In this chapter the different ways of contributing to PEAR will be discussed. The most common way of contributing to PEAR is to open a bug or feature request at our Bug Tracker. You might also add a patch to an existing bug, or add a helpful note to the user manual for a package that you use regularly. If you wish to step in deeper, some packages are in need of better documentation, and you could mail suggestions in text or docbook format to email@example.com. The next level of commitment to PEAR is offering to become a regular developer for a specific package that you use often. This is easily accomplished by emailing the current active developers and asking where to begin.
If you decide to take the full plunge and contribute a brand new package to PEAR, then you will need to fulfill a number of guidelines and requirements. If you are unsure if your package belongs in PEAR, contact the developers mailing list.
As you may have already noticed while browsing the list of existing packages, the PEAR packages provide a (often abstract) solution for a general problem. Thus your code will most likely fit into PEAR if it solves a problem that will not only occur in one (e.g. your) specific application, but that occurs in a lot of (web) applications. Examples are:
Support for Network protocols
Object oriented wrappers that provide easy access to otherwise complicated or less intuitive PHP extensions.
Parsing different XML dialects.
The PEAR packages that provide XML parsing functionalities can be found in the category browser.
No matter which area is covered by a package, the API should be as abstract as possible (while not becoming too complex), so that it can be utilized painlessly in as much use cases as possible.