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PHP 4.2.0 Released

Apr 23, 2002, 16:00 (17 Talkback[s])

From: Derick Rethans []
Sent: Monday, April 22, 2002 3:55 PM
Cc: PHP Developers Mailing List; PHP Quality Assurance Team Mailing
Subject: [ANNOUNCE] PHP 4.2.0 Release Announcement

The PHP Group is happy to announce the immediate 
availability of PHP 4.2.0, the latest version of the widely-used, 
general-purpose scripting language that is especially well-suited for Web 

This latest release contains over one hundred changes, bug fixes and 
improvements over the previous release, PHP 4.1.2. Among the highlights 
are experimental support for Apache 2, cleanups in variable handling and 
overhauls of various PHP components, including the domxml, posix, sockets 
and iconv extensions. For more information, see below:


External variables

The biggest change in PHP 4.2.0 concerns variable handling. External 
variables (from the environment, the HTTP request, cookies or the web 
server) are no longer registered in the global scope by default. The 
preferred method of accessing these external variables is by using the new 
Superglobal arrays, introduced in PHP 4.1.0. More information about this 

    * PHP Manual: Predefined variables

    * The PHP 4.1.0 release announcement

    * Thomas Oertli's article on secure programming in PHP


The Apache Software Foundation recently released their first General 
Availability version of Apache 2. PHP 4.2.0 will have EXPERIMENTAL support 
for this version. You can build a DSO module for Apache 2 with 
--with-apxs2. We do not recommend that you use this in a production 

PHP 4.2.0 still lacks certain key features on Mac OS X and Darwin, and 
isn't officially supported by the PHP Group on these platforms. 
Specifically, building PHP as a dynamically loaded Apache module isn't 
supported at this time. PHP 4.3.0, due to be released in August, 2002, 
will be the first PHP release to officially support Mac OS X. It, along 
with future Mac OS X and Apache releases, will enable full feature parity 
with other PHP platforms.

PHP 4.2.0 includes several improvements:

    * External variables (from the environment, the HTTP request, cookies 
      or the web server) are no longer registered as global variables
    * Overhaul of the sockets extension
    * Highly improved performance with file uploads
    * The satellite and mailparse extensions were moved to PECL and are no 
      longer bundled with the official PHP release
    * The posix extension has been cleaned up
    * iconv handling has been improved
    * Output buffering support, which was introduced in PHP 4.1.0 has been 
    * Improved performance and stability of the domxml extension
    * New multibyte regular expression support
    * LOTS of fixes and new functions

For a full list of changes in PHP 4.2.0, see the NEWS file 


Derick Rethans

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