Geoff Caplan wrote:

>Rasmus wrote
>>This is solved by people who roll distributions.  Debian, Mandrake,
>>RedHat, FreeBSD, etc.  It is very simple to add new features to an
>>existing PHP setup through these binary distributions of PHP, even for
>>newbies.  Once you know your way around PHP and its build system, you will
>>probably want to build you own though.  It's not that difficult.
>Rasmus, I really am concerned if you think that this problem is "solved". In
>my own experience, talking to ISPs and developers, this is a major roadblock
>to the development of PHP as a platform for both sophisticated solutions on
>shared servers, and major mission critical systems.
>If I was Zend, with a major interest in promoting PHP as a professional
>enterprise solution, I would be supporting something like the following:
>1) Propose a library documentation standard based, say, on CPAN and get it
>adopted by the community
>2) Set up a site to act as a central repository for PHP libraries
>3) Actively encourage library developers to provide plugin binaries, or do
>it for them if need be, at least for the most important libraries
>4) Do a regression test for each library once installed, and certify that it
>does not break the core PHP application
>An initiative of this kind would go some way to helping PHP to catch up with
>competitive platforms.
>However, judging from this current thread, the development team don't see
>this as a priority, so I guess that it won't happen unless the user
>community makes a strong case for it.
>What do people think?

I'm in complete agreement.  

Something which seems to not be a viable option for most things is SO 
files.  For some
reason, the only "real" way (documented) to get things into PHP is to 
compile them all
into PHP.  I've used the pdflib SO file and just used dl() to bring it 
in - works like a champ.
Pity I can't do that for gd and other things.  I don't NEED these things 
compiled in to
PHP for every page request, yet the only method that's ever worked for 
me is by
compiling them directly in.  Most packages don't give PHP specific 
instructions, and
even the couple that do don't appear to give instructions on how to make 
SO files.

Increased use of SO files would, I think, make everyone's lives a lot 

Michael Kimsal
PHP Training Courses

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