Get real about PHP4 vs. PHP5

I ran across this article on The PHP Grind website. It’s a little bit on the ranty side. The point of the article being that the current state of the PHP4 vs. PHP5 battle is reaching critical mass, with some major players in the software market blatantly ignoring PHP5 despite it’s proven stability and increased security features.

Now, some of us are at the mercy of our web hosts, and some of us need to test our code on PHP5 before cutting away from PHP4. [url=]WAMP[/url]’s latest release uses PHP 5.1.4 (the latest release of PHP) for Windows, and several similar “packaged installs” of Apache/MySQL/PHP exist for other platforms. These are especially useful if you want to get a miniature install going on your desktop to help you make the change to PHP5.

I thought it was an interesting article. I wasn’t aware that so many big names in the web app industry were actually telling customers to hold off on using PHP5.

8 thoughts on “Get real about PHP4 vs. PHP5

  1. Re: Get real about PHP4 vs. PHP5
    That article refers specifically to OSCommerce being incompatible with PHP5. I’m not at all surprised that OSCommerse users would still be recommending PHP4. Quite frankly, I think OSCommerce is a heaping pile of junk (and I do mean heaping pile). Even with it’s popularity, I don’t think OSCommerce should be considered a “big name” in the industry. I don’t recommend that software to anyone.

    But his point is actually pretty good. It is amazing how many big companies still don’t support PHP5. For instance, I recently signed a couple customers up on Rackspace (a managed hosting service). It is basically a dedicated server where they manage the software applications for us. I incorrectly assumed that it would be no problem for them to install PHP5. I got quite frustrated when I learned that they wanted to charge me an extra hourly rate for the installation since it isn’t supported by them. I told them I would install it myself, but they went on to warn me that if I did that, they wouldn’t support it for me (no updates, technical support, etc) even though I’m paying them for managed hosting. What it came down to was that they forced me to stay on PHP4.

    Obviously, I gave them quite a bit of crap for this. But they consistently blamed Red Hat, saying that Red Hat didn’t offer a package for PHP5 that would allow Rackspace to easily apply updates.

    So this brings me back to the original point of the article. Why is it that major players (like Rackspace and Redhat) are not supporting PHP5 yet? This isn’t just some open source shopping cart that needs PHP4. Or some virtual hosting company that needs to stay on PHP4 because they have hundreds of clients on each system with different needs. This is people who are managing dedicated servers, where the only client on that server is one saying “I need PHP5” and they still say “stay on PHP4 please.” That’s quite mind boggling to me.

    • Re: Get real about PHP4 vs. PHP5
      Thanks for the info — regarding pile of OSCommerce, are there PHP alternative open source shopping cart applications you’d recommend (that are less pile like)?

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