Open source is a big deal at Engine Yard. Originally founded as a Ruby company, most of our early work was in the Ruby community. Since acquiring Orchestra in 2011, we have been investing in the PHP commmunity and are continually on the look out for ways to give back. So I’m thrilled to be sharing the latest news on this front.
A Runaway Success
Work on Composer began in February 2011, and it wasn’t released until nearly a year later. The Packagist repository went live on 13 April 2012, and in less than two years it now contains almost 150,000 packages, and Composer is supported in prestigious software like MediaWiki (as of version 1.22.0, released December 2013).
In fact, there have been over 300 million packages installed with Composer since 2012. When we first launched PHP on Engine Yard, Composer support was our most requested feature, and the first major platform addition we made.
We care a lot about PHP and we want to continue our mission of supporting key pieces of infrastructure in the communities we serve. As I previously wrote, “the open source community, and open source software, is the rootstock of many of the world’s leading technology companies. And if you don’t take care of your rootstock, your business will suffer.”
Engine Yard will be sponsoring Composer for the next 12 months as part of our Community Grant program. We’re setting aside a $15,000 pot to fund ongoing work by Nils Adermann, one of the Composer principals. You might also know Nils from his contributions to phpBB, the popular OSS forum software. This sponsorship should free up additional time for Nils to make enhancements on an ongoing basis.
When I spoke to Nils, he said:
“Composer has very quickly grown beyond any of our expectations over the last two years. We have a large active community of volunteer contributors who help fix bugs and implement new features. However with Composer’s fast growth we are reaching limits on resource usage which we cannot easily resolve with fast workarounds any longer. Engine Yard’s support will allow me to focus on these challenges and make some more major changes to the architecture of Composer and consequently improve the experience for all of Composer’s users.”
Unlike many of the big PHP projects (including PHP itself) Composer has never received sponsorship. But with the runaway success of the project, and the additional burden that places on both development and hosting, we felt like now was a critical time for us to extend our support for something that so many people (including us!) have come to depend on.
P.S. Do you use Composer? Are there any features you’d like to see added in the next 12 months? We plan to work closely with Nils as he selects what to work on. Speak up in the comments and help us prioritise.