The problem with short open tags is that the following:
<?xml version="1.0" ?>
will cause problems if you're allowed to use short tags (i.e.
<?php is less open to misinterpretation.
Whether or not you're allowed to use short tags is defined by the ini directive
Also I think shorttags are being removed in one of the upcomming releases.
Edit: I was wrong.
Farewell <% They will remove support for the ASP style tags, but the PHP short-code tag will remain - so to those on php general who reckon the short-tag is 'depreceated' - hah! ;)
As @erenon explained here: https://stackoverflow.com/a/1808372/1961535
The difference is that short_open_tag in some cases isnt available. You can check the status by accessing the php.ini file but in case of shared hosting server, the host does not always allow edits to php.ini file.
You can easily print the phpinfo as explained here: https://www.php.net/manual/en/function.phpinfo.php
search for short_open_tag as shown below
It is always better to use full tag because that will always be supported in every version of PHP weather old file or new.