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Lithium Framework:
Getting Started
May 20, 2014 @ 11:54:05

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a recent post walking you through your first steps with Lithium, one of the first frameworks that was targeted specifically at PHP 5.3.

Lithium is a lean but mean PHP framework (machine?) built for PHP 5.3 and up. It is designed to provide a good toolset for starting your web application, but one that is not too confining. Lithium uses the Model-View-Controller(MVC) architecture and this is what we are going to look at in this article. I will show you how it works and how you can define some of your application's business and presentation logic using this framework.

They provide the example code you'll need to follow along with the tutorial over on GitHub, creating a basic content output system. The tutorial shows you how to create controllers, make views and connect models to the tables in your database. Finally they tie it all together and make a "page" function that fetches the content by ID and displays it out to the user.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/lithium-framework-getting-started/

Lorna Mitchell:
PHP Version Adoption
June 04, 2013 @ 10:15:58

In this new post to her blog Lorna Mitchell takes a look at some of the current statistics around PHP version adoption - all the way from the ancient 5.0 through the shiny new (upcoming) 5.5 releases.

PHP runs over 75% of all websites whose technologies are known (source: w3techs), which makes for a really REALLY long tail of users who once installed wordpress, phpmyadmin, or some other open source project that helped their business needs at the time. What they don't do is upgrade. PHP's current usage statistics look like this (source and raw numbers are if you want them):

She points out that around half of the results show that sites are running on unsupported versions of PHP (<=5.2) but notes that it's not always their choice. There's lots of factors that play into upgrading these versions that are not always in the user's control (like the speed of distro updates). She covers some of the things that came around in the newer versions of PHP 5.2 and 5.3 including some large performance jumps, especially in 5.4.

In truth, the future is already here for those people on PHP 5.4 and beyond. Keeping PHP upgraded is just part of our regular maintenance workflow, and the language is progressing in regular and manageable steps. If you've been left behind then I strongly recommend that you start making plans for upgrading your platform, or moving to a newer one.
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Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2013/php-version-adoption

W3 Techs:
PHP version 5.3 is now the most used version, just ahead of 5.2
March 22, 2013 @ 09:10:22

According to this new report on the W3 Techs site, the usage of PHP 5.2 has been passed up by the numbers for the usage of PHP 5.3 (finally).

PHP 5.3 has been released in June 2009, so it took a while to gain that level of popularity. End of support for PHP 5.2 has been declared in December 2010, but is was still the most popular version until now. Version 5.3 will enter the end-of-life cycle in March 2013. Version 5.4, used by only 3.0%, is now considered state-of-the-art.

The numbers have been consistently trending towards intersection with the usage of PHP 5.4 picking up, but no where near the 5.3 and 5.2 numbers. They also point out that PHP version adoption has a history of being slow. Contributing factors to this could be the overall impression of the language and how much "room for improvement" it seems to have.

It's not difficult to predict that PHP as a language will continue to dominate web development in the near future. What will be more exciting is to watch what new versions of PHP will look like.
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PHP.net:
PHP 5.2.14 and PHP 5.3.3 Released
July 23, 2010 @ 08:37:54

The main PHP.net site has the release announcement for the two latest versions of the language - PHP 5.3.3 and PHP 5.2.14.

The PHP development team would like to announce the immediate availability of PHP 5.3.3. This release focuses on improving the stability and security of the PHP 5.3.x branch with over 100 bug fixes, some of which are security related. All users are encouraged to upgrade to this release. [...] The PHP development team would like to announce the immediate availability of PHP 5.2.14. This release focuses on improving the stability of the PHP 5.2.x branch with over 60 bug fixes, some of which are security related.

The announcements list some of the major security enhancements and fixes in both new versions as well as a few new features like updates to the PCRE libraries and more.

Note: this PHP 5.2.14 release marks the end of active support for the PHP 5.2.x branch. It is encouraged that you upgrade to PHP 5.3 by following the steps in this migration guide.

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PHP.net:
PHP 5.3.0RC1 Release Announcement
March 25, 2009 @ 07:56:56

As announced on PHP.net - the latest release candidate in the PHP 5.3 series has been made available for download - PHP 5.3.0RC1.

The PHP development team is proud to announce the availability of the first release candidate of PHP 5.3.0 (PHP 5.3.0RC1). This release marks the final phase in a major improvement in the 5.X series, which includes a large number of new features, bug fixes and security enhancements.

Key features of this new release include: namespaces, late static binding, better garbage collection, mysqlnd driver support, new bundled extensions (like phar, intl, fileinfo and sqlite3) as well as many, many bug fixes. You can find out more about all of the changes in this version, check out the NEWS file and can download the release candidate from the QA site here.

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