Quick Tip: Composer & Github – Develop Packages Interactively

In this quick tip I will show you how to use Composer in conjunction with Github to ease your package development process.

Using Composer Repositories

Say you have a package hosted on Github, and want to develop it while using it in your project. After having your Github repository set up, you can use Composer repositories configuration to tell Composer about your code repository.
Let’s say I have a package on Github with a URL https://github.com/Whyounes/laravel5-twig/, and my package composer.json file looks like the following.

// composer.json

{
  "name": "whyounes/laravel5-twig",
  "description": "Twig for Laravel 5"
}

Composer has a nice way of loading packages through Github or any VCS. You only specify your repo URL and it will automatically scan your composer.json for package info. Keep in mind that repositories have a higher priority over Packagist when installing or updating.

// composer.json

"require": {
	"laravel/framework": "5.0.*",
	"whyounes/laravel5-twig": "dev-master"
},
"repositories": [
    {
        "type": "vcs",
    	"url": "https://github.com/Whyounes/laravel5-twig"
	}
]

Now you can keep working on your local package and push your changes to Github, If you made some changes to the local package and run composer update before pushing to Github you will lose them.
Branches are used for versioning your package. Version names can either be numbered like 1.0, 1.0.*, etc, or you’ll have to prefix your branch name with dev-*, in our example the dev-master version will look for the master branch. You can check the documentation for more info.

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