Yes. There will always be MySQL support in PHP of one kind or another. The only change in PHP 5 is that we are no longer bundling the client library itself. Some reasons in no particular order:
Most systems these days already have the client library installed.
Given the above, having multiple versions of the library can get messy. For example, if you link mod_auth_mysql against one version and PHP against another, and then enable both in Apache, you get a nice fat crash. Also, the bundled library didn't always play well with the installed server version. The most obvious symptom of this being disagreement over where to find the mysql.socket Unix domain socket file.
Maintenance was somewhat lax and it was falling further and further behind the released version.
Future versions of the library are under the GPL and thus we don't have an upgrade path since we cannot bundle a GPL'ed library in a BSD/Apache-style licensed project. A clean break in PHP 5 seemed like the best option.
This won't actually affect that many people. Unix users, at least the ones who know what they are doing, tend to always build PHP against their system's libmysqlclient library simply by adding the –with-mysql=/usr option when building PHP. Windows users may enable the extension php_mysql.dll inside php.ini. For more details, see the MySQL Reference for installation instructions. Also, be sure libmysql.dll is available to the systems PATH. For more details on how, read the FAQ on setting up the Windows systems PATH. Because libmysql.dll (and many other PHP related files) exist in the PHP folder, you'll want to add the PHP folder to your systems PATH.
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