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A plea for less (XML) configuration files

Note: This article was originally published at Planet PHP on 9 July 2012.
Planet PHP

I recently tried using Phing (a PHP build system) to do some simple release automation. Just creating a PEAR package and doing a few string replacements here and there.

The result? After several wasted hours I ended up using Phing only for PEAR packaging and doing everything else in a custom PHP build script.

The reason? Phing uses XML files to configure what it should do during a build. So an excerpt from a build file might look like this:

name="SomeName" default="package" basedir=".." name="package" file="build/build.properties" / propertyName="project.version" promptText="Enter project version" / dir="${path.results.lib}" / dir="${path.results.lib}" / todir="${path.results.lib}" dir="${path.lib}" name="**/**" /