> At 05:03 17/4/2001, Sterling Hughes wrote:
> >Ok, let me just see if I understand...
> >
> >move everything out of the distribution (from mysql popular extensions
> >like mysql to hardly used ones like qtdom), and then, come release time,
> >package a predefined set of PEAR modules and extensions we want to
> >for PHP4.
> Not really - some of the extensions will remain in PHP.  I believe that
> fact that PHP comes bundled with support for some of the most common Web
> environment applications is still a serious factor in its success.  It did
> get into a situation when there are simply too many not-too-mainstream
> extensions in there, though, which makes it very difficult to find a
> point at time to release it.  I wouldn't expect MySQL, Oracle or XML
> support to be removed from PHP, though.
> Zeev

I'm maintaining PHP installation (as well as everything else ) on 10 servers
that run our e-business software. Personally I don't think that perl's cpan
model is the best I've seen so far. Sure, the idea is great but often I end
up spending ours trying to install relatively simple applications,
ReportMagic for example. All those module interdependencies easily turn into
installation nightmare.

I have to agree with Zeev here, that having all the necessary modules in one
distribution is great contributor to PHP's success. How long would it take
and how much hassle would it be to download and install all the modules that
our application needs (sockets, dba, gdbm, ftp, gd, gettext, oci8, readline,
recode, sysvshm, sysvsem, xml, imap, curl & zlib) if all of them needed to
be download separately? Perl's build system promises to automate this, but
in my experience it rarely works as advertised.

So how do you solve the problem when we look at the prospect of having 100+
extensions? I do not have a ready answer for that question. Maybe something
along the lines of Linux kernel distribution, with make menuconfig or
something similar. Or maybe a combined approach where there would be an
option of downloading the whole of PHP including the extensions (like the
Linux kernel) and another where you would have to download only PHP core and
some auto magical script that will let you pick the optional components.


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