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Installing PHP6 on Windows

February 17, 2009

When I went to write the third edition of my PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide book, I had to decide what version of PHP to support. PHP5 had been out some time and PHP6 was more than 50% ready to go. The primary alteration in PHP6 is support for Unicode, a change that Ruby is also making in version 1.9. This is a big deal, so I thought I’d include support for PHP6 in the book. Now, just over a year later, there’s no news on PHP6 and, from what I gathered, there’s not a pressing drive to get it out anytime soon, either. Such are the potential problems when it comes to writing about open source software: you really never know what you’re going to get or when. Obviously the situation isn’t ideal but only two chapters in the book require PHP6, and some features originally intended for PHP6 have been added to PHP5. Still, some users reading the book (rightfully) want to test or play with the forthcoming, primarily Unicode-related, features I discuss in those two chapters. In order to do so, you’ll need to do what I did in order to write the book: install a beta version of PHP6 on your computer. In this post, I’ll walk you through that process for Windows users (I’ll address non-Windows users separately). Continue Reading…