PHP 4 final-ever-last-terminal release is available

PHP 4.4.9 is available . This is the terminal release PHP 4.

The PHP community gave notice on 13 July 2007 that the end of PHP 4 was 8 August 2008. And so it has come.

All software projects have the same dilema about when to drop support for an old version. There is a huge effort required to maintain more than one source code branch. Some users are always going to be negatively affected by obsoletion but, for the project developers, project management will be easier and there will be more time available for innovation.

Sometimes dropping support is a development decision based on a technical shortcoming or recognition of maintenance costs of an old version. Users are warned in advance; even if they don't really like to be jolted, they know where they stand and set their own upgrade schedule.

Sometimes an old version naturally withers as user and core development interest transfers to a newer release.

In PHP land, PHP 5 has been out for four years and there has been almost zero PHP 4 maintenance for a long time. The "re-factored" OCI8 extension from circa 2005 has never been included in PHP 4 (get it from PECL and manually retrofit it to PHP 4).

It's time to upgrade. PHP 5.2 is stable. PHP 5.3 is alpha - it has support for namespaces, late static binding, lambda functions and closures, garbage collection, and the PHP archive (PHAR), SQLite3, and intl extensions. See the NEWS file for all the changes

Comments:

The biggest problem with migration from php 4 to php 5 are the hosting companies, there are some that simply don't want to put in the effort to offer php 5 as an alternative and are stuck with php 4. I've been constantly developing with php 5 for some time now, and every now and then I get a client that requires a project done and hosted on an already setup php 4 environment. I hope we can finally put php4 to rest.

Posted by Sergiu on August 10, 2008 at 02:53 PM PDT #

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I'm a Product Manager in Server Technologies, working on scripting languages and developer-access.
Email: christopher.jones@oracle.com
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