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Published: September 26 2007, 4:59:00 PMUpdated: November 28 2020, 3:59:11 PM

PHP 5 has been available for over three years, but PHP 4 is still widely used. Which should I use?

Summary

Although PHP 4.x is still widely available and used, PHP 5.x is recommended for new PHP development when using the eBay API.
 

Detailed Description

The PHP development group will end support for PHP 4.x and the end of 2007. From php.net :

The PHP development team hereby announces that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. We will continue to make critical security fixes available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. Please use the rest of this year to make your application suitable to run on PHP 5.


There also a number of notable PHP based projects (notably PEAR) and hosting providers which will only support PHP 5.

So from a support standpoint, using PHP 5 for new development makes sense.

Also, from a development standpoint, PHP 5 has distinct advantages, especially for eBay web services development.

XML support in PHP 5 is much better than in PHP 4. The DOM and SAX based parsers in PHP 5 are better and more standards compliant. Further, PHP 5 offers SimpleXML, which makes XML parsing very easy. The XML responses provided by eBay are relatively small and have a known schema, so they are very appropriate for use by SimpleXML. PHP 5 also provides an out-of-box SOAP extension to provide easier access to eBay web services.


Additional resources

http://php.net - for downloads of PHP 5
http://gophp5.org - for information on PHP 5 support and migration

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