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November 12, 2007

Five on back on Five

Category: Robert Lemke, TYPO3, 5.0 Development Team

By: Robert Lemke

Backporting the TYPO3 Framework

After this year's Zend Conference (8.-11.10.2007) some of the PHP core developers more or less surprisingly decided to postpone the release of PHP6 until at least end of 2008 and backport most of the new features to the upcoming version 5.3. The simple formula reads: PHP 5.3 = PHP 6 - Unicode (however it's not that simple in reality ...). In an interview at Zeev Suraski officially states what rumors already had speculated.

As most of you know, we based the TYPO3 Framework (foundation of TYPO3 5.0) on PHP6 to take advantage of the new features, specifically the Unicode support. The decision to postpone PHP6 really hit us and forced us to create a plan B. After sleeping it over for some nights, Karsten and I agreed that waiting for PHP6 is no option anymore.

During the train ride back from the conference we already started backporting the current codebase of the TYPO3 Framework and of the TYPO3 CR to PHP 5.2. Until end of this week, all changes should be done and you'll then be able to try out five zero (Framework and CR that is) with in a regular PHP 5 environment (that's the good part of the story ...).

Of course this is not the final solution. We still aim for fully taking advantage of PHP6 and will raise the requirement to PHP 5.3 very soon, so we can at least start using the new namespaces feature.

Stay tuned!


comment #1
Gravatar: mic mic November 12, 2007 21:28

I've been working for about two years on typo3. Then I moved to java.

I really admired the work done on this cms, but do you realise that you are still waiting for namespace feature !!

You don't want to try something else ?

comment #2
Gravatar: Robert Robert November 13, 2007 07:50
Hi mic,

during the the last 1.5 years I've been travelling a lot through other communities (Java, Ruby, Smalltalk, Python) just to see what happens there. My conclusion is that it's not simply the programming language which makes Java more "enterprise" but rather the concepts and techniques. I'd like to popularize some of this knowledge in the PHP community, because I still like PHP a lot and TYPO3 happens to consist of a lot of PHP programmers.

I'm actually pretty glad that we don't have to invent expressions like "POJO" just to concentrate on the essentials. In a way the Java community currently tries to get back to the roots and simplify things while true OOP and AOP become more popular in the PHP community. Maybe we meet at some point.

To sum it up: Yes, I (and other core developers) have thought more than once during the last years if switching the programming language would make sense - and we don't think so. And yes, in terms of release management and coordination, the current development of future PHP versions is not exactly brilliant.

But the feedback after demonstrating the concepts of the new TYPO3 Framework was very motivating and shows that there are people in the PHP community who've waited long for these concepts to be available in PHP.

comment #3
Gravatar: mic mic November 13, 2007 10:16
I really agree with you. Language don't make everything and the humans being behind a project is much more important than the power of the technology that supports it.

I just remember the long night reading yours and kasper's code, constantly saying to myself : those guys are really OO programmers, they deal with achitecture, they would be so happy if they were in java.

It's been a long time that Typo3 deal with AOP, through the concept of hook. And the notion of factory with dependance injection (like Spring) is already here in the form of script loader (instead of classloader) and plugin activation. Your job is already brillant and has very well understood the important concepts of factory and aop, on some aspects you kind of developp something closed to JMX. I just get the feeling that it could be much more elegant in java.

You're absolutrly right, even if the future of php is not brillant, there's a community now and you have to move forward with it.

comment #4
Gravatar: Olivier Olivier November 13, 2007 11:22
Robert, I am happy to see that with you someone with technical visions has entered the dance scene :-)

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