PHP upgrades and informations

It seems that Dreamhost isn’t confident yet to give us PHP5.3.x as it said to break some widely used apps (as told by a DH tech on the status blog). Too bad.

Anyway there are some news:

  1. It seems they are upgrading servers to 5.2.11. Not the latest one, which is 5.2.12, but still good due to security and misc bug fixes, other than upgrades in PCRE library and timezone database (read: with PHP5 you don’t have to worry if your timezone is different than the Dreamhost one, if you use date_default_timezone_set() in your scripts).

  2. People like me who LOVE SQLite and waits for PHP5.3.1 which includes SQLite library 3.6.19 (with full text search and foreign key support) should better wait for PHP 5.3.2 which hopefully will include SQLite library version 3.6.22 (the current 5.3.2RC1 contains 3.6.21). On SQLite library versions between 3.6.18 and 3.6.21 there are two rare bugs in the CAST and OR operators used in WHERE clause that can give wrong results (see here:

So said I really hope to see in the wiki a full tutorial/script to compile PHP5.3.x (and that one is there) AND to make it work with FCGI. Now there are two separate how-tos, and second one isn’t very easy (at least for me).

Thanks DH for the good work!
Btw, as now you offer only PHP-CGI I hope to see PHP5.3.x as an option in the control panel soon or later…

you might consider a custom compilation.

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Already done. Not exactly an easy and fast process but it works now (fastcgi included). I’d just like to see multiple PHP options available, since it can be done easier by their side.

I don’t exactly remember how, but I do remember a way (back when PHP4 and PHP5 were still going at it) that we had PHP4 and PHP5 running side by side. The only major difference was that PHP5 scripts were named ‘.PHP5’ As far as it breaking applications, if it will get us there any faster, I would be more than willing to offer my services to fix any broken applications, or prepare apps known to be broken by PHP5.

I really don’t undestand Dreamhost here.
Now they are running PHP as CGI, so it’s not integrated in Apache, so they could easly offer 5.2.x (stable), 5.3.x (latest) and even 6.x when it will be ready. And they can even offer multiple PHP.ini selectable from the panel.

Yes, we can do all of this ourself, but it means more work for us, more security risks and more load for the servers! Why not just do what even cheap hosts do now?

I managed to get PHP 5.3.1 working, even with FastCGI support, but it’s not really an easy task that any user can perform. Why keep a big % of your users with an old version? Now at least they updated 5.2.6 to 5.2.11 (not even the latest one but better than the 5.2.6).

I really hope to see DH go back to the time where they give us the best and found solutions to make anyone happy…

First off, complaining isn’t very helpful, instead, offer solutions and ideas. Second, I have 5.3.1 working on my dev computer (the one I’m typing this post from). Unfortunately, as most web developers know, a development server is completely different from a hosted server in the wild.

I think that the suggestion has been already told (here and in the suggestions section): support both versions, since PHP it’s run as CGI and not as mod_php.
Hope they will hear us…

Actually, I just had a thought. You could have Apache scan the user directories for a specific directory (i.e. /MY_PHP_VERSION/), if that version exists and has all of the needed files (PHP binary, php.ini, etc.) then it could load/run that version instead of the default Dreamhost version. You could even charge for it. If I’m right $5 per month, per user should offset the extra usage, and I’d definitely pay it.

Anyway, it’s just a suggestion, if I’m wrong on anything, or if you guys do decide to use it, let me know. :stuck_out_tongue:

We can already run different PHP versions on Dreamhost by “just” compiling them and set Apache thru .htaccess files.
What is being asked here is to be able to choose between stable and newer versions from the panel, or even to have specific PHP versions installed with something like one-click install.
This way it would be even easier to keep it updated. People may don’t want to recompile it for every minor update but may be happy to click the ‘upgrade’ button.

All SQLite lovers like me will be happy to know that SQLite 3.6.22 (which fixes a bug in SELECTs containing ORs) has been added to PHP5.3.2 branch, so when it will be release we will get the latest, more stable, SQLite version. More here:

Currently PHP5.3.2 is still in release candidate status.

PHP 5.3.2 released.
Hope to see it on DH without need to compile by ourself.

As many asks, offer multiple options, eg. stable (5.2), new (5.3), experimental (6, when available).

Let’s hope…