I’d have to agree and disagree with the poster of this thread.
It is true that Magento can be quite a nightmare to get it working,
1) you have root but you do not have sufficient system admin (linux/win) knowledge (things like pdo_mysql for example)
2) you do not have root and you are stuck with a hosting provider that does not provide the requirements for Magento
Then in that case, only thing to do but upgrade, upgrade, upgrade! =)
And think about it on the bright side,
If it wasn’t for all these high strict requirements to get Magento running, you might not have Magento as you would get today.
It is all these latest fancy technologies Magento team is using which allows us to have a wonderful ecommerce application(for free no less)
On top of that, magento is still under heavy development but it has already set many new grounds to what an open source ecommerce should be like.
I’m sure Magento team could have built this application to work on all servers just like osCommerce but doing so will set them back 5 years in terms of coding design and pattern.
PHP 5 is a huge upgrade from PHP 4 and it really makes coding different from PHP 4.
I remember when osCommerce and zen cart first came out, they had security exploits after exploits and was a serious headache to system administrators.
But with PHP 5, I feel that the security risks are much lowered due to proper coding style and a more solid coding pattern.
Whichever you go at it, it is a do or die move by Varien but this is a move that should be honored by all open source developers around the world.
PHP 4 had some of the most security prone open source apps I have ever seen and I really feel it is about time PHP developers take the right move going forward.
Sure PHP 5 will also present unknown security hazaards, but the risks are much lowered than those of PHP 4.