[development] Looking forward next year and PHP versions

Karoly Negyesi karoly at negyesi.net
Tue Nov 14 15:54:24 UTC 2006

Unlike the MySQL version, I am not sure at all but here are some thoughts.

First, how is the world regarding PHP versions?
*) By 2007, Debian Etch with PHP5 support will be out. (It's currently scheduled to December 2006 and even if it slips to Jan 2007, it matters little here). Please do not litter the thread with praise/critique/flames re. Debian.
*) 2007 will see PHP 6.0 released (http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/10/31/HNphproadmap_1.html) and I think this means PHP 4 will be EOL'd. Of the PHP5 line, I would consider only PHP5.1, as 5.0 is pretty old and broken in very interesting ways. Also note that 5.2 is already out.

And what Drupal could do?
*) Drupal 6 could have PHP 4.4 as a minimum so that we can use Unicode properties in pregs and thus simplify search module for example.
*) Drupal 6 could begin to deprecate PHP4 with using PHP5 only functions , like array_diff_key , array_walk_recursive and such. These could be emulated by an include file. We would not use features that can't be emulated. With this technique we can have quicker and smaller code on PHP5 and still keep compatible with PHP4. We might need to talk to the guys who have written PEAR PHP Compat -- what they think of GPL'ing a part of that work? The problem is that some functions can be --easily-- emulated only in one way and I do not want to appear as if we stolen their code.
*) Drupal 7 could drop PHP4 compat alltogether. If we keep the six month schedule, this will be released around the end of 2007 and run in 2008, so I think it's time. Unless we begin to use some advanced OOP mojo of PHP5 it's very likely that with the compatibility include and some PECL extensions D7 would still run on PHP4 -- just it would not be supported. I had some list here of what I want to use in PHP5 but I simply do not want this thread to divulge into that. Let's pretend we have an agreement that we know there are stuff exclusivel to PHP5 which we want.
So, what do you think of climbing the version ladder? Please, please try to be on topic, this will be hard enough without another lamer commenting "oh great, but when Drupal 5 will be out".


More information about the development mailing list