I'm one of the many folks who understands a little about the big picture of Web programming but who can't claim any real programming skills. So I can often identify some objective and toss around the relevant terms, but it's rare that I can pull off anything halfway complicated. A cruel life, indeed.
Case in point: I'd like to add OpenID support to my DreamHost-hosted, WordPress-based site with a plugin from Alan Castonguay. The plugin depends on a PHP library from JanRain, which in turn depends on GMP or BCMath support in the PHP install. But the normal DreamHost PHP5 install does not support GMP or BCMath.
I understand that it's entirely possible to custom-compile PHP5 for our domains, but it appears to be prohibitively complicated for this dunce. So I'm trying to determine whether to press on or to explore some other option (like simply waiting for a release of the JanRain library without the dependencies--but that could be a long time). Hence this post.
Give me a reason to soldier on. What other capabilities/functionality could a custom PHP5 offer? What libraries do you really wish DreamHost would add to its normal version?
The idea of greater flexibility has a strong general appeal, but some specifics (apart from the OpenID support) could easily persuade me to keep the dream alive...