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    Can't afford the upgrade cycle


    I'm a non programmer, amateur sysadmin. Software that I'm being asked to run is tied to ancient PEAR libaries and PHP4. This sounds horrendous to me. I've said no.

    But unfortunately this means a major community charity project involving hundreds of people will be destroyed.

    Other than diving into my own wallet to pay a PHP programmer to upgrade the code is there anything I can do to help?

    The other problem as I see it is that if we do recode to 5.3 the problem is just going to come round again in a year on the next upgrade cycle.

    Looking at my other options I can see alternative software on other platforms but it's not as good and also involves different work. Also these alternatives are used by far less people which doesn't bode well for the future to me.
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  3. Mad Scientist
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    set up a dev VPS server with php5.4 or 5.5 on it, copy your app to it and see what breaks.

    The syntax hasn't been changed, but it has been added to.

    Some functions have been deprecated or removed. The errors you get will highlight these.

    The biggest changes are the features and functionality that has been added in and the paradigms which have been opened up - things which you may choose to follow or not.
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  5. Sarcky
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    Note also that you're probably linked to an older version of MySQL (or whatever).

    The language has been added to, as Northie said, but a lot has also been removed. There were a lot of bad security practices built into the defaults of PHP4 that have been removed, turned off, or deprecated. If you have ereg or stripslashes in your code it's going to require a bit of a rewrite.

    Also, it's going to be at least 3 years before you'll have to do this again.
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    I haz teh codez!
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    One thing to consider: if this is truly a worthy community charity project, then you might be able to find a PHP developer in the local community willing to donate the time and effort to do the upgrade.

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    • ManiacDan agrees : Good thinking. Also, I very nearly warned you by mistake
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  9. Sarcky
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    Originally Posted by ptr2void
    One thing to consider: if this is truly a worthy community charity project, then you might be able to find a PHP developer in the local community willing to donate the time and effort to do the upgrade.
    This is also true. I do the websites for a bunch of food banks for free. Well, I do them because my mom runs the food banks, so it's not exactly free, there's an extensive guilt price tag attached.

    We have a "Project Help Wanted" forum where people ask for pro-bono help.
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    Dazed&Confused
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    Honestly the upgrade might not be TOO bad if you take shortcuts. But a lot of what has changed has changed for good reasons.

    For example, the removal of registered globals looks on the surface like they're making an entire application explode into a chaotic state that can never be recovered from, but there are things you can add to emulate the functionality that was removed.

    Besides that it'll mostly be specific functions that have been changed, and those you can probably tweak one by one.

    PHP4 to PHP5 was a major change but fortunately it was mostly in the capacity of adding capabilities that are now considered best practices. So you can get by with a lot of the PHP4-era principles... just be mindful that it might make your application less efficient and more susceptible to hackers.
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