Yesterday announced the release of PHP 5.5 Beta-1. This is a great news after the concerns that merging Zend Optimizer+ would really slow things down, but the releases are still ticking along. So, what can you do to help out? Test it, without doing any work.

If you’re on Ubuntu you can run these commands:

$ sudo apt-get install re2c  
$ sudo apt-get install bison

If you’re on OSX then you can install using Homebrew:

$ sudo brew install re2c  
$ sudo brew install bison

Thinking about running any of this on Windows makes my brain itch, so you’ll have to work that out for yourself.

With those tools installed simply clone the repo, build and run tests:

$ cd /tmp  
$ git clone -b PHP-5.5  
$ cd php-src  
$ ./buildconf  
$ ./configure --disable-all --enable-debug --enable-maintainer-zts  
$ make test

60% of the time, this works every time. If it fails you’ll see a summary of the failed test(s)

===================================================================== FAILED TEST SUMMARY --------------------------------------------------------------------- Test fileperms() & chmod() functions: usage variation - misc. perms [ ext/standard/tests/file/006_variation2.phpt] chmod() basic functionality [ext/standard/tests/file/chmod_basic.phpt] ===================================================================== You may have found a problem in PHP. This report can be automatically sent to the PHP QA team at and This gives us a better understanding of PHP's behavior. If you don't want to send the report immediately you can choose option "s" to save it. You can then email it to [email protected] later. Do you want to send this report now? [Yns]: Y Please enter your email address. (Your address will be mangled so that it will not go out on any mailinglist in plain text): [email protected] Posting to Thank you for helping to make PHP better.

Any errors will be reported for you, and there you have it, you’ve helped make PHP more stable.

If you have multiple operating systems available to you (various Vagrant boxes rocking different environments, or a work laptop) then go and run the tests there too. The more this is run on different environments the better.

Finally, if you’re using PHP 5.4 on your servers, why not make a PHP 5.5 branch in your repo and test this out on a vagrant box somewhere? If your code needs changes then you can keep that branch up to date, so when PHP 5.5.0 final releases you’re ready to go as soon as your servers upgrade. No harm, no foul.

PHP 5.5 looks awesome, so anything you can do to help get it stable means we all get it faster and less buggy.

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Phil Sturgeon

Phil has contributed to CodeIgniter, FuelPHP, Laravel and handfuls of other projects, to try and make the PHP community a better place.


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Everyone and their dog wants an API, so you should probably learn how to build them.

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Published 01 Feb 2014


Phil Sturgeon

Founder of PyroCMS, Senior Developer at Ride, Programming Polyglot, PHP-FIG member, and occasionally gets chased by bears

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