Need to create or manipulate a TAR file through your Web browser? Take a look at the PEAR Archive_Tar class, which exposes a simple, yet extremely powerful, API to perform manipulation of TAR and TGZ archives through a PHP script. Possible applications include a TAR file viewer and a Web-based backup utility.
No fewer than six times in the past few months have I needed a custom thingammyjig for one of my projects and, after having made the decision to design and code it myself, checked Google on the off-chance that someone had already written it and found exactly what I needed in a PHP user group or code repository. Not only is this incredibly cool - like all lazy programmers, I hate reinventing the wheel - but it's also a testament to the immense popularity of the language, and to the creativity it inspires among developers on a daily basis.
This tutorial deals with one such tool, the Archive_Tar class. This is not a tool you might be familiar with, it's not even a tool that you'll use on a regular basis. However, in case you ever need a way to build a TAR archive through PHP code, it's an invaluable addition to your PHP armory. Keep reading, and let me introduce you.