A client I worked for a few years ago called me and asked if I had some availability to move PHP, GPG, and some web pages and PHP from a legacy Solaris 7 box running Netscape web server to a Solaris 10 server running Sun One Java Web server.

Of course, I say, since I like doing hands on technical work, and I always like to help out my clients.  They were interested in moving a bunch of web sites from legacy hardware in the data center to current technology to lower the TCO by spinning down the old boxes once the migration was complete.   Sounds like a good plan.

The best laid plans of mice and men begain when I went to a Sun Software repository web site and tried to find a compiled PHP library for Solaris 10 and Sun One web server.  Suprise Surprise much of the world has migrated away from Sun One web server to Apache since Apache is free and has better performance.  I’ve always been a Netscape Sun One guy, but, a developer that I respect did some performance benchmarks of Sun One webserver versus Apache and the differe in cycles were staggering.  You could support way more users on Apache then Sun One on the same class Solaris server.  That explains why much of the world has migrated to apache.

Back to my story.  No compiled library for PHP and Sun One and the NSAPI could be found, so it became software development 101 time.  I needed to build the PHP library from the source code.

Sounds simple.  Only I install the GCC package, and the compiler barfs about missing librarys.  Googling and noodling remind me that when installing solaris you could pick the base install.   Production server, database server, development server, etc.  And based on your selection, different libraries are installed on the server.

Not that GCC was being helpful.  It barfed up fur balls about missing libraries without much information.

After getting GCC going, PHP needed about a dozen other things installed before it would compile down to an executable.

The same trial and error process occured with the GPG library which provides encyption at no cost compared to the PGP solution.

Finally I got everything compiled and installed.  PHP for  NSAPI, GPG, the forms and all of the scripts and bingo, everything worked like clockwork.

It was really fun rolling up my sleeves and getting technical.  And I was happy to help out my client.