Monday, January 4, 2010

Pilaster PHP Library in GitHub

Over the holiday break, I decided to dust off the Pilaster document database and bring it up to some acceptable level of stability.

As it stands now, Pilaster is a document database that provides similar capabilities to that of MongoDB. It is nowhere near as performant as MongoDB -- then again, it's written in pure PHP and does not require a separate application.

I figured it would be useful for smaller system or for applications running on hosted platforms.

In the backend, it uses Lucene (or, rather Zend's port of Lucene) to provide a high(-ish) performance datastore. You can search it using either name/value arrays or search strings. Yes, search strings are the database's query language. Weird... I know.

To test it out (and contribute, if you'd like), take a look at the Git repository here:

If you want to start with a build of it, you can download 2.0-alpha1 (or whatever today's latest version is) by going here:


When I initially developed Pilaster, it was basically a form of the Sinciput and Rhizome projects. It worked, but it was very tied to the way those systems used data. That was Pilaster 1.x.

As I took a fresh look at Pilaster in December, I realized that I could make it much more generic -- in short, I could make it work with native data structures! With minimal refactoring, I changed the entire Pilaster data model.

I decided that would be Pilaster 2.x.

Pilaster is not quite stable. The unit tests for the main public API all pass. However, the low-level driver is not complete. Import and export still need to be added. I am also uncertain as to how stable the Zend index really is. Your testing can help me discover what works and what doesn't.