"Take PHP, for example. The next version of the popular Web
applications language shipped its second release candidate this
week, and the final build is expected to arrive early next year.
This release won't be the long-awaited PHP 6, however. Instead, it
will be a far less ambitious revision designated PHP 5.4.
"Doubtless that's a disappointment to developers who have been
anticipating PHP 6 since the project launched in October 2005. But
at this point, even if a release dubbed PHP 6 does eventually
appear, it will bear little resemblance to the version that's borne
the designation so far. PHP creator Rasmus Lerdorf officially
shelved the PHP 6 project in March 2010 after almost five years of
fruitless labor, in favor of refocusing on a formal 5.4
"Some of the reasons for the PHP 6 effort's failure were
technical. The primary focus of the project was retooling PHP to
include native support for Unicode. That wouldn't be limited to
strings, either; in PHP 6, developers would be able to specify
variable names, function names, and other identifiers using any
Unicode script, including multibyte encodings such as Chinese and
Hindi. As the years rolled on and hidden gotchas began to surface,
however, it became clear that the PHP developers had bitten off
more than they could chew."
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