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Upgrading to PHP 5 by Adam Trachtenberg

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Installing XML and XSLT Support

PHP 5 uses libxml2 and libxslt as the underlying foundation for its XML support. By hooking into these tools, PHP developers don’t need to write their own XML processors, which gives them more time to work on PHP.

Originally written for the GNOME project, libxml2 is a standalone library that can be used by other programs, including languages like PHP. Written in C, libxml2 runs on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, and many other operating systems. The official libxml2 web site is at http://www.xmlsoft.org/.

libxml2 offers several benefits over other XML parsers: speed, licensing, and standards. While other XML parsers might be faster in certain specialized circumstances, libxml2 is overall one of the fastest parsing engines available.

libxml2 also implements most XML specifications. In addition to the basic XML standard, libxml2 also supports XML Namespaces, XPath, XPointer, XInclude, XML Catalogs, Relax NG, and XML Schemas Part 2. Additional standards are being added on a regular basis. libxml2 also integrates with libxslt to support XSLT.

PHP 5 requires libxml2 2.5.10 or higher. If you are running Unix or Mac OS X, find the version of libxml2 on your machine by running xml2-config --version:

% xml2-config --version

2.5.10

If this program cannot be found or the version number is lower than 2.5.10, you must install (or upgrade) libxml2 on your machine. The latest version of libxml2 is available at http://www.xmlsoft.org/downloads.html.

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