PHP4 is dead, long live PHP5!
Right from the beginning, symfony was built with PHP5 because it was the first really professional version of PHP. There was never any plan to support PHP4, because our clients would only accept a truly object-oriented language, with a proper handling of exceptions.
Today, PHP5 is 3 years old and yet, PHP4 is still the most broadly used version of PHP. Of course, some of the mostly used PHP applications are only compatible with PHP4, and web hosts cannot just drop PHP4 support without risking a major discontent among users. But as long as hosts support PHP4, software vendors will continue to develop with it, even though PHP4 code is often very hard to maintain, debug, and add up to. This is the problem of the chicken and the egg.
The Go PHP5 initiative wants to leverage the adoption of PHP5 among hosts and developers. Together with a few other famous open-source projects (including Drupal, Typo3, PhpMyAdmin, Propel, and Doctrine), symfony committed to have a minimum version requirement of at least PHP 5.2.0 as of February 5th, 2008. And first of all, the next version of symfony, the 1.1, released at the end of the Summer, will require at least PHP 5.1.0.
PHP5 is the future of PHP, and a good programming language. We must not let PHP4 give a bad image of PHP development in general. If, like us, you want to support this initiative, head to gophp5.org and add the name of your host company or software project.
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