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PHP 5 beta 1

PHP 5 beta 1 appared.

It seems they dropped support of MySQL because of a license issue. MySQL support can still be installed easily, but it no longer comes bundled with PHP 5.

PHP uses one type of open source license, and MySQL uses another type of open source license, and the two licenses seem to be, somehow, incompatible, or something.

Maybe from a legal point of view this is correct, but this is certainly going to hurt a lot of users of PHP, because many admins won't bother to install the MySQL extension, and many PHP scripts are written specifically to work with MySQL.

PHP 5 now pushes SQLite, a database engine that is embedded into PHP 5, and is ANSI SQL 92-compatible.

This is the kind of thing that ruins the managers' and users' trust in open source software.

I'm not saying that it doesn't happen in the commercial software world, too, but it certainly happens a lot less!

I'm very disappointed by what happened.

John K.
Sunday, June 29, 2003

The flip side of that is this: if the open source community stops respecting their licenses, they give up any hope of getting anyone else to. Licensing issues are of critical importance to OSS land because it's the only protection they have against everything they've released being shanghaid.

They are moving to a less restrictive license here, so that is not entirely the case this time, but in general I think the general attitude is as stated.

Mike Swieton
Sunday, June 29, 2003

You are right in a way, but I thought that the main goal of a software product should be to help the users.

How naive of me! :)

John K.
Sunday, June 29, 2003

In my experience,  the majority of the web hosts I have requested to have install additional PHP extensions were very receptive and helpful.  For instance, I was looking to switch hosts recently and asked if the PEAR and Smarty modules (which are not standard in PHP) were included.  Of the 5 hosts I queried, only one actually had the modules installed, but 3 of the 4 remaining were willing to install "any" module I requested.

In addition, most of the shared hosts provide mySql database access.  Therefore, I would imagine that they would be obligated to include this additional mySql access to maintain backwards compatibility while upgrading PHP.

---Tom

Tom Davies
Sunday, June 29, 2003

Your summary of the scenario is entirely incorrect.  They have stopped shipping, by default, the MySQL support libraries with the PHP distro, which they used to.  You can still build PHP 5 with MySQL support if you roll your own.

And commercial vendors deprecate products all the time.  It's hardly unusual.  The sky is not falling.

Rodger Donaldson
Sunday, June 29, 2003

Via the php|architect weblog:

"Zak Greant, MySQL community advocate, was kind enough to leave a comment on my blog yesterday providing a great amount of information regarding the whole MySQL/PHP hoopla."

http://blogs.phparch.com/mt/archives/000019.html

Diego
Sunday, June 29, 2003

> Your summary of the scenario is entirely incorrect.
> They have stopped shipping, by default, the MySQL
> support libraries with the PHP distro, which they used
> to.  You can still build PHP 5 with MySQL support if
> you roll your own.

Yes, that is right. And Johny B. Admin from my local ISP will probably not bother to install it.

I had very bad experiences with asking admins to install ANYTHING on their shared hosting servers.

They seem to think everything is a possible security problem, OR (in very few cases) they are a bit incompetent and are afraid to install the extension.

But again, this may be just my experience.


> And commercial vendors deprecate products all the
> time.  It's hardly unusual.  The sky is not falling.

Yes, but in my experience 95% of the commercial vendors will not drop support for something without an advance warning of at least one year (and usually a lot more).

John K.
Sunday, June 29, 2003

"Yes, that is right. And Johny B. Admin from my local ISP will probably not bother to install it."

Then get a new ISP. My last ISP agreed to install ActiveReports for me - that's a major install. If you're at an ISP that supports PHP but won't install the MySQL extensions, you need to shop around.

As for "dropping support" - there's a difference between dropping support and not bundling any more. While this may be a bit startling, I don't think it's the big problem you make it out to be.

HOWEVER, it seems like the real story here is the validation of Microsoft's fears regarding "the viral nature of GPL licenses" - IMHO any license that presumes to burden other software like this needs to be examined carefully and preferably stomped out unless there's an overriding reason to keep it around.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, June 29, 2003

It means that PHP and MySQL developers decided not to care about the users of their products.

John K.
Sunday, June 29, 2003

Why are you laying this at the feet of free software when the problem is your lazy ISP?  As you say, it can be "still be installed easily." 

If I were you, I'd be annoyed at an ISP that can install the shiny new PHP 5 but refuses to install a little official extension.

Visit http://www.webhostingtalk.com/

someone trying not to call this FUD
Sunday, June 29, 2003

Are we going to have to coin a new term for LAMP?

Actually this reminds me of the Apache 2.0 fiasco.  Apache 2.0 is a great thing.  The problem is so many modules, mod_php etc weren't done at the same time. 

I understand that the apache people don't make most of the modules.  The problem I have is that because some of these modules are teamed with Apache 90+ percent of the time, to many users of this technology it is like they are one product.  In the minds of a lot of people not having the important modules available for 2.0 would be analogous to IIS all of a sudden not supporting ASP.

Open source needs to coordinate release schedules better so they have complete products (solutions) when a new major version is available.  Of cours I know that this is like hearding cats, but it does hurt the cause.

Mike
Sunday, June 29, 2003

Which cause?

The cause of replacing paid programmers with "free" programmers, working from greasy basements?

This is the open-source "cause", in fact. This is what's going to happen if we keep promoting and writing open source.

I am actually very opposed to the cause of writing free software in order to take away programmer jobs.

Avenger
Monday, June 30, 2003

"not having the important modules available for 2.0 would be analogous to IIS all of a sudden not supporting ASP."

As far as I can tell, people keep misstating the situation. If I understand correctly, the PHP MySQL modules are available NOW, right? They're just not in the distro package?

To me, that does NOT equal "not supporting"; it's "not bundling". (You guys remember "bundling" don't you? It's what you continually beat up MS for doing. But I digress...)

You download two packages instead of one. Is this whole thread really about having to click the mouse a few extra times?

If ASP was suddenly shipped separately from IIS (note - still free, and available at the same time. Just a second install), I cannot imagine any MS apologists complaining, and of course the free software nuts would be dancing in the streets (when they weren't wondering what MS was up to with this move).

Much ado about nothing, methinks.

Philo

Philo
Monday, June 30, 2003

"It means that PHP and MySQL developers decided not to care about the users of their products. "

LOL
and _that_ means you have not the faintest idea about what is really happening, but have decided to complain about it nonetheless.

Ill take a punt and guess that you do not actually use either php _or_ mysql to program in..

php is at its best when working with mysql, any ISP with even a small amount of experience is going to know this and install mysql without being asked.
Most ISPs in fact will have to do so simply because they will have php scripts that already use mysql, those that do not have probably never supported php or mysql and are unlikely to begin doing so now.


PHP could _not_ continue to bundle mysql with php because the mysql people altered their license, it was in no way the fault of the php developers.
The mysql people altered their license in order to be able to make a profit off of those companies who are making a profit from using mysql :)  this is perfectly reasonable.
It appears to be very likely that MYsql will be making explicit exceptions for software released under accepted open source license in the future.
This means that it is very likely that in the future the mysql extension will once again be bundled with PHP.

FullNameRequired
Monday, June 30, 2003

"Which cause?"
the open source cause.

"The cause of replacing paid programmers with "free" programmers, working from greasy basements?"

yes, thats right. 

"This is the open-source "cause", in fact. This is what's going to happen if we keep promoting and writing open source."

muh-ha-ha....we're coming for you.....your children will starve, your plants will wither and your spouse will leave you for a successful salesman.

"I am actually very opposed to the cause of writing free software in order to take away programmer jobs. "

I have a friend who has made an entire career out of creating web solutions for clients using LAMP (linux, apache, mysql and php)
He uses _nothing_ but opensource software to do his work, but Im betting he is earning an amount equivalent to or greater than your income.

Honestly, people who are scared of the effects of opensource are entirely missing its point.

<g> besides, once all the computer jobs have been exported to china/india/argentina and holland no one will be able to earn a living wage anyway....

FullNameRequired
Monday, June 30, 2003

what people need to do in php is start using a database abstraction layer so that the vendor of the data store is just a configuration option in some gobal header..

i like i
Monday, June 30, 2003

> "It means that PHP and MySQL developers
> decided not to care about the users of their
> products. "

> LOL
> and _that_ means you have not the faintest
> idea about what is really happening, but have
> decided to complain about it nonetheless.

I have a pretty good idea of what is going on.

If this was Microsoft or Borland releasing a product, they would fight very hard to not drop support for a certain database.

But.. they are just kids, who got into a childish brawl over open-source licenses.

This is why I won't usually recommend open-source: the next day, RMS (or whoever) will write some fanatical web page that the open source community should do X, even if it hurts a lot of users, and many open source developers will do it.

John K.
Monday, June 30, 2003

I mean, they are not kids, but they are like kids.

John K.
Monday, June 30, 2003

Does or does not PHP 5 Beta 1 support MySQL?

Not "is MySQL support in the installer" - does the language support it?

You keep using the word "support" when it seems to me your complaint was "bundle."

Philo

Philo
Monday, June 30, 2003

Yes, you are absolutely and completely right.

They support MySQL, but don't bundle the client library anymore.

It's just like GD. GD is a library which allows you to generate graphics on the fly. This is very useful for some applications.

The problem is, in PHP 4 the GD library is "supported but not bundled".

So.. many of the web hosts supporting PHP simply don't have GD, and won't install it.

Of course, the pressure to install the MySQL client library will be much greater.

John K.
Monday, June 30, 2003

Microsoft & Connectix, Oracle & Peoplesoft.  When companies acquire each other, everyone reads tea leaves to guess if their products will be supported.

anon
Monday, June 30, 2003

>>The cause of replacing paid programmers with "free" programmers, working from greasy basements?

have you looked at PHP or mySQL's development team? Most are very well paid people - paid to work on mySQL and PHP. The idea that Open Source developers are doing it for free is a mosnomer - some do it in their spare time but a whole bunch have full time jobs (or contracts) to do development on the projects.

Either the company is selling add-ons/consulting/whatever linked to the product (like PHP) or also sell a commercial license to the product (like mySQL). In addition, Linux distributors have quite a few developers working for them (for kernal work as well as user-land applications).

Some of them probably work from "greasy basements", but that's their choice since most of them work from home and can setup their computer whereever they want...

RocketJeff
Monday, June 30, 2003

>>So.. many of the web hosts supporting PHP simply don't have GD, and won't install it.

Again, you've got to start looking for better web-hosts. Mine has GD installed and will install (afer evaluating) most extentions that users ask for. And this is a $7.77/month host.

Also, something as major as mySQL support is a no-brainer. I can't imagine that most hosts will break a large chunk of their hosted sites by not installing mySQL support (or they won;t be staying in business long).

RocketJeff
Monday, June 30, 2003

I'm surprised nobody has commented on the fact that when compared to MySQL, SQLite is an *upgrade*.

SQLite is more standards compliant, more reliable, *faster* for many operations, stores the database in a single file, supports syntax extensions (user-defined functions and aggregates) and a few other things that MySQL doesn't yet dream of.

Give it a try, you might like it.

Phillip J. Eby
Monday, June 30, 2003

Hi John,

"If this was Microsoft or Borland releasing a product, they would fight very hard to not drop support for a certain database."

they have _not_ dropped support for any database whatsoever.  Thats just plain not true and your repeated assertion that it is does not change anything.

"But.. they are just kids, who got into a childish brawl over open-source licenses."

your ignorance is _really_ showing, there is no brawl here whatsoever, not even a disagreement.
The mysql client license changed, php could no longer bundle it with their package. 
The mysql people are looking at ways to open that possibility up again by accepting _any_ open source license that has been 'blessed' by the relevant people.
They are working _together_ to find a way to allow php to continue bundling mysql with php.


"This is why I won't usually recommend open-source: the next day"

so you already had an opinion and you are trying to justify it using this load of old cobblers.
Seems pretty pointless to me, if you dont want to recommend opensource, dont. 
Trying to imply that this is more than a very small inconvenience is rather silly.
<g> and given that you obviously dont use either php or mysql yourself, and therefore you have not had to go through even the smallest level of inconvenience because of this decision means that you are _really_ being over the top.

FullNameRequired
Monday, June 30, 2003

RocketJeff, what is the name of the $7.77/month host you have?

Diego Alban
Monday, June 30, 2003

Since you asked...

My current host is www.powweb.com -
- 45Gb/mo transfer (2.5/day max)
- 650Mb disk
- mySQL database
- ...

As with all hosts at this price point, they aren't much on hand-holding but if you know what you're doing it isn;t a problem.

The nice thing is that their customer forums are open to the general poblic so you can ask questions before signing up: http://forum.powweb.com

RocketJeff
Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Thanks, RocketJeff!  I've never seen numbers like those before on shared hosting.  My only other choice was Hostmatters.com (and 34sp.com in case times get financially rough.)

I like the options in case the worse happens I have so far so I won't worry:  A good hosting company,  Zend and MySQL AB work out a solution that benefits everyone when PHP 5 officially comes out, or SQLite.  (I'm holding the second option since I like to fanatsize about the perfect world.)

Diego
Tuesday, July 01, 2003

"I had very bad experiences with asking admins to install ANYTHING on their shared hosting servers."

As others have said, you may wish to get a better hosting provider.

Frankly, it seems you're determined, as Philo suggests, to find a flaw.

Rodger Donaldson
Tuesday, July 01, 2003

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