PHP road map revealed

PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) 5.2, the latest version of the popular open source scripting language, is set to be released this Thursday, Zend Technologies Co-Founder Andi Gutmans said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the , Gutmans said the 5.2 release would have significant performance improvements and a security extension. Also featured is better AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) backing with JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) extensions. Zend is involved in development of the core PHP platform.

"What [the security extension] really focuses on is allowing developers to write secure apps in a much easier fashion by providing tools to do so," Gutmans said.

PHP 6.0 focuses on internationalization and Unicode support. A pre-release of version 6.0 is expected in December with the general release planned for 2007.

Questioned about the differences between PHP and the also-popular Ruby on Rails platform, Gutmans said PHP is more accessible to nonprogrammers than Ruby.

Version 3.0 of Zend Platform, which is Zend's application server platform for PHP, is due out in February or March 2007. It will feature three different servers: a performance server focused on performance, an enterprise server for scalability and clusters, and an integration server dealing with integration issues.