Dear PHP users,

PHP 5.0.0 Beta 2 has been released. This is the first feature complete version of PHP 5 except for work on extensions, and we recommend for PHP users to try it. PHP 5 is still not ready for production use!

Some of the more major changes include:
- PHP 5 features the Zend Engine 2.
- XML support has been completely redone in PHP 5, all extensions are now focused around the excellent libxml2 library (http://www.xmlsoft.org/).
- SQLite has been bundled with PHP. For more information on SQLite, please visit their website.
- A new SimpleXML extension for easily accessing and manipulating XML as PHP objects. It can also interface with the DOM extension and vice-versa.
- Streams have been greatly improved, including the ability to access low-level socket operations on streams.


There have been lots and lots of other changes which we haven't mentioned here, and even the NEWS file which is pasted at the end of this message doesn't mention them all.
For developers who want to get an idea of the new language features (the Zend Engine 2), we suggest you look at the ZEND_CHANGES file in the Zend/ directory of the source tree.


Enjoy,

PHP Development Team.

NEWS file:
30 Oct 2003, PHP 5 Beta 2
- Lots and lots of changes in the Zend Engine 2 since beta 1:
  . Added Iterators
  . Improved memory manager
  . Added Reflection API
  . Removed the not so working namespaces support
  . Removed support for expressions within constant declerations.
  . You can read about most changes in ZEND_CHANGES under the Zend directory.
- Improved the DBX extension: (Marc)
  . Added DBX_RESULT_UNBUFFERED flag for dbx_query().
  . Added dbx_fetch_row()
  . Added SQLite support.
- Improved the Interbase extension: (Ard Biesheuvel)
  . Added support for multiple databases into ibase_trans()
  . Added support for CREATE DATABASE, SET TRANSACTION and EXECUTE PROCEDURE
    statements into ibase_query()
  . Added ibase_commit_ret() and ibase_rollback_ret()
  . Added ibase_drop_db()
  . Added ibase_gen_id()
  . Added ibase_name_result()
  . Added ibase_errcode()
  . Added ibase_affected_rows() and ibase_num_params()
  . Added ibase_param_info()
  . Added ibase_wait_event()
  . Added ibase_set_event_handler() and ibase_free_event_handler()
- Added new COM extension with integrated .Net support. (Wez)
- Added new functions:
  . setrawcookie(). (Brian)
  . pg_version(). (Marcus)
  . dbase_get_header_info(). (Zak)
  . snmp_read_mib(). (Jani)
  . http_build_query(). (Sara)
  . ftp_alloc(). (Sara)
  . array_udiff(). (Andrey)
  . array_udiff_assoc(). (Andrey)
  . array_udiff_uassoc(). (Andrey)
  . array_diff_uassoc(). (Andrey)
  . convert_uuencode(). (Ilia)
  . convert_uudecode(). (Ilia)
  . substr_compare(). (Ilia)
  . pcntl_wait(). (GeorgeS)
- Added "resume_pos" context option to "ftp://"; wrapper. (Sara)
- Added optional parameter to OCIWriteTemporaryLob() to specify the type of LOB
  (Patch by Novicky Marek <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>). (Thies)
- Added reflection API. (Andrei, George, Timm)
- Changed length parameter in fgetcsv() to be optional. (Moriyoshi)
- Fixed IPv6 support in MacOSX Panther. (Dan, Marko)
- Fixed fgetcsv() to correctly handle international (non-ascii) characters.
  (Moriyoshi)
- Fixed support for <![CDATA[]]> fields within XML documents in ext/xml.
  (Sterling)
- Fixed visibility of __construct and __clone. (Marcus)
- Fixed bug #26003 (fgetcsv() not binary-safe on null bytes). (Moriyoshi)
- Fixed bug #25756 (SimpleXML's validate_schema_file() broken). (Moriyoshi)
- Fixed bug #25581 (getimagesize() returns incorrect values on bitmap (os2)
  files). (Marcus)
- Fixed bug #25494 (array_merge*() allows non-arrays as argument). (Jay)
- Fixed bug #24766 (strange result array from unpack()). (Moriyoshi)
- Fixed bug #24729 ($obj = new $className; causes crash when $className is not
  set). (Marcus)
- Fixed bug #24565 (cannot read array elements received via $_REQUEST). (Zeev)
- Fixed bug #24445 (get_parent_class() returns different values).
  (Sterling, Stanislav)
- Fixed bug #24403 (preg_replace() problem: Using $this when not in object
  context). (Zeev)
- Fixed bug #24399 (PEAR DB isError crash [instanceof_function fault?]).
  (Sterling, Marcus)
- Fixed bug #24396 (foreach ($k=>$v), the key $k is missing). (Zeev)
- Fixed bug #24279 (__get() crash when no value is returned). (Ilia)
- Fixed bug #22367 (undefined variable has a value). (Zeev)
- Fixed bug #19859 (allow fast_call_user_function to support __call).
  (Stanislav)
- Fixed bug #17997 (Warning when switch() and reference are combined). (Zeev)
- Fixed bug #17988 (strtotime failed to parse postgresql timestamp). (Derick)

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