I won't get into the technical discussion as I lack the skills and understanding in this field. I think it's great that a discussion is had about how things could be done alternatively. At the same time, lets also, for the sake of discussion, clarity and peace of mind, have the following things in the open as well:
1) While assumed, it hasn't been proven that the original problems in #1 are related to code and PHP version differences. Until that happens the discussion of re-coding is premature. His errors could depend on a zillion other things.
(Let's imagine it becomes fact and that the assumption is right: Does it, even then, follow that we should strive to maximize backward compatibility? What for, since the language is always moving forward and the servers with it? If we accept that reasoning, why not make it run on PHP4 as well? And how does backward compatibility affect the power that the latest PHP offers us - doesn't it make our code older than necessary and less powerful due to abiding to compatibility issues? As seen, it's a somewhat more complex object than has been mentioned in this thread...)
2) Sharing input, knowledge and having a creative discussion, which I think this is, is great. In the end though, somebody has to also make decision and then implement it. In contrast to many around the net pennomi invited us all to do whatever we wish and think is better. Stylistically coders would solve the same problems in plenty of different ways at times. Solutions would depend on possibilities, personal knowledge and also creativity, among other things. Some times a problem has a more obvious and objectively correct solution. Others not, and what's considered to be a good solution or not would be pretty subjective and dependent of taste.
Summed up: The coder that is doing the work decides in the end (which could be guest coder writing just that thing as well as the main ones). Whenever possible co-work is great. Same goes for input. Just see to it that the call is made sooner rather than later (e.g. this discussion shouldn't take the energy and focus form you guys for a month ; ).
In general, it is also my personal unscientific view that it's often quite better to do rapid and semi-decent dev. of the code and have something working in a near future than to seek perfection and dev. something in snail speed, re-writing, discussing, re-writing again and so on. I think that stage should get a natural place in the process with time, but that is just me and doesn't need to be true for everyone in here.
I myself don't care how things get done. I'm interested in the results, and that they're satisfactory. I think it's amazing that you guys help out, give your time and are a part of a project that's still quite young and growing.
I do openly believe in meritocracy, but having the most knowledge about how to move a mountain doesn't make a mountain move. Practicing that knowledge does. So, sometimes, I'd rather see the less effective turn it into dust and move it, than the potentially super-effective theorizing about how it could be moved
However, in cases where we'd have one of each persons running willingly to the task, the choice is easy - the better suited one should perform it.
What's good with this discussion is that we, even over a simple matter such as this, get to see much of what I've written about: Creativity and willingness to help each other, by advice, or by code eventually (let's keep in mind all have their hands full already hehe...)
If I, pennomi and whoever else that has tried CS on his/her machine don't have a problem, then there is likely no serious problem that needs a re-write. If you guys want info about the PHP on the server that hosts CS, please view http://chaosrealm.net/test.php
...maybe that would help. The host is a really shitty one. If that can run the script, then most will be able to.
Personally I would only do a rewrite if there were performance gains or if code would be easier to follow for future coders, and this is so simple stuff that there won't be at these levels of work, I think.
That said, it's not my call - I honestly believe you guys that do the work should make the calls as well when it comes to the tech parts (and no, thats not the same as features ; ) ..project h needs of certain functions being filed that we can't compromise with, yet there is plenty of room to add new stuff beyond those if it makes sense.)