The structure of the Manual

The structure of the Manual

This guide explains the general structure, layout, and conventions used in the PEAR manual. The manual is divided into six main parts, they are:

  • About PEAR

    This section contains a gentle introduction to what PEAR is and has to offer. Included is general information about installing and using PEAR, support options, and answers to frequently asked PEAR related questions.

  • Developer Guide

    General information about developing and releasing PEAR-Packages.

  • Core components

    This section contains documentation about the core PEAR classes. These core components are the base to every PEAR class and understanding the basics will allow general use of the PEAR library. Topics include the PEAR base, PEAR administration, error handling through use of the PEAR_Error object, and system commands. These classes are generally shipped with every source PHP distribution.

  • Packages

    There are many PEAR packages with the number growing every day. Most every package is documented and most are not installed by default. For information on installing PEAR classes on your system, be sure to read the Installation chapter.

    Each documented class contains basic documentation about the packages publically available functions. There may also be additional information like an introduction, list of available constants, and example uses of the given package. Additional information may also exist within the package source files themselves.

    The description of each function may contain some or all of the following parts:

    • Synopsis

      Shows the structure and prototype of the function.

    • Description

      Gives a description about what the function does.

    • Parameter

      Describes each parameter for the function along with the paramater types and names. Both required and optional parameters are listed.

    • Returns

      Describes the returned value, if the function doesn't fail.

    • Throws

      Describes the returned PEAR_Error objects, if the function fails.

    • Note

      Additional notes and information about the function. An example note would be if the function can be called statically.

    • See

      Links to other related functions or manual entries.

    • Example

      An example use of the function or class.

  • PECL Packages

    PECL Packages are regular PHP extensions written in C. The documentation structure should follow the Package section above.

  • Contributing to PEAR

    Contains information for writing your own PEAR Packages.

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