Training, Open Source Computer Languages

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Current software versions

This is an archived page; we keep current software version information up to date at
The Opentalk Forum.
The current stable version of Perl is 5.6.1, and the current "bleeding edge" development version is 5.7.2. There's a Perl 5.8 "in the works", consolidating and stabilising all the work done on 5.7, and looking further ahead development work proceeds on the internals of Perl 6 - see the Parrot article in this newsletter.

If you're happily running with Perl 5.005 or 5.6.0, you probably won't want to upgrade to 5.6.1 ... Perl's be around long enough to have included everything most people want for ages; if you're running an earlier Perl, it probably is worth moving up to 5.6.1 ... modules added at recent releases have increased functionality, and many of the CPAN modules that you may want to make use of require a reasonably recent version.


There's a Beta release of MySQL - 4.0 - out for testing and development work. To some extent this is an "enabling" release which restructures some of the code internals to allow for further enhancement ... MySQL has been known as a fast and reliable relational database engine, but with more limited facilities than other engines, and the enhancements now and in 4.0.1 (expected "any day") will help redress that balance.

For production use, and for development where you're not pressing the bounds of MySQL, you might like to stick with 3.23.48 (or another recent version) just for the moment. Remember, if you download the source code you can compile up MySQL to include or exclude support for database table formats such as Berkeley and INNOdb. If you download a pre-compiled binary, you can choose between the standard version which doesn't include many of the compile-optional features, or the MAX version which includes most of them.


The popularity of PHP continues to rocket. Most users have now moved on from PHP 3 to PHP 4, with a phenomenal increase in performance achieved by the Zend engine. There were a few very specific compatibility issues between PHP 3 and PHP 4, so do check your code before you upgrade your production system, just in case!

The current issue of PHP is 4.1.1 (see separate article elsewhere in this newsletter); the big change in 4.1.x from 4.0.6 relates to security issues of variables set up from forms, cookies and the environment.

Please note that articles in this section of our web site were current and correct to the best of our ability when published, but by the nature of our business may go out of date quite quickly. The quoting of a price, contract term or any other information in this area of our website is NOT an offer to supply now on those terms - please check back via our main web site

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You'll find shorter technical items at The Horse's Mouth and delegate's questions answered at the Opentalk forum.

At Well House Consultants, we provide training courses on subjects such as Ruby, Lua, Perl, Python, Linux, C, C++, Tcl/Tk, Tomcat, PHP and MySQL. We're asked (and answer) many questions, and answers to those which are of general interest are published in this area of our site.

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