Upgrading PHP on Windows 2008

hey guys

We have a windows server 2008 with Php running on it. However, we need to upgrade to the latest version.

What is the best way to upgrade php? Uninstall and reinstall?

Thanks
Yash
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YashyAsked:
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GaryCommented:
How did you install PHP in the first case?
What version are you on/upgrading to?
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Why do you need to upgrade?  And as Gary asked, what version do you have and what version do you want to upgrade to?  Are you prepared to rewrite your code?
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Ray PaseurCommented:
Do you just need to upgrade PHP?  If so the current versions are listed on the home page at PHP.net.
http://php.net/

Note also that there is a change log.  You REALLY want to read that very, very carefully!

These are current:
http://www.php.net/ChangeLog-5.php#5.4.20
http://www.php.net/ChangeLog-5.php#5.5.4
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YashyAuthor Commented:
I had to find this information out from the developer. He installed it using the Microsoft Web Platform.

We wanted to go from 5.3.3 to 5.3.5.

However, and as Ray has mentioned that he is now slightly sceptical as the change logs say certain things which have concerned him
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Ray PaseurCommented:
I would ask him what is of concern about 5.3.3 to 5.3.5... That is unlikely to cause much of any issue.  If it were 5.3 to 5.4 this could be a different thing because of the change in the default character set.  But at that backlevel (more than two years old) most of the issues would have been shaken out a long time ago.  Those releases were mostly bug-fix anyway.

Here are the operative changelogs for 5.3.3 to 5.3.5:
http://www.php.net/ChangeLog-5.php#5.3.4
http://www.php.net/ChangeLog-5.php#5.3.5
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I agree with Ray.  The current version in the Microsoft Web Platform is PHP 5.3.5.
http://www.microsoft.com/web/platform/phponwindows.aspx   Going to PHP 5.4 or newer could have serious consequences that would require you to rewrite some of the code.  But that depends on the specifics of your software.
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Ray PaseurCommented:
On my PHP 5.3 sites I'm at 5.3.27.   On PHP 5.4 I'm at 5.4.18.  Don't have any at PHP 5.5 yet.

Make sure your client does not misunderstand the upgrade.  PHP 5.3.3 to PHP 5.3.5 is very different from PHP 5.3 to PHP 5.5!
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YashyAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your responses.

I have one question as I'm not a developer. I thought PHP is just scripting language; how could going to another version require rewriting of code?  Sorry for my basic understanding, but I thought a language is a language and an upgrade just consists of more libraries etc and patches/fixes. Not that one would have to rewrite the code?
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Ray PaseurCommented:
PHP is a scripting language.  But PHP has a very long history and has grown by topsy over the many years.  It originated in the 1990's shortly after the advent of the WWW and before anybody had given any thought to email viruses, spam, security, and a host of other things.  In an effort to be "nice" to novice users, the PHP group tried to hold on to the past.  That has been a mixed blessing.

These two articles will show you the sort of thing you're dealing with in PHP.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/PHP/A_6630-Magic-Quotes-a-bad-idea-from-day-one.html

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/PHP/A_7317-Register-Globals-a-bad-idea-from-day-one.html

A more serious problem is the MySQL extension.  It has been the cause of more catastrophic failures than anyone can count, largely because novice programmers find some code, copy it, and in the process perpetrate a new generation of dangerously insecure programming.  As a result, PHP has gotten a reputation as the tool of choice for script kiddies.  The reputation is not undeserved, but PHP is also the tool that powers Digg, most of Yahoo, much of Google and nearly all of Facebook.  In the right hands it's a good language.  Going forward, PHP is removing support for the MySQL extension.  This article explains why and what must be done to keep the scripts running.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/PHP/PHP_Databases/A_11177-PHP-MySQL-Deprecated-as-of-PHP-5-5-0.html

All things change, and over time, the dominant character sets of America (CP-1252) and Western Europe (ISO-8859-1) are gradually giving way to UTF-8, which is toward a more universal language character set.  In PHP a byte equals a character, but that is not true in UTF-8, where a single character can be represented by one, two, three or four bytes.  In 2008, Google reported that the most frequently used character set on the WWW had shifted to UTF-8, and so now PHP at level 5.4 will make UTF-8 the default character set.  Every function that deals with "string variables" will need to be inspected to see if the underlying data contains any characters that are multi-byte UTF-8 characters.  How big is this issue, really?  The Euro symbol is a UTF-8 character code collision.  Every data field that contains a Euro symbol will have to be expanded to accommodate the multi-byte characters.  The same collision hits most accented Western European characters.  More is available here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Web_Languages-Standards/PHP/A_11880-Unicode-PHP-and-Character-Collisions.html

And that is the long story of why PHP publishes the ChangeLog.
http://www.php.net/ChangeLog-5.php
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
how could going to another version require rewriting of code?
As languages evolve and improve, some functions are added and some are removed.  This is true of all programming languages and scripts that I know of.  If your code depends on features that have been removed or significantly changed, then you will have to rewrite some of your code to work in the new versions.
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