There are no shortage of PHP frameworks, some grow large vibrant communities and a number wither and die over time. A number of the larger frameworks by user base have announced plans for the next steps in their evolution. Specifically we examine the next major versions of Zend Framework, Symfony, CodeIgniter and CakePHP.
Ok, you are about to code a great new application in PHP, that will be downloaded millions of times and be installed on shared servers all over the world. Being the cutting edge developer you are, you will use all the latest PHP features like closures and namespaces. What is stopping you from world domination?
I had occasion to set up a dev box to test a new web application against different php versions, so I thought I would share the steps. This setup is for one PHP version at a time, and I have documented for 2 versions, but more can be done if required. Also I have used PHP4 and 5, but it could be multiple versions of PHP5, such as a beta version of 5.3. This setup was done using Apache2 on Windows.
PHP version 5.27 was officially released and quickly replaced with 5.28. The regression errors introduced in 5.27 affects configurations where magic_quotes_gpc is enabled. So skip 5.27 and go straight to 5.28.
PHP 5.3 is getting closer. The third alpha release is now public. The current plan is for betas and release candidates every 3-4 weeks and a full release by the end of March 2009.
The most high profile new feature is namespaces. This has been a while coming and not without complaint, especially regards to the seperator chosen – . Many other languages and a number of developers wanted :: , and for a while this was going to be the choice. A number of possibilities did get a look in.
It has been announced that PHP4 support is to cease with only critical support fixes to be made. The details are that new releases on the PHP 4 line will cease at the end of 2007, and security fixes may be made available until August 8, 2008. They encourage all users to upgrade to PHP5.
PHP6 is on the horizon but no definite timeframe is given.
A new PHP framework is on the scene: Kohana. Kohana is a fork of the CodeIgniter framework. Originally the chosen name was BlueFlame but this had trademark issues. The given reason for the fork is about who controlled where CodeIgniter was heading, and was responsible for new releases. Though CodeIgniter is released under an open source license (which meant the fork could happen), it is controlled by EllisLab, not the user community as wished by the starters of Kohana. EllisLab has ExpressionEngine (a content management system) as a commercial product, and some say this as slowing down new releases of CodeIgniter.