I just came across this http://zoomsplatter.blogspot.com/2009/01/so-phar-so-good.html
In that same way that you can package up a java application into a single archive file (a jar) and run it directly from that file - you can now create a php archive file (a phar) !
Currently this has to be explicitly enabled, but will be standard in PHP 5.3
People often seem to forget that PHP works great on the command line, PHP is so prominent in website building that it is easy to see it as only for the web.
Hopefully this will help raise the profile of PHP for non web tasks :-)