Thanks to fellow Neowinian Krome for bringing this to our attention via BPN.
PHP 5's official release occurred on July 13th with a complete re-haul of object-oriented programming features and improved MySQL functions. These are sure to be great additions to the package for PHP developers. However, many of the changes to PHP are hinting to something that may not necessarily be something PHP developers will like down the road.
At first glance, the obvious changes to PHP are a result of the success of the Java platform and the weaknesses of PHP revealed when making a comparison. With the release of PHP 5, it's apparent that the developers of PHP and the Zend Engine (which are essentially one and the same) felt compelled to make PHP much more like Java with respect to object-oriented programming. With its new interoperability with Java, as it states on Zend's web site, "full integration with Java will be closer than ever before." Hmmm, full integration with Java, huh?
On November 4th, 2003, Zend, the Israeli company backing the development of PHP announced a strategic partnership with Sun. This deal also included advisors from Borland, Macromedia, MySQL and others. The purported purpose of this deal was to make PHP part of Sun's web server and bring it to the corporate world of development that previously had been dominated by ASP and ColdFusion. Now with the release of PHP 5, it's far more apparent which path PHP is taking.
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News source: Dev Shed