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coppercup
01-14-2005, 08:13 AM
I know the subject of upgrading such critical software as Apache, PHP, MySQL, Perl, etc., has been broached in a number of existing forum topics, but I thought it would be helpful to start a topic specifically devoted to this subject.

A perusal of the forums, especially in the PHP & MySQL forum, will offer quick evidence of the considerable demand for these upgrades. Every time someone starts a topic about upgrading PHP or MySQL, for example, the number of "views" of that topic skyrockets overnight in comparison with other topics, leading me to conclude that interest and demand are high. Almost like everyone is just holding their breath, waiting…

I have posted elsewhere, and will reiterate here, my defense of WestHost with regards to this matter. The shear technical logistics and hurdles to accomplishing these upgrades within the Sphera VPS structure of things must be overwhelming, especially given all the variables that must be accounted for on each individual VPS. I know they are working on it. I suspect they are not just working on a way to provide the current upgrades, but rather a way to easily provide ongoing upgrades.

That said, let's have a constructive discussion of why we need these upgrades so badly, how they might affect the software we each have installed on our VPS's, and options we would like to see with regards to these upgrades.

Thanks! Fritz

coppercup
01-14-2005, 08:34 AM
O.K., I'll start. :D

One of the biggest problems I'm facing as I move dozens of accounts from an old host to WestHost is that I need additional libraries compiled into PHP.

I have existing applications that I can't get to work on WestHost until I get this taken care of.

As some of you may know, I've created a guide to upgrading PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin. This was done in response to my own need and so far has been working. However, I am concerned that, even when WestHost implements the upgrades for PHP and MySQL, I will still be faced with the same dilemas I am faced with now. I don't just need the upgrades, I need additional libraries compiled into PHP.

Manually upgrading and compiling PHP has been made especially difficult within the default VPS file structure for two reasons:

1. We don't have true root access…

2. …and, more importantly, library header files required to compile existing libraries into the manually installed version of PHP do not exist within the VPS file structure, as I believe they should.

Number 2 is the real killer here. It is easy enough to get around the root access problem, but impossible to compile a new version of PHP using default configure command with an extra line or two thrown in.

The only workaround is to manually install all the libraries you need, even though most of them already exist in the VPS. This not only takes up valuable disk space, but also can be very difficult. It's one thing to install mhash, and quite another to install imap or openldap.

So, my first suggestion to WestHost as you work on these upgrades: allow us an easier way to either recompile the existing PHP installation or compile our own PHP installation to include support for all the existing libraries.

Thanks for your time! Fritz

Armadillo
01-14-2005, 08:02 PM
My concern is the security flaws in PHP. I have dealt with them with a htaccess file, which slows the site. I prefer the newer software.
All of the reasons listed are good reasons to upgrade.

As I've said before, they can add software to the Site Manager. They should add different versions of PHP and mySQL and let us choose which one we want or need.

WestHost - BErickson
01-14-2005, 08:46 PM
Please see the post I made HERE (http://forums.westhost.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=14505#14505) regarding updates to PHP and MySQL.

coppercup
01-15-2005, 11:44 AM
Well, that is great news! Thank you for your post, Bevan!

Basically, what Beven posted in the linked announcement is that PHP and MySQL upgrades will be available for individual install from within the Site Manager very soon. Sounds like starting Jan 21, they are going to start upgrading servers, though it could take some time before everyone is up and running with the upgrades.

Any word on how these installs might make the task of compiling additional libraries in PHP easier?

Thanks, Fritz