At this stage, PHP 5.1 is not looking to be quite as spectacular. Some enhancements to Perl regular expressions, a few extra array functions… nothing to write home about. But there is one significant enhancement to PHP in 5.1: PHP Data Objects (PDO). The PDO library lets you access any of an extensive selection of supported databases using a signle set of functions. So not only do you only need to learn one set of functions to write for multiple databases, but you can transition an application to another database without having to change all the functions throughout your code.
Not a ton of detail about PDO, but I’m curious to check it out. I’ve bought heavily into PEAR DB_DataObject on most of my apps from the past year, so I’ll be interested to see how PDO compares in terms of rapid app dev (the main reason I’ve used DB_DataObjects).
Check out Wez Furlong’s blog for more info on PDO.
Alan Knowles is working on DBDO, what appears to basically be an implementation of DB_DataObject as a PECL extension — sensible, since he’s lead on DB_DataObject as well. It’s currently quite alpha, but I hope that Alan is able to continue work on this and get it closer to a usable state.