I've been learning PHP4 specifically since I first started my self-education of the language a few months ago. I've already finished 2 beginner books that weren't too in-depth and I'm going through a 3rd one now that covers all the details (and reading online tutorials in between). I recently read how PHP4 was no longer going to be supported in a few months, so I've considered stopping where I'm at now and picking up PHP5 stuff instead. Should I forget about that, stick with what I'm learning now (PHP4), and then just wait until I'm done to start learning the new stuff in PHP5? Forgive me for my lack of knowledge of new things available in PHP5 and changes that've been made from PHP4, I need to go to the PHP website and read up on that.
For the majority of your immediate future in PHP programming, there really won't be all too much difference between the way PHP5 handles things compared to PHP4. In general, as with most new versions of software, the changes are additions -- new things built above and beyond what PHP4 could do (the Object Oriented changes being most significant for many people).
My advice would just be to learn using PHP5, since that's the current version. That way, it'll save you having to re-learn and/or adapt to the changes (eg, changes in the order of arguments for functions or new ways of doing certain things).
Again, perhaps I'm repeating myself a little too much but in reality there isn't all too much of a drastic change between PHP4 and 5, for the most part, and that's certainly the case for more introductory level things.
On the contrary, 5 and 4 had a significant change, OOP was the largest of them. OOP changes the way you go about large projects, it is a huge difference in and of itself. I would learn php5 and only do that, php4 is discontinued by the php team.
I dont offer php4 coding services, I advise anyone on a php4 server to upgrade asap.
thanks for replies, I wanted to hear an opinion from some experienced coders that know how things work in both worlds. Next question: Should I start from the beginning again, from the basics, or should I just start where I am with php4 (OOP)?
Seeing as how the OOP has been totally redone in PHP5, stop where you are at now with PHP4 and jump straight into the OOP in PHP5.
As Salathe said, there are some modifications to the language itself - such as different ways of doing things, but as PHP5's OOP is a world away from PHP4's, this is the time I think you should consider switching.
There's absolutely no need to go back to the basics though when you do switch - just if something isn't working how you wanted it to in PHP5 then take a look at the PHP manual to see if things have changed since PHP4. You'll soon adapt!
The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out.
in reality there isn't all too much of a drastic change between PHP4 and 5, for the most part, and that's certainly the case for more introductory level
as OOP isnt considered an introductionary topic. Yes there have been some slight changes but most of it is backward compatable anyway so you really dont have much to worry about and as Wildhoney said just check the php docs, its a wealth of info.
My advice is to get going with PHP5 and learn OOP, its the way to go, especially if your future projects get large in size.
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