All I wanted to do was migrate my work-related forum to a new host.  Here’s how it should have worked:

  1. Copy stuff over
  2. Edit configuration files
  3. Populate database
  4. rock on

Here’s how it actually worked:

  1. Copy stuff over
  2. Edit configuration files
  3. Populate database
  4. Software was unable to connect to a database because php5’s developers do not enable mysql by default.  Their claim, “This won’t actually affect that many people.”  Ex-squeeze me?  This is like saying you’re not going to include a fuel system in an automobile, customers can install their own.   Yes, that wouldn’t affect many people, if your definition of “many” is “everyone plus one more.”
  5. For most software, I would expect I could just plop in a runtime library, twiddle a config file, and move on.  Nope.  PHP’s philosophy is you need to rebuild it from scratch.   They don’t make this easy, either.  Just replicating the set of options my runtime non-MySQL-aware version had took several hours over a weekend of iteratively downloading, configuring, installing, cursing, updating, reconfiguring, and recursing.  Thirty packages, much of the time guessing the magic name to feed to “yast” or resolving dependencies when manually compiling from source.

XAMPP rulesA few weeks after recovery, I was talking with someone else about the wiki site I host and he mentioned using XAMPP on his windows box to test site changes.  Turns out they’ve done all the heavy lifting by pre-packaging all of the open source runtimes into a clean installation.  It’s a pretty complete set for Linux, Windows, Mac and even Solaris.

So, there is apparently no need to struggle with the insanely stupid decision the PHP team made with PHP5 because the ApacheFriends have taken care of this.

Props to them!

3 thoughts on “PHP-vil”

  1. I’m fascinated by PHP’s attitude toward MySQL. Just what do they think PHP could do without the database to back it up? As near as I can tell, it’s no more functional by itself than [X]HMTL.

    As for the wiki…good for you! I’ve been beating my head against mediawiki for a month and still can’t get it configured right. I just keep reminding myself: I’m an information architect, not a programmer. 🙂

  2. It would seem a SQL-less PHP takes the dynamic out of “dynamic web” 🙂 “WTF?!” I mean, seriously, MySQL is the most popular open source database available.

    As for mediawiki, I keep reminding myself I’m a marketing guy, not a techie. :o) Most of the problems I’ve had with setting up MediaWiki are due to their rigid requirements clashing with Dreamhost’s forcing everything to php4 unless specifically done otherwise. The last time I successfully upgraded, I essentially had to do a reinstall, then move the database over.


  3. people people people, php 5.0 dropped the mysql specific functionality in favor of a general db adapater. the problem is most likely that you’re older php forum/wiki app used the older mysql specific calls, and needed that adapater. if you’d just re-written it from scratch you would have been fine!

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