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PHOEBE (PHysics Of Eclipsing BinariEs) is a modeling package for eclipsing binary stars, built on top of the widely used WD program (Wilson & Devinney 1971). This introductory paper overviews most important scientific extensions (incorporating observational spectra of eclipsing binaries into the solution-seeking process, extracting individual temperatures from observed color indices, main-sequence constraining and proper treatment of the reddening), numerical innovations (suggested improvements to WD's Differential Corrections method, the new Nelder & Mead's downhill Simplex method) and technical aspects (back-end scripter structure, graphical user interface). While PHOEBE retains 100% WD compatibility, its add-ons are a powerful way to enhance WD by encompassing even more physics and solution reliability.