PHP 5.1 introduces (finally) a single set of functions for database access, regardless of the database used. No more mucking about with those horrible PEAR classes. SitePoint’s PHP Blog asks: “Could this be the killer feature that draws developers to PHP 5.1 when real-world adoption of PHP 5 is still lagging?” Perhaps, but not for me. I’m still quite happy with PHP4.x. I’ll consider adopting PHP 5 in a year (or two). I guess I fall in the “conservative” camp, not the early adopter camp. Here’s the thing: there is nothing I can’t do in PHP4 right now that makes the learning curve for 5 worth it. And I use libraries that are PHP4. I am a conservative coder. Wait. I’m not really a coder. I’m someone who codes because he has to and can’t afford to hire a real coder. I code because I want to build cool stuff, and you need code for that. I am a coder by necessity.

I am also a bad coder, but good enough to get the job done. I used to code professionally. That company went down. (No correlation there, I believe.) Now, I still code pretty much the same way I did back then, and it works. I use a few libraries for the hard stuff. I use templates. I use SQL. Good enough for most apps. I fool myself that the vision and things like UI and usability make up for my lack of coding skill.s I’ll shut up now. Damn coffee.

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  1. You know what. Once I actually finally sit down and learn proper objects, I might move. No point in sticking with PHP4 nasty objects.

  2. Yeah, that’s the main reason to move to PHP4. Object oriented programming is sort of the way I’ve come to think about things now. For instance, for Mediafeedr (laucnhing in a few days), every item of data is wrapped in an object and all database access is hidden behind that. It makes it nice because I should be able to port it to a different database backend easily and I’ll be able to easily optimize my queries for each database engine. If I was using PHP5 I could use inheritance and save myself a buttload of copy and paste code in my backend objects.

    If you think about it, everything you access can be thought of as an object. I have users, feeds, and urls and objects to map all of those to one another. It doesn’t matter whether they’re stored in memory or in SQL or a flat text file, the object looks the same. Just a better way to program I think.

    But I agree, I’m not moving to PHP5 until it’s been out a while. I’m still running across weird bugs in PHP 4.3.

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