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Microsoft’s WebMatrix Now Shipping with PHP 5.3 and PEAR

by Jonathan Allen on Nov 30, 2010 |

The third beta of Microsoft’s WebMatrix IDE was released this month with significantly improved support for PHP. While PHP support has been a major concern for a while, until recently it was based on the venerable 5.2 runtime. Originally released in 2006, it continues to get bug and security fixes but will not be seeing any of the new features found in 2009’s 5.3 series. These features include:

  • Namespace support
  • Late static bindings
  • Jump label (limited goto)
  • Native closures
  • garbage collection for circular references
  • sqlite3
  • Internationalization

For those unfamiliar with the product, WebMatrix is targeted at students, casual users, and developers working on small sites. In addition to PHP, WebMatrix support ASP.NET so that users and websites have a migration path to Microsoft’s flagship IDE, Visual Studio.

Another addition that will make PHP developers happy is the inclusion of PEAR, the PHP Extension and Application Repository, in the installer. Over a decade old, it gives PHP developers a place to find just about any library they may need. This gives them a significant advantage over .NET developers, who don’t even have a central place for Microsoft libraries, let alone the countless third-party libraries now in use.

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What does the crticism of .NET library distribution mean by Mike Gale

I'm pretty happy with the .NET libraries, how I find them and how I write my own.

The article suggests that they could benefit from something like PEAR.

What do others feel about this idea? (Especially those with feet firmly in both camps!)

Re: What does the crticism of .NET library distribution mean by Jonathan Allen

Well Microsoft themselves feel strongly enough about it that they are backing a project called Nuget (formally NuPack). Here is a link to the project site and some background information.

nuget.codeplex.com/
www.infoq.com/search.action?queryString=NuPack

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