Introduction

Swift Mailer is a component-based library for sending e-mails from PHP applications.

Organization of this Book

This book has been written so that those who need information quickly are able to find what they need, and those who wish to learn more advanced topics can read deeper into each chapter.

The book begins with an overview of Swift Mailer, discussing what's included in the package and preparing you for the remainder of the book.

It is possible to read this user guide just like any other book (from beginning to end). Each chapter begins with a discussion of the contents it contains, followed by a short code sample designed to give you a head start. As you get further into a chapter you will learn more about Swift Mailer's capabilities, but often you will be able to head directly to the topic you wish to learn about.

Throughout this book you will be presented with code samples, which most people should find ample to implement Swift Mailer appropriately in their own projects. We will also use diagrams where appropriate, and where we believe readers may find it helpful we will discuss some related theory, including reference to certain documents you are able to find online.

Code Samples

Code samples presented in this book will be displayed on a different colored background in a monospaced font. Samples are not to be taken as copy & paste code snippets.

Code examples are used through the book to clarify what is written in text. They will sometimes be usable as-is, but they should always be taken as outline/pseudo code only.

A code sample will look like this:

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class AClass
{
  ...
}

// A Comment
$obj = new AClass($arg1, $arg2, ... );

/* A note about another way of doing something
$obj = AClass::newInstance($arg1, $arg2, ... );

*/

The presence of 3 dots ... in a code sample indicates that we have left out a chunk of the code for brevity, they are not actually part of the code.

We will often place multi-line comments /* ... */ in the code so that we can show alternative ways of achieving the same result.

You should read the code examples given and try to understand them. They are kept concise so that you are not overwhelmed with information.

History of Swift Mailer

Swift Mailer began back in 2005 as a one-class project for sending mail over SMTP. It has since grown into the flexible component-based library that is in development today.

Chris Corbyn first posted Swift Mailer on a web forum asking for comments from other developers. It was never intended as a fully supported open source project, but members of the forum began to adopt it and make use of it.

Very quickly feature requests were coming for the ability to add attachments and use SMTP authentication, along with a number of other "obvious" missing features. Considering the only alternative was PHPMailer it seemed like a good time to bring some fresh tools to the table. Chris began working towards a more component based, PHP5-like approach unlike the existing single-class, legacy PHP4 approach taken by PHPMailer.

Members of the forum offered a lot of advice and critique on the code as he worked through this project and released versions 2 and 3 of the library in 2005 and 2006, which by then had been broken down into smaller classes offering more flexibility and supporting plugins. To this day the Swift Mailer team still receive a lot of feature requests from users both on the forum and in by email.

Until 2008 Chris was the sole developer of Swift Mailer, but entering 2009 he gained the support of two experienced developers well-known to him: Paul Annesley and Christopher Thompson. This has been an extremely welcome change.

As of September 2009, Chris handed over the maintenance of Swift Mailer to Fabien Potencier.

Now 2009 and in its fourth major version Swift Mailer is more object-oriented and flexible than ever, both from a usability standpoint and from a development standpoint.

By no means is Swift Mailer ready to call "finished". There are still many features that can be added to the library along with the constant refactoring that happens behind the scenes.

It's a Library!

Swift Mailer is not an application - it's a library.

To most experienced developers this is probably an obvious point to make, but it's certainly worth mentioning. Many people often contact us having gotten the completely wrong end of the stick in terms of what Swift Mailer is actually for.

It's not an application. It does not have a graphical user interface. It cannot be opened in your web browser directly.

It's a library (or a framework if you like). It provides a whole lot of classes that do some very complicated things, so that you don't have to. You "use" Swift Mailer within an application so that your application can have the ability to send emails.

The component-based structure of the library means that you are free to implement it in a number of different ways and that you can pick and choose what you want to use.

An application on the other hand (such as a blog or a forum) is already "put together" in a particular way, (usually) provides a graphical user interface and most likely doesn't offer a great deal of integration with your own application.

Embrace the structure of the library and use the components it offers to your advantage. Learning what the components do, rather than blindly copying and pasting existing code will put you in a great position to build a powerful application!

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License

Creative Commons License Swiftmailer documentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.