Well so it seems PHP5 has finally become usable enough to be released as a public beta (PHP.net). It is interesting in the way that it is interesting to see an initally non-OO language have OO features pegged on - remember Perl?
The biggie here is the new object model which has been really all the rage in the PHP developer community for the past months when PHP5 was in development and available via CVS.
Of the new features, I'm glad for:
- exception-handling ala Java and C++
- the new __construct() method that acts as a constructor - this partially solves the old nasty problem of constructors and inheritance
- static class methods and fields
- method and property accessibility - public, protected and private
To be honest, I've never really had the time nor want to play with PHP5 when it was in pre-beta development. It does seem to be a nice move, but I'm still undecided on whether the apparent "bulk" of OOP would have an adverse effect on a large user base of, erm, scripters who are largely unknowledgeable of OOP. Or maybe it would finally make the "real programmers" look twice at PHP.