PHP5: Coming Soon to a Web server Near You: A comprehensive look at the masterpiece that is PHP5. The author details all the changes with copious amounts of code to browse.
Big changes are coming, including a complete revamp of XML handling that includes the ability to say, “Make an object out of that XML file,” in one line of code. Object handling has matured considerably: abstract classes, private and protected variables, interfaces, etc. Error handling gets try/catch/finally blocks, and the PHP engine includes an embedded database — SQLite — so you don’t have to have MySQL or any external database running (SQLite is even more bare bones than MySQL, but — get this — it’s twice as fast).
The article finishes with some commentary on where PHP5 stacks up against .Net and J2EE. These two, with PHP, are quickly becoming the “Big Three” of Web development, leaving technologies like ColdFusion and Perl / Python out in the cold.
PHP5 is a big, big change in the PHP world.