PHP: Pros and Cons of VanillaPHP vs. Composer Packages

When it comes to developing web applications using PHP, we developers often face the question of whether to create our own helper functions or use an existing open-source solution. While both options have their advantages and drawbacks, the decision ultimately depends on the specific needs of the project.

In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of creating your own PHP functions and using open-source libraries. We will delve into the advantages of lightweight and customization that come with creating your own function. Additionally, we'll explore how control over implementation can help to ensure that the function works exactly as you expect it to. Conversely, we will also examine the drawbacks of creating your own function, including issues with reusability, testing, and maintenance.

Advantages and Drawbacks on writing your own PHP helper functions #

Whenever I need to perform any simple tasks such as conversion between encoding types or similarly, there are various considerations on going Vanilla (native-functions only) and using an open source package from Composer. Here are the main points I usually consider:

  1. Lightweight: If you only need a small subset of functionality, creating your own function can be a more lightweight solution than using a full-blown library. This can help to reduce the size and complexity of your codebase, making it easier to maintain and understand.

  2. Customization: Creating your own function allows you to tailor it to your specific needs. You can add additional functionality or modify the behavior of the function to suit your use case, without having to rely on external dependencies.

  3. Control: By creating your own function, you have full control over its implementation and can ensure that it works exactly as you expect it to. This can be especially useful if you have specific performance or security requirements that are not met by existing libraries.

However, there are also some drawbacks to creating your own function:

  1. Reusability: If you only use your own function in a single project, you may not be able to reuse it in future projects or share it with others. On the other hand, open source libraries are often designed to be reusable and can be shared with the wider community.

  2. Testing: When creating your own function, you are responsible for testing it thoroughly to ensure that it works correctly in all scenarios. This can be time-consuming and may not always be feasible, especially if you are not an expert in the area.

  3. Maintenance: If you create your own function, you are responsible for maintaining it over time. This includes fixing bugs, adding new features, and ensuring that it continues to work with the latest versions of PHP. This can be a significant time investment and may not be worth the effort if an existing library already meets your needs.

Conclusion #

Ultimately, the goal of this article is to help developers make an informed decision about whether to create their own PHP functions or rely on open-source libraries. We hope that by understanding the pros and cons of both options, you can make the right decision for your next PHP project.


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