Hi folks

I would just like to highlight an issue which I feel has a negative effect
on the acceptance of PHP.

This is the difficulty of finding, downloading, compiling and installing the
various PHP libraries not included in the core distribution. Many quite
important libraries seem to be persoanl projects which are not supported by
the core team, and are hosted on sites that can be down for days at a time.
On Linux, many still require a re-compile, there is no documentation
standard, and no central repository. This compares badly with platforms such
as Perl and Java, who tackled this issue long ago.

My own ISP, who is one of the few to offer all PHP & MySQL upgrades as they
are released, complains about this bitterly. The upshot is that shared
hosting rarely offers more than the core functionality, which can be very
restrictive. Setting up your own server can be daunting and time consuming -
and the commercial distros such as Zend and Nusphere don't seem to have
tackled the library issue either.

In terms of acceptability in the market, I suspect that this creates a
negative impression. It seems to me that this is a quite central issue if
PHP is to be perceived as a mature platform for building mission critical
systems. I do hope that the development team, and those such as Zend who are
committed to the future of PHP give this some attention.

Geoff Caplan

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