It was a long run and I'm sure it felt like an eternity for many - for me it certainly did. PHP 5.3 was branched of over two years ago and finally is ready to be called 5.3.0.
The php.net website and many other blogs discuss the features - from often loved closures, to well discussed namespaces to the sometimes hated goto - so I think I don't have to this here but instead can focus on that what really matters:
Thanks to all the developers - Without them no new features would be there.
Thanks to the documentation team - Without them one would have to decipher the NEWS file and guess what exactly is meant.
Thanks to all participants during the Testfest! - During the Testfest we received many good tests for our regression test suite. Many of these tests represent what people do, not what developers think they should do which is important to reduce the risk of regressions. I hope people don't stop sending tests!
Thanks to all the testers who reported bugs, and to the ones who reported that their applications worked without issues! - Regression tests are important but many possible issues can only be found in real life scenarios with real applications.
Thanks to the whole community to make pressure on the developers to finally get it out as everybody is waiting for the new features.
And last, but certainly not least: Thanks to Lukas! - Handling developers who are passionate for their work can be tough. Lukas made sure that the developers focus on what really matters and really helped me with all the work needed :-)
So with that: In case you didn't do already: Browse over to php.net and grab your copy, it's for free!
If you want to celebrate the release and are close to Munich: We're planing a PHP Release Party on July 17th, details on that will follow.