PHP4 must die!
Harsh as it may sound, lately the web is full of headlines like that. Why, why!? Mass panic mode activated! What does it all mean?? The end of PHP as we know it?
The PHP development team finally announced end of life for PHP4. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4, and critical security fixes will be available until 2008-08-08. After that, you are running php4 on your own risk, and we all know how risky the business Internet is. Do you still have Windows NT 4.0 or RedHat 7.1 on your servers? Are they developed or supported? No!
It was about a damn time they let go php4. PHP5 has been available for 3 years, and hosting companies have had plenty of time to make the switch. From developer standpoint I have absolutely no sympathy for those who have left it until the last minute, and even then needed to be pushed. I understand the problem they have - they didn't realize the importance of php5. And now gazillion of php3/4 sites (which make a large majority of php users) have to be "upgraded". What will happen to them? PHP dev. team could avoid this hassle, by just plotting the php's development road map better, and being more direct with timelines. They are still doing it wrong, since they are killing php4, and not giving enough info on forthcoming PHP6.
Our migration was also being dictated by hosting company. We asked our provider for php5 in the beginning of 2006, and begged, and cursed and then asked polite again and some time in January this year, we just couldn't take any more of that bullshit and switched to php5. How hard was to migrate lots of messy code from php4 to php5? We did migration surprisingly fast and painless for many of our old projects. If you had error_reporting set to E_ALL durring development in php4, haven't used register_globals or magic quotes, you should be just fine. And we introduced new PHP5 OOP stuff to our new projects immediately. All in all, PHP5.2 is now what php4 had to be back then, and I am keeping my hopes high for PHP6.