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There are a whole lot of myths floating around when it comes to PHP 5—or are there? In this article, Zend’s internals gurus, Andi Gutmans and Dmitry Stogov, take a close look at the differences between PHP 4 and later versions of PHP, and explain why benchmark tests are unreliable indicators when it comes to real-world performance.—by Andi Gutmans
The PEAR project has taken some heat on the blogs and mailing lists recently. Does the rush to Enterprise PHP 5 frameworks signal the beginning of the end for the project, or does PEAR provide a unique platform for stable code as well as code deployment? To better investigate these questions PEAR contributor Aaron Wormus takes a walk through the history of PEAR to see where it came from,and attempts to determine where it is going.—by Aaron Wormus
The key to learning any language is good documentation, and PHP is famous for the quality of its manual. Hundreds of contributors have contributed additions and changes to the PHP Manual over the years, improving it on a daily basis. The barrier between users and contributors is virtually non-existent, making it easy for anyone with the desire–and a little ability–to become a member of the PHP Documentation Group. Learn about the Manual’s history and future with Philip Olson, then get involved!—by Philip Olson
Writing a simple search engine from scratch is surprisingly easy using prepared SQL statements, and can improve the performance and scalability of your Web application dramatically. In this article, author Tom Gidden covers the basics, and will show you how to implement a search engine for your site with PHP 5, MySQL (or any other commonly used database engine) and the PDO extension.—by Tom Gidden
One of the things that allow PHP to be as flexible as it is,is a fairly large set of configuration often controlled via the php.ini configuration file. These configuration directives control the behavior of the language, which in turn permit different modes of operations depending on the need and environment. A fair number of those settings have an impact on the security of the PHP installation and don’t necessarily have the best settings enabled by default. In this article, security expert Ilia Alshanetsky will review the “security settings” of the PHP.ini file and consider their consequences and benefits.—by Ilia Alshanetsky