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I see it in various places,but what's it for?

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It's an installer. For pears. – Wesley Feb 9 '10 at 18:38

Not to be rude, but 2 seconds on Google would have answered this for you. It's the first hit. It's package management for PHP.

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Part of the point of ServerFault (and the other StackOverflow sites) is to become a definitive source for answers - even those you can find with a quick google search. – MattB Feb 9 '10 at 20:04
@MattB, does that mean this site should be the very first port of call for everything? As this site is intended for professional system admins it is more than reasonable to expect that at least some basic research has been undertaken before posting here. It's dross like this question that's making this site less and less useful. – John Gardeniers Feb 9 '10 at 21:37
From the link - "Every question in Stack Overflow is like the Wikipedia article for some extremely narrow, specific programming question." This is so simple a question, it does seem like it doesn't fit the mission of the site. – mfinni Feb 9 '10 at 21:41
This is all excellent discussion, but better suited for meta stackoverflow. (Specifically:…) I think the general consensus is if you don't like the question ignore it (or even downvote it) but these types of questions should still have a place on SF. – MattB Feb 9 '10 at 21:44

You can find all the necessary documentation at

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