend Framework: alternative solution when your package already pull some ZF components.

In your spec (autoload.php can also be a separate source file):

BuildRequires: php-composer(zendframework/zend-loader) 
Requires:      php-composer(zendframework/zend-loader) 

cat <<'AUTOLOAD' | tee src/autoload.php
require_once '%{_datadir}/php/Zend/Loader/AutoloaderFactory.php';
    'Zend\Loader\StandardAutoloader' => array(
        'fallback_autoloader' => true, // for other dep, if needed
        'autoregister_zf' => true,     // for ZF, if needed
        'namespaces' => array(
           'Foo\\Bar' => __DIR__       // Your namespace

Using AutoloaderFactory ensure a single instance of StandardAutoloader is used.

More autoloader tips

Test your autoloader: usually by using it to run the test suite, and better to run the installed copy, e.g.

phpunit --bootstrap=%{buildroot}/%{_datadir}/php/Foo/Bar/autoload.php

Use full path to dependencies autoloader, to ensure you use the expected one (don't rely on include_path to avoid /usr/share/pear which can provide an old version, or SCL which doesn't includes /usr/share/php, or any user altered env.)

Use relative path for the library itself, so the autoloader can be included from /usr/share/php or %{buildroot}

Package versions that introduced autoloaders

  • Packages that provided an autoloader since their first release will not be listed here
  • This is not an exhaustive list of packages

Package Autoloader Type Autoloader Since Version
php-Analog phpab 1.0.7
php-Assetic Symfony ClassLoader 1.2.1-4
php-aws-sdk Symfony ClassLoader 2.6.15
php-deepend-Mockery Symfony ClassLoader 0.9.3
php-doctrine-annotations Symfony ClassLoader 1.2.6
php-doctrine-cache Symfony ClassLoader 1.4.1
php-doctrine-collections Symfony ClassLoader 1.3.0
php-doctrine-common Symfony ClassLoader el6: 2.4.3 / !el6: 2.5.0
php-doctrine-datafixtures Symfony ClassLoader 1.0.2
php-doctrine-dbal Symfony ClassLoader el6: 2.4.5 / !el6: 2.5.4
php-doctrine-inflector Symfony ClassLoader 1.0.1-4
php-doctrine-lexer Symfony ClassLoader 1.0.1-4
php-doctrine-orm Symfony ClassLoader 2.4.8
php-EasyRdf Symfony ClassLoader 0.9.0
php-egulias-email-validator Symfony ClassLoader 1.2.9
php-Faker Symfony ClassLoader 1.5.0
php-gitter Symfony ClassLoader 0.3.0-5
php-gliph Symfony ClassLoader 0.1.8-4
php-google-apiclient Upstream custom 1.1.4
php-goutte Symfony ClassLoader 1.0.7-3
php-guzzle-Guzzle Symfony ClassLoader 3.9.3
php-guzzlehttp-guzzle Symfony ClassLoader 5.3.0
php-guzzlehttp-ringphp Symfony ClassLoader 1.1.0-3
php-guzzlehttp-streams Symfony ClassLoader 3.0.0-3
php-ircmaxell-random-lib class map 1.1.0-3
php-ircmaxell-security-lib class map 1.1.0-4
php-JMSParser Symfony ClassLoader 1.0.0-7
php-jsonlint Symfony ClassLoader 1.3.1-3
php-Metadata Symfony ClassLoader 1.5.1-3
php-mikey179-vfsstream phpab 1.6.0
php-Monolog Symfony ClassLoader 1.15.0
php-ocramius-code-generator-utils Symfony ClassLoader 0.3.2-4
php-ocramius-generated-hydrator Symfony ClassLoader 1.2.0
php-opencloud Symfony ClassLoader 1.12.2
php-PHP-Css-Parser phpab 7.0.2
php-PhpCollection Symfony ClassLoader 0.4.0-4
php-PhpOption Symfony ClassLoader 1.4.0-4
php-psr-http-message phpab 1.0.0
php-PsrLog Symfony ClassLoader 1.0.0-8
php-Raven Raven_Autoloader 0.12.0
php-react-promise Symfony ClassLoader 2.2.0-4
php-scssphp Symfony ClassLoader 0.1.6
php-seld-cli-prompt Symfony ClassLoader 1.0.0-3
php-seld-phar-utils Symfony ClassLoader 1.0.1
php-solarium Symfony ClassLoader 3.5.0
php-symfony Symfony ClassLoader el6: 2.3.31 / !el6: 2.7.1
php-SymfonyCmfRouting Symfony ClassLoader 1.3.0-4
php-twig Twig_Autoloader 1.18.2
php-twig-extensions Twig_Extensions_Autoloader 1.3.0
php-ZendFramework2 Zend el6: 2.2.10 / !el6: 2.4.7