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Are these files used after they are added to a PHP project in Eclipse?

I ask because, I had to add them to my git-ignore file after switching to Eclipse for development on my Mac. But I don't understand why they are there in the first place, since PHP projects don't actually get built. Is this just a residual effect of using a JAVA IDE, with a PHP plug-in?

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Is your .project file in the ignore list? Eclipse uses the .project file to store metadata such as the nature of your project (nature implies project type such as Java, PHP) and build specs. Without this file eclipse will not be able to build this as builders need to know the nature, build spec of the project. A detailed description of the file is here http://help.eclipse.org/indigo/index.jsp?topic=%2Forg.eclipse.platform.doc.isv%2Freference%2Fmisc%2Fproject_description_file.html

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