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RHEL 5.6 and php53
RHEL 5.6 beta was recently released. In it includes an optional 'php53' upgrade that is very much the same as the php53 package in IUS. It Conflicts with and replaces stock PHP if one so chooses to replace it (same as IUS). Some issues exist:
a) The package version locked in at 5.3.2 which is behind IUS which is 5.3.3
b) Some of the subpackages were removed (mcrypt, zts, embedded, etc)
Because of both (a) and (b), we can't simply just remove php53 from IUS as it would disrupt current installations and not provide the same features. That said, we will not be able to keep php53 in the stable repo based on part of our policy, specifically:
Replacement Packages ...
* Can not have the same name as another Stock Distro Package
* Must not automatically install, upgrade, or replace Stock Distro Packages when subscribing to the repo.
The above is part of the 'Safe Repo Initiative'  written to provide some level of standardization for 3rd party repos. The problem with leaving php53 in the stable repo is that anyone who subscribes to IUS that has 'php53' installed would automatically upgrade to the IUS version of 'php53' which breaks policy.
A possible solution would be to create an additional repository for these types of packages. Essentially, a repo where IUS packages can move to if they are added to RHEL base. This repo would be different in that it would not be enabled by default via the ius-release package... and the packages in the repo have the same name as a package in stock RHEL.
We have not made any changes at this point. If you have any feedback please feel free to reply on list. Thinking of an appropriate name for the repo would be helpful as well, as we are unsure what name would make sense to users.
Linux Systems Engineer IV / [RH]acker
Infrastructure Services [Development]