Why do you get a Parse error with version 1.5.16

From Joomla! Documentation

Version 1.5.16 includes a file that is not compatible with PHP 4. If you run version 1.5.16 on a server with PHP4, you will get this error message:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STATIC, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or '}' in {joomla_root}/libraries/joomla/plugin/helper.php on line 218

Steps to Address This Issue

There are three immediate solutions to this issue.

  1. Upgrade your server to PHP5 (recommended).
  2. Replace the file {joomla_root}/libraries/joomla/plugin/helper.php with the same file from Joomla! version 1.5.15.
  3. Edit the file {joomla_root}//libraries/joomla/plugin/helper.php, line 218, and remove the word "static". After editing, the line should read as follows:
function shutdown()