(Landed here from discussion in GDF). I am curious. This new PHP zip extension... does it work with a fixed memory buffer, or does it allocate memory "as needed"?
If it's the second case, it may be fine for cli scripts, but it will be a complete disaster for Moodle, specially if we end up losing the option of using the external binaries.
In other words, the php 'zip' extension may exist and work bug-free, but depending on its internal implementation, it may still be a fundamentally bad idea to use it in mod_php living inside apache.
One way to test it is to zip and unzip something very large – say, an ubuntu iso – from a PHP script. Does the mem usage of the process grow to the size of the thing being zipped/unzipped or does it stay stable?