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> If nothing you used required 5.4, why would it be preferable? Is it just a case of being future-proof?

bug fixes, security patches, engine efficiency… and the forward-compatibility you mention is a good thing, too.

I know that many people are “stuck” with legacy software, and I understand – if you don’t have the capability of making everything work with a new version, then you have to make do. (This isn’t our situation, as Bastian is actively working on a fix for this particular issue.)

*However, if you’re not running > 5.3, you **really should be**.*

PHP, believe it or not, is largely backwards-compatible: almost anything you come across that “doesn’t work” in a new version falls into one of the following categories:

(1) it didn’t work in the old version either, but the error was being ignored *and/or* another error was canceling it out *and/or* 98% of the time it failed in just the right way and so no one noticed

(2) it is something that you shouldn’t have been doing in the first place, like using a function that had been outdated and superceeded by another for over eight years (e.g., `mysql_*()`) or relying on a “feature” that was really just a security hole (e.g., `$_REQUEST` or `magic_quotes_gpc`)