This article was originally published in php|architect in February 2009 and I published it mostly as it appeared in the magazine shy of the odd formatting to fit the blog format better.
Standards evolve all the time but this specific standard has not changed much at all since I wrote my article but as always for something written a year or two ago, take it with a pinch of salt :-)
PEAR has been around for many, many years, and thus has accumulated a lot of knowledge on how to run a large-scale project.
PEAR has run into countless hurdles along the way that had to be solved in one way or another. As a result of getting over these hurdles, we have produced good things that affect the whole PHP community and also things that well…let’s face it, didn’t help PEAR or PHP a whole lot.