Omar Ali

A friendly geek and an automation junkie.

PHP6: Is it a suitable time?

29 Apr 2006

Since I started to read the news about PHP5, I was happy that Zend has finally deceided to bring us some real OOP to the world of PHP, regardless whether the OOP approch in PHP5 is what really we all wanted or not, still a good step I see in PHP5.

The major problem with PHP5 was its bad backword-compatibility with PHP4; forget about PHP3; thus major PHP scripts specially open-source mostly faild to work on PHP5 environment. The reason I saw behind this failure was mainly in the pass-by-reference since PHP5 passes by reference while PHP4 passes by value (which is extremely strange thing).

Anyways, I; like many PHP coders; started to gather news and stuff about PHP5: what’s new, how to convert current code, and so forth. I do not think I was that late to do this but after I was OK with all the new stuff in PHP5 I suddenly read in the news about PHP6!!

I was really astonished! The point is: the duration between the release of PHP4 and PHP5 compared to the duration between the release of PHP3 and PHP4 gives you the impression that Zend is really keen to have the market and the developers setteled with every PHP version, and when all the juice is squeezed from the PHP version Zend releases the new version. So what happened? What changed all this?

The PHP6 Meeting in Paris has shown some great amount of features for PHP6, some of them are really long-awaited, but why lagging all this until PHP6? Why not just add them all to PHP5?

I; for one; think that if PHP5 is going to break most PHP4 programs and scripts with the changes applied to the OOP model, so what was the problem with adding the changes in PHP core that the meeting in Paris introduced to the core of PHP?

I strongly recommend all of us to hold upgrades to current PHP scripts until Zend sets a date for the release of PHP6 which is expected to be the end of 2006 or the mid of 2007, instead of upgrading current work twice.