Thanks to the OP for the interest in the book and to everyone else for their input. So here's what happened, from the writer/horse's mouth: It was time to write an update to the book because the second edition had been out for 3+ years or so, I think. It wasn't a money-making effort (i.e., get people to buy another copy) but rather a touch-up to make sure it's current enough. I had to make some decisions about what versions to support; the previous edition supported both PHP 4 and 5. PHP 6 was more than 50% complete at the time I started writing it and I thought the Unicode support was a pretty big deal, this being an ever-increasing global web...marketplace...blah...blah...blah. So I wanted to start thinking along those lines and as I didn't know when the fourth edition of the book would be written, I thought I'd get an early jump on PHP 6. Yes, PHP 6 wasn't nearly finalized at the time and no hosting companies were using it, but many hosting companies are still using PHP 4 and PHP 6 *is* available for playing around with. So that was my reasoning. In the end, only a bit more than one chapter _requires_ PHP 6 and I do like looking a bit into the future of Web development and PHP. Also, as I don't discuss OOP in this book (gasp!, I leave that to my more advanced PHP book because a decent discussion of OOP requires at least 150 pages and I'd need to cut out more important topics to include it in this book), some of the features being discussed in PHP 6 weren't problematic for the book one way or the other (like namespaces, which ended up on PHP 5.3). Again, the Unicode support was my main thinking.

Two years later, had I known PHP 6 still wouldn't be out, I probably wouldn't have touched it at all and I do feel a bit sheepish about having a book out there on PHP 6 when PHP 6 isn't out there (for production purposes), but these things do happen to books, particularly with open-source projects that have no need to adhere to deadlines. Still, I would like to think that at worst, 10% of the material isn't usable today on production servers but still has a philosophical benefit. To atone for my prematurity, I do try to support the book as much as possible, I try to talk about all this versioning stuff in publish ways (like on the Amazon page for the book), and I don't think there's anything wrong with someone buying the second edition if they're a bit concerned about the PHP 6 thing. (In theory, I guess someone could, um, buy another writer's book, but I prefer to plead ignorance of such outcomes.) We--the publisher and I--also did consciously change the title of the book from "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic..." to "PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic..." to indicate the distinctions being made.

Sorry for the length, but I hope that helps. And thanks again.

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