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Composer

Flarum usa Composer per gestire le sue dipendenze ed estensioni. Dovrai usare composer per:

  • Installare o aggiornare Flarum
  • Installare, aggiornare o rimuovere le estensioni di Flarum

Questa guida è una piccola base per l'utilizzo di Composer. Raccomandiamo vivamente di consultare la documentazione ufficiale per maggiori informazioni.

Composer v2

Storicamente, Composer ha causato problemi sull'hosting condiviso a causa di un uso enorme della memoria. Nel 2020, Composer v2 è stato rilasciato con enormi miglioramenti di utilizzo delle prestazioni e della memoria che eliminano questi problemi. Assicurati che il tuo server stia usando Composer v2!

Che cos’è Composer?

Il compositore è uno strumento per la gestione delle dipendenze in PHP. Ti permette di dichiarare le librerie su cui dipende il tuo progetto e le gestirà (installazione/aggiornamento) per te. — Composer Introduction

Ogni installazione di Flarum consiste principalmente nell'installazione di Flarum core e una serie di estensioni. Ognuna di queste ha le sue dipendenze.

In principio, il framework del forum gestiva le estensioni manualmente, caricando file zip contenenti il codice delle estensioni. Sembrava abbastanza semplice, ma i problemi divennero subito evidenti:

  • Il caricamento di file zip casuali da internet tende ad essere una cattiva idea. Richiedere che le estensioni vengano scaricate da una fonte come Packagist rende un rende lo spam o codice malevolo difficile da scaricare, e assicura che il codice sorgente sia disponibile su GitHub per estensioni gratuite/pubbliche.
  • Diciamo che l'estensione A richiede la versione v4 di alcune librerie, e l'estensione B richiede la versione v5 di quella stessa libreria. Con una soluzione basata su zip, una delle due dipendenze potrebbe prevalere sull'altra, causando una serie di problemi. Oppure entrambi tenterebbero di funzionare contemporaneamente, il che causerebbe il crash di PHP (non è possibile dichiarare la stessa classe due volte).
  • I file zip possono causare molti mal di testa se si tenta di automatizzare le distribuzioni, eseguire test automatici o scalare su più nodi del server.
  • There is no good way to ensure conflicting extension versions can't be installed, or that system PHP version and extension requirements are met.
  • Sure, we can upgrade extensions by replacing the zip file. But what about upgrading Flarum core? And how can we ensure that extensions can declare which versions of core they're compatible with?

Composer takes care of all these issues, and more!

Flarum and Composer

When you go to install Flarum, you're actually doing 2 things:

  1. Downloading a boilerplate "skeleton" for Flarum. This includes an index.php file that handles web requests, a flarum file that provides a CLI, and a bunch of web server config and folder setup. This is taken from the flarum/flarum github repository, and doesn't actually contain any of the code necessary for Flarum to run.
  2. Installing composer packages necessary for Flarum, namely Flarum core, and several bundled extensions. These are called by the index.php and flarum files from step 1, and are the implementation of Flarum. These are specified in a composer.json file included in the skeleton.

When you want to update Flarum or add/update/remove extensions, you'll do so by running composer commands. Each command is different, but all commands follow the same general process:

  1. Update the composer.json file to add/remove/update the package.
  2. Do a bunch of math to get the latest compatible versions of everything if possible, or figure out why the requested arrangement is impossible.
  3. If everything works, download new versions of everything that needs to be updated. If not, revert the composer.json changes

When running composer.json commands, make sure to pay attention to the output. If there's an error, it'll probably tell you if it's because of extension incompatibilities, an unsupported PHP version, missing PHP extensions, or something else.

The composer.json File

As mentioned above, the entire composer configuration for your Flarum site is contained inside the composer.json file. You can consult the composer documentation for a specific schema, but for now, let's go over an annotated composer.json from flarum/flarum:

{
// This following section is mostly just metadata about the package.
// For forum admins, this doesn't really matter.
"name": "flarum/flarum",
"description": "Delightfully simple forum software.",
"type": "project",
"keywords": [
"forum",
"discussion"
],
"homepage": "https://flarum.org/",
"license": "MIT",
"authors": [
{
"name": "Flarum",
"email": "[email protected]",
"homepage": "https://flarum.org/team"
}
],
"support": {
"issues": "https://github.com/flarum/core/issues",
"source": "https://github.com/flarum/flarum",
"docs": "https://flarum.org/docs/"
},
// End of metadata

// This next section is the one we care about the most.
// It's a list of packages we want, and the versions for each.
// We'll discuss this shortly.
"require": {
"flarum/core": "^1.0",
"flarum/approval": "*",
"flarum/bbcode": "*",
"flarum/emoji": "*",
"flarum/lang-english": "*",
"flarum/flags": "*",
"flarum/likes": "*",
"flarum/lock": "*",
"flarum/markdown": "*",
"flarum/mentions": "*",
"flarum/nicknames": "*",
"flarum/pusher": "*",
"flarum/statistics": "*",
"flarum/sticky": "*",
"flarum/subscriptions": "*",
"flarum/suspend": "*",
"flarum/tags": "*"
},

// Various composer config. The ones here are sensible defaults.
// See https://getcomposer.org/doc/06-config.md for a list of options.
"config": {
"preferred-install": "dist",
"sort-packages": true
},

// If composer can find a stable (not dev, alpha, or beta) version
// of a package, it should use that. Generally speaking, production
// sites shouldn't run beta software unless you know what you're doing.
"prefer-stable": true
}

Let's focus on that require section. Each entry is the name of a composer package, and a version string. To read more about version strings, see the relevant composer documentation.

For Flarum projects, there's several types of entries you'll see in the require section of your root install's flarum/core:

  • You MUST have a flarum/core entry. This should have an explicit version string corresponding to the major release you want to install. For Flarum 1.x versions, this would be ^1.0.
  • You should have an entry for each extension you've installed. Some bundled extensions are included by default (e.g. flarum/tags, flarum/suspend, etc), others you'll add via composer commands. Unless you have a reason to do otherwise (e.g. you're testing a beta version of a package), we recommend using an asterisk as the version string for extensions (*). This means "install the latest version compatible with my flarum/core".
  • Some extensions / features might require PHP packages that aren't Flarum extensions. For example, you need the guzzle library to use the Mailgun mail driver. In these cases, the instructions for the extension/feature in question should explain which version string to use.

How to install Composer?

As with any other software, Composer must first be installed on the server where Flarum is running. There are several options depending on the type of web hosting you have.

Dedicated Web Server

In this case you can install composer as recommended in the Composer guide

Managed / Shared hosting

If Composer is not preinstalled (you can check this by running composer --version), you can use a manual installation. Just upload the composer.phar to your folder and run /path/to/your/php7 composer.phar COMMAND for any command documented as composer COMMAND.

danger

Some articles on the internet will mention that you can use tools like a PHP shell. If you are not sure what you are doing or what they are talking about - be careful! An unprotected web shell is extremely dangerous.

How do I use Composer?

You'll need to use Composer over the Command-line interface (CLI). Be sure you can access your server over Secure Shell (SSH).

Once you have Composer installed, you should be able to run Composer commands in your SSH terminal via composer COMMAND.

Optimizations

After most commands, you'll want to run composer dump-autoload -a. Essentially, this caches PHP files so they run faster.

I don't have SSH access

Most decent hosts should provide SSH access for shared hosting. If your host doesn't (and you can't switch to a good host that does offer it), hope might not yet be lost. You have several options:

  • Use alternatives like Pockethold to install Flarum. Note that you'll still need composer (and SSH) to install extensions.
  • Install composer on your computer, and run the install command locally. Then upload the files via FTP to your host. To make modifications (updating Flarum, installing/updating/removing extensions), download the current versions of the files, run whatever composer commands you need locally, and then replace the composer.json and composer.lock files, and the vendor directory of your install with your local copy. Make sure to create backups before doing this!
  • Some web hosts might provide a GUI for managing composer. The command line version is generally preferably, but if a GUI is the only possibility, consult your host's documentation for information on how to use it.

Note that these workarounds are not officially supported! The only officially supported way to install and manage Flarum is through Composer.