If this were C, Perl, or any other stable programming language I would agree.
However, PHP was not originally written as a general purpose programming language.
Rather, PHP was intended to be a CMS and was itself originally written in Perl.
As a CMS system, not a programming language, PHP was not all that suitable for
general programming. It had several major issues, not the least of which were
ridiculous security problems. The PHP team has been working very hard and making
great strides in developing PHP into a real language appropriate for serious
projects like OsCommerce. PHP 5.3 is a much better language than PHP 4.x was,
and PHP 6.0 (not yet released) is actually a pretty solid platform. Given that it
is PHP we're talking about, and given that the old style PHP code is so aweful
compare to the latest version, I think that leveraging these great improvements
in PHP 5.3 was a great idea.
Some web hosts don't support 5.3 right now, true, but many do. We offer hosting with 5.3 for example.
Last year about 88% of all server hacks were caused by bugs in old PHP code.
Some hosting companies stick with old broken systems which are easily hacked,
while some see the tremendous improvements, including the much better security,
and offer you something far more solid. To me, using old PHP versions and not
even offering a solid version tells me that's a host I would think twice about using.
Yes, some very popular hosts use old crappy versions. AOL is also very popular,
but that in no way means it's the best.
Edited by raymor, 19 April 2011 - 03:33 PM.