I’ve also been impressed with the new upgrade notes for 5.1. Good job there, too.
I’ve read over the whole thing and I like what I see. One thing did jump out at me.
We also discussed whether we should even allow Unicode mode to be turned off as current micro benchmarks show that the Unicode implementations of some of the string functions are up to 300% slower, and whole applications up to 25% slower. Disallowing Unicode mode to be turned off is expected to slow down the adoption of PHP 6 too as many ISPs would be reluctant to install a version that immediately slows down the applications of their users.
I am definitely not familiar with all the issues involved, but wouldn’t this make it hard to write general purpose PHP applications? Programs would have to check whether unicode was on or off? Wouldn’t that checking be slow and complicated, too?
I think its great to discuss ways to improve adoption of PHP 6 so far ahead. It looks like APC will be included. I think thats great news on the adoption front.
I wonder, though, if anyone has gone and asked hosting companies what features they might like to see in PHP 6? I also wonder if it would be helpful to have two upgrade guides: one for programmers and one for hosts. Perhaps even a separate Hosting PHP Applications section as part of the PHP manual. (With things like “How do I find out which PHP script sent out this spam?”)
PHP hosting concerns are not always the same as PHP programmer concerns. Hosts are important to the adoption of PHP and throwing them some love can only be a good thing for the platform as a whole.