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Stanislav Malyshev:
PHP 5.4 (Looking Back) & 5.6 (Looking Forward)
September 01, 2014 @ 09:42:13

In two new posts to his site Stanislav Malyshev takes a look both forward and back at the PHP language, where it came from in the 5.4 version and ahead into the just released 5.6 version discussing the good, bad and road ahead.

With 5.6.0 having been released and 5.4 branch nearing its well-earned retirement in security-fixes-only status I decided to try and revive this blog. As the last post before the long hiatus was about the release of the 5.4, I think it makes sense to look back and see how 5.4 has been doing so far.

Having taken a look in the past, now it's time to look into the future, namely 5.6 (PHP 7 is the future future, we'll get there eventually). So I'd like to make some predictions of what would work well and not so well and then see if it would make sense in two years or turn out completely wrong.

In the look back at 5.4 he talks about some of the good (the release process, $this in closures) and some of the "not so good" including traits and the overall adoption rate. He also includes a few "don't know" items such as the overall performance and the inclusion of the mysqlnd driver. In the look forward he talks about the impact of things like constant expressions, phpdbg and function/constant importing (for better or for worse). He also briefly mentions two hurdles to the adoption of 5.6: OpenSSL becoming more strict and the overall adoption rate.

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Link: Blog:
2010 Yet another great year for PHP
December 23, 2010 @ 08:50:54

On the blog today there's a new post from Manuel Lemos looking back at 2010 an the life of PHP - yet another great year.

2010 was an year full of interesting happenings for the PHP development and its community of developers. This article presents a balance of what were the most important happenings in the PHP community in 2010, as well a reflection of what we can expect for 2011 for PHP, as well for the PHPClasses site.

Among the important happenings of this past year he mentions the issues surrounding PHP6, HipHop and PHP running on the Andriod platform. He speculates on a few things that we can expect from PHP in the upcoming year(s) like the release of PHP 5.4. Also included are some updates that were made to the site itself.

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Site News:
A Look Back at 2009 in PHP
January 01, 2010 @ 00:00:09

With 2009 over, it gives us a chance to look back at the previous year and at some the good things that happened and at how the PHP community as a whole grew and shifted dramatically during the year.

First I'll start with some of our own statistics - we had over 2100 news stories added during 2009 with over 80 job postings, 330+ mentioning the Zend Framework and, yes, even about 80 mentioning "the cloud". We also blew past our ten thousandth post mark and are already up into the 13k range!

The PHP community saw some of the usual happenings - the conferences like php|tek, the Dutch PHP Conference and the TestFest - but there were also a few surprises like the CodeWorks touring conference and the coining of the term "funemployment" to define the large group of PHP community members making changes in their jobs.

This year also saw the release of one of the most important versions of PHP in a good while - PHP 5.3. This update included a lot of what had been previously predicted in PHP6 and wrapped it all up in a nice little package. There was also a renewed interesting in code quality, metrics, unit testing and code deployment. It wasn't just about the code anymore, it became more about the ecosystem it lives in.

The community itself also saw a big change and a broadening of scope. Frameworks were no longer seen as a novelty and started to take root and really be the foundations that applications were built on. The community accepted this and other great tools as essential to their development. On the whole, the PHP community really matured this past year - PHP has come up from being the plucky little language that could and has grown into an enterprise-level (and very capable) language that is flexible enough to not only contend with "the big boy languages" out there, but has also been known to give several companies a leg up. The community has been there to respond and several sources are predicting that the demand for good PHP developers in 2010 will be high.

Community Thoughts:

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Community News:
A Look Back at 2007
January 01, 2008 @ 11:05:29

PHP was a great year for the PHP community and had both his high moments and its lows (just like any other community on the web) so, in lieu of our usual monthly recap type of year en post, we present a summary of some of the things that happened this past year:

2007 Gave us:

  • Plenty to talk about on namespaces
  • GoPHP5
  • EMFs (Even More Frameworks)
  • the mysqlnd driver
  • lots of new tutorials
  • over 2,500 new PEAR and PECL package releases
  • Several new PHP releases (5.2.1, 4.4.5, 4.4.6, 5.2.2, 4.4.7, 5.2.3, 5.2.4 and 5.2.5)
  • The End of Life for PHP 4
  • The Month of PHP Bugs
  • A move for PHP in the Enterprise
  • a renewed effort for Unicode support
  • releases from the major framework players like CakePHP, Symfony, Zend Framework, Solar
  • IBM and Oracle working together with Zend
  • Over 130 new job postings
  • Increased interest in running PHP on Windows (FastCGI!)
  • The creation of and episodes 1 through 30 of the Zend Developer Zone podcast PHP Abstract


  • The Design of Sites: Patterns for Creating Winning Web Sites
  • PHP and MySQL by Example
  • PHP Solutions
  • PHP Programming with PEAR
  • PHP in Action
  • Pro Drupal Development
  • The eZ Components Developers Handbook
  • The PHP Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks (2nd Edition)
  • Learning PHP Data Objects
  • Enterprise PHP Development (announced)


  • 5th Annual eZ Conference
  • Vancouver PHP Conference
  • php|tek 2007
  • Dutch PHP Conference
  • SymfonyCamp
  • php|works 2007
  • Zend/PHP Conference & Expo 2007 (including the Unconference)
  • DC PHP Conference 2007
  • PHP London 2007 Conference

I know there's stuff out there that I've missed, so comment away and let the community know! (I might come back and link all of these things later on)

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Community News:
PHPers Look Back at 2007
January 01, 2008 @ 10:24:00

With the new year upon us, lots of PHP developers in the community have taken time to look back at this past year, both in their own lives and in the time they've spent in the community. Here's just a few:

Stay tuned to this post for more contributions from the community as they are posted.

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Rob Allen's Blog:
PHP UK Conference 2007
February 26, 2007 @ 09:04:00

Those that didn't get a chance to check out this year's PHP UK Conference can get a little taste of what it was like from Rob Allen's perspective in his latest blog post today.

Included in the happenings he mentions were the talk that Cal Evans of the Zend Developer Zone gave on mashups, Kevin Henney's look at Object Orientation, and Rasmus Lerdorf's look at PHP5 performance/security. He also mentions meeting up with Dagfinn Reiersol (author of PHP in Action) to "talk shop" a bit about writing books.

You can check out all of the details about the conference that was over on their website including summaries of the talks that were given during this jam-packed one day event.

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Derick Rethans' Blog:
PHP Look Back 2006
January 24, 2007 @ 08:13:00

Derick Rethans has posted his summary of the happenings in the world of PHP as experienced through his eyes:

It's the end of the year again, and that means that I (once again) spent way too much time writing this wrap up of PHP in 2006. In this, the fifth iteration of my annual PHP Look Back, we'll explore the happenings of the PHP world in 2006.

He mentions things like the various PHP releases over the year (especially the release of 5.2), discussions and debates over some of the core functionality of PHP (variables, syntax, etc), actions of the PDM, lots of Unicode talk, and many, many suggestions for functionality to be added to the core.

Check out the full (lengthy) look back here on his website.

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Community News:
A Look Back at 2006
January 01, 2007 @ 14:14:02

Welcome to a brand new year in the PHP community - all sorts of possibilities are out there for this next year, but let's take a second to look back at 2006 and see some of the happenings to know where we've come from.

Read on for the full story!

The year started out great with the two new PHP releases - 4.4.2 and 5.1.2 (including the final release candidates for both versions to prepare for the final). Jim Plush posted about a growing trend in the PHP world - the decoding of Zend Encoder files (including Zend's inattention to it) and Chris Shiflett got the ball rolling with more on PHP insecurity.

The eZ components crew saw the release of of the stable version of their application development platform - eZ compontents - and announced a workshop to be held in Germany to give developers the full informetion. Some developers were still looking back at 2005 including Chris Shiflett and Derick Rethans while others in the community looked forward towards the just announced New York PHP Conference & Expo.

The Pro PHP Podcast and php|architect magazine teamed up in a collaboration that came to be known as "php|architect's Pro PHP Podcast", providing the latest news and interviews in a compact, audio form for the masses to download. One if their first shows was an interview with Andi Gutmans of Zend.

The big talk going on in February was the collaboration between Oracle and PHP. Rumors were floating around about what it could be about and how Zend would be involved. Several people mentioned it including Pierre-Alain Joye, Christian Wenz and Richard Davey.

Some negative vibes were floating around this month with some comments from Marco Tabini about how the "PHP brand" has been diluted by some of the actions of the community and from the Sephitroth site that asked if PHP5 was just a big failure because of its slow adoption rate. Tim Bray also had some comments on PHP and what he thought of it and it's future. helped to balance it out a bit, though, with their positive spin on LAMP being the most popular server system ever.

This month also saw the release of PEAR 1.4.7 and talk of best practices, MVC frameworks (a top 10 list), and code coverage with PHPUnit 3.

March was a big month in the PHP community - it was the first release of the (now infmous) Zend Framework, their first Release Candidate. This first release was soon followed by another, Candidate 0.1.2, to help address some of the issues that had already popped up. With the framework project going strong, many updates were made around it including new additions to the manual and many comments from the community. The SitePoint PHP blog looked at the Zend_Filter component, Paul Jones mentioned some of the differences between it Solar (his framework), Davey Shafik gave an example of using it with Flickr and showed how simple it was to grab an RSS feed with it.

IBM also published a popular item on its developerWorks blog - a suggested reading list for any PHP developer, both budding and the old hands. The latest version of PEAR was released (1.4.9) and two release candidates were made available for PHP - 5.1.3RC1 and 5.1.3RC2. Even more looked towards the future with a look at PHP6 from and the announcement about the upcoming Zend/PHP Conference & Expo to happen later in the year in San Jose, California. PHP statistics also were seeing a rise, encouraging the community even further.

When April rolled around, things were still going strong in relation to the Zend Framework. More and more tutorials were popping up around it - people were integrating it with Smarty, integrating it with eZ components, using it with the Google Calendars, and talking about the contributor license it has in place. The framework itself also had another release - version 0.1.3

Also big news this month was the php|tek conference put on by php|architect. Many bloggers shared their experiences at the event including: Davey Shafik, Scott Johnson and Ilia Alshanetsky. Other bloggers wrote from the other conference held this month, PHP Quebec, such as Chris Shiflett and Andrei Zmievski.

And, of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention our little prank played on the community - a post joking that Zend was splitting off from the PHP project.

Conferences were the big topic this month with some people in the community looking forward to events like the New York PHP Conference and others looking back at php|tek. The session list for the New York PHP Conference was posted, including many of the popular speakers and topics, and the French PHP group in Paris issued their Call for Papers for their upcoming Forum PHP conference in Paris. Several bloggers wrote more about their experience at the php|tek conference including Christian Wenz, Davey Shafik, Andrei Zmievski, Chris Shiflett, and even a podcast from the even from Scott Johnson.

The latest version in the 5.1.x series was also released (5.1.3) but was quickly followed by another (5.1.4) to fix a large bug in the previous edition. Filip de Waard posted a warning after the first release for developers to avoid using it until the update was posted. Thankfully, the PHP team was quick in releasing the update.

By this month, the New York PHP Conference and Expo had wrapped up and bloggers around the community were posting slides and talking about their experiences. Another group, however, was looking forward to another event just starting out. The PHP Appalachia conference was announced and a reminder for registration was made later in the month. The event, similar to the other "camp" series found for other languages, was a different kind of conference that took developers out of the conference halls and into the woods.

More information on php|works & db|works conference was also shared in the form of the speaker list being posted. The PHP Vikinger event got off to a great start. Several releases and tutorials were posted including one that got a good bit of attention - a PHP script for decoding CAPTCHA images. The Zend Framework release their latest version, 0.1.4, and Oracle released their "Underground PHP and Oracle Manual".

June was also the month that this site got its latest makeover. We decided to keep up to date with things in the community and move over from our custom-made blogging application to a new system using the Zend Framework. This new backend also came with a new front end look and s more back-to-basics approach of just providing the latest happenings in the PHP community. So far, the reaction's been great!

In July, OSCON got into full swing and several PHPers were in attendance. Included in those attending was one that got a bit more recognition than he thought he would for some "playing cards" he created - Cal Evans' OSCON trading cards. There was more framework talk this month too with Paul Jones' introduction to Solar and IBM developerWorks' look at the Zend Framework.

It was also a sad day for the PHP group when one of the lead developers, Jani Taskinen, devided to leave the project. He posted his thoughts and reasons to his blog and news of the event even reached the Slashdot community.

Zend also announced that they are creating a version of their certification for PHP 5 that will be released soon.

August saw a lot of releases and not just from the PHP group. They advanced the language with many releases inclduing PHP 5.1.5, 5.1.6, 4.4.3, and the release candidate for PHP 4.4.4RC1 posted for testing - followed soon by the final release of PHP 4.4.4. Also released this month were PEAR 1.4.11, Seagull 0.6.0, Solar 0.23.0, and the Windows libraries for the PHP 4.4.3 and 4.4.3 series to work with MySQL.

Another hot topic this month was the interview of Rasmus Lerdorf on the Floss Weekly podcast. Also, both the and statistics show even more growth this month for PHP.

September was a month of updates on everything from conference news to software releases to new offerings from this site. This was the month that we decided to start two things - the "talks" page to try and keep track of all of the slides that have been posted for all of the conferences happening and the job postings that are open to the public. The job postings have been coming in and we've posted them up just as soon as we've gotten them in an effort to share them quickly with the entire community.

The PHP Appalachia group announced their conference schedule (including plenty of time being outdoorsy) and some great topics. The PHP Weekender announced that they officially had 50 people signed up for the event. With the php|works & db|works event completed, bloggers were posting thier recaps of the event including the Zend Developer Zone, Christian Wenz, and Sebastian Bergmann.

Zend also announced the launch of their mailing lists for the Zend Framework as well as the release of a new version of the Zend Core for Oracle.

More conference news came up this month as "PHP conference season" continues on - everything from PHPLondon, the Zend/PHP Conference, the PHP Brasil Conference, the D.C. PHP Conference, and next year's php|tek conference.

There was big news on the Zend Framework front, not only that they released the next candidate - version 0.2.0 - but also that the project now has a new leader. Due to health-related issues, Jayson Maynard was no longer able to head up the project, so Bill Karwin stepped in to take the lead. He sent out an email to the Zend Framework mailing list to let everyone know who he was and where he wanted to take the project in the future.

Two other community events happened this month - Google released their "Code Search" functionality (and opened the code of applictions all over the world to be searched - and possibly exploiting them. hooray for security!) and the PHP Women group launched in an effort to unify female PHP developers all over the world.

The PHP project moved forward on the mission towards PHP 5.2 with release canidates 5.2.0RC5 and RC6.

This month saw one of the most aniticipated PHP releases of the year - PHP 5.2. This release also includes the new filter extension to help even more with the protection of PHP applications and one of the keys to good coding - always filter input. took a look at the differences between this new release and the previous version (5.1).

The Zend/PHP Conference was also in the news, having just wrapped up at the beginning of the month and several people posted about it including Cal Evans (of the Zend Developer Zone) posted his wrapup (including a mention of the deck of cards handed out) as well as many others. There was even a video posted with a collage of photos taken at the event.

Other exciting releases were made this month too - Zend's Studio 5.5 universal binary and PHPUnit 3.0.


One of the big topics this month was the inclusion of taint functionality into the core of of PHP. Tobias Schlitt shared some comments about it as well as the PHP 10.0 Blog and many others. Some people, like Sara Golemon, already started to look back at the year, giving different perspectives on the happenings of the year.

PHP statistics were mentioned again this month, some from O'Reilly (PHP 5 adoption) and from DynamicWebPages. The Zend Framework also released their latest version, 0.6.0.

Well, that about wraps it up for 2006 - we know there's tons of topics that weren't mentioned but were just as important. If we mentioned all of them, though, this post would take you hours to read. So, we've condensed it down and tried to provide links to just about everything. It was a great year for PHP with tons of improvements, problems, and contributions from all over the world.

Here's to looking forward to a great 2007 and great things to come for everyone's favorite language!

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