Why does PHP still suck on OSX?


I'm a little puzzled and frustrated with Apple.

With Macs, or more specifically OSX, becoming the platform of choice for web developers world over, why do they still insist in neutering our capabilities by bundling limited versions of the most common web development tools rather than all or nothing? With Leopard they at least improved the Ruby install to the point it was useful (you could actually now run Rails without having to compile from source) but PHP is missing so much functionality through the lack of pear and shared libraries to make it a pain to use.

On Linux it's almost standard practice to compile PHP from source, because so few installations include all of the required libraries (due to varied quantities of "suck"). Amusingly on Windows you can obtain all of the libraries out of the box and just enable the ones needed. Contrast this to OSX, which promotes itself as being so much better than Windows, and you get the worst of both worlds - no source to compile and an incomplete binary install.

Even if they insist in bundling their own customized build with the OS, the least they could do is make all of their customized source builds available through MacForge, which would allow those of us who need more than the basics to at least keep our recompilations matched to Apple's standards.

Come on Apple, do the right thing!


This is why I advocate the

This is why I advocate the use of MacPorts to install the dev environment. It has its drawbacks, like you are stuck using whatever the libraries they deem stable, which can lead to some interesting results (GD library doesn' support rotate, and other advanced functionality. But its half way between compiling your own and using binary installers.

I wouldn't touch MAMP with a 10 foot pole, but my soon get over the MacPorts limitations and just go commando and compile it up from scratch, but so far it has served me well, and overcomes all of the issues with the in-built OS X php support.