php extensions for iphone/ipad ios

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Wed Nov 2 19:00:43 PDT 2011

On Oct 31, 2011, at 17:05, Martin Sebastian Brilla Ghia wrote:

> Hi, i'm looking a place to download iphone/ipad ios php extensions like "php_mbstring"

It's not really a MacPorts question, unless you're asking if there's a way that MacPorts can cross-compile software for iOS for you. The answer is no at present. Earlier this year someone worked on modifying MacPorts base to allow cross-compiling some ports for iOS, but this work was never submitted to us in a form that we could easily evaluate.

It also seemed to require tweaks to each individual port that one would want to build with it, which is not surprising, since the goals of building for iOS are different from the goals MacPorts has. MacPorts tries to build full-featured ports that contain as many commonly-useful features as possible. In the case of libraries, dynamic libraries are generally preferred on OS X, though we also try to include static libraries where practical. On iOS however you want as small a build as possible, with only the features needed for your particular app (to save space on the device and to save time when downloading the app or transferring it to a device) and also Apple does not permit the use of 3rd-party dynamic libraries on iOS; 3rd-party libraries must be static libraries. This all makes me question if it makes sense to try to transform MacPorts into something that can build for iOS.

If you're developing iOS software that needs 3rd-party libraries, you probably should be compiling those libraries yourself. Only you know what features of the library you need enabled, and only you know which iOS-compatible processors you want to target. For example, in the case of PHP, I assume you would want to compile your own entire PHP binary, and you can include the mbstring functionality in that binary with the appropriate configure switches.

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