[development] Go PHP 5, Go!

Larry Garfield larry at garfieldtech.com
Wed Jun 6 15:04:54 UTC 2007

I don't know a number, but that's one of the fears that there may be.  A lot of it could be custom code that someone wrote 6 years ago to PHP 4 standards that will have subtle problems in PHP 5, and they're worried about breaking that.  It's the same reason so many web hosts still run register_globals On, even though it's a glaring security hole; they have thousands of clients, and if even 50 of them have code that would stop working without register_globals that's enough to make them shy away from enforcing it.  

Any distributed PHP applications or frameworks that are not PHP 5 compatible at this point I would consider officially abandoned, honestly.

--Larry Garfield

On Wed, 06 Jun 2007 10:33:39 -0400, Sean Robertson <seanr at ngpsoftware.com> wrote:
> Are there currently that many PHP4 apps that won't run on PHP5?  I
> thought Drupal already does.  Why can't ISPs upgrade without breaking
> older apps?
> I am a huge fan of this idea overall, BTW.  I think migrating apps to
> PHP5 will start forcing ISPs to at least provide the option to upgrade
> since they'll start losing customers if they don't.  At my company, we
> own our own servers so it'd be relatively easy for us to upgrade.
> Larry Garfield wrote:
>> This is a follow-up to the PHP 5 thread from a week or two ago.  It
> looks like
>> some momentum is building.  Ken Rickard, Robert Douglas, and I have been
>> talking with some of the Jooma folks, and have a working draft of the
> "core
>> statement and justification".  That is, what the goal is and why it is.
>> Joomla's development team is discussing the matter and is leaning yes. 
> Based
>> on the earlier thread here I am hoping that there isn't much objection
> to
>> Drupal participating in the "Go PHP5" effort. :-)  So far Joomla is
> leaning
>> yes, CakePHP is interested, and I had a positive first response from
> Typo3.
>> Robert Douglas has volunteered himself to setup a web site for it.
>> I'm not sure how Dries wants to handle the question of Drupal's
> participation
>> (by vote, by consensus, or by fiat).  Dries?
>> Anyway, here's the working statement.  Consider this an official
>> recommendation that Drupal commit to participating in this effort.
>> ------------------------------------
>> PHP 4 has served the web developer community for seven years now, and
> served
>> it well.  However, it also shows its age.  Most of PHP 4's shortcomings
> have
>> been addressed by PHP 5, released three years ago, but the transition
> from
>> PHP 4 to PHP 5 has been slow for a number of reasons.
>> PHP developers cannot leverage PHP 5's full potential without dropping
> support
>> for PHP 4, but PHP 4 is still installed on a majority of shared web
> hosts and
>> users would then be forced to switch to a different application.  Web
> hosts
>> cannot upgrade their servers to PHP 5 without making it impossible for
> their
>> users to run PHP 4-targeted web apps, and have no incentive to go to the
>> effort of testing and deploying PHP 5 while most web apps are still
>> compatible with PHP 4 and the PHP development team still provides
> maintenance
>> support for PHP 4.  The PHP development team, of course, can't drop
>> maintenance support for PHP 4 while most web hosts still run PHP 4.
>> It is a dangerous cycle, and one that needs to be broken.  The open
> source PHP
>> developer community has decided that it is indeed now time to move
> forward,
>> together.  Therefore, the listed open source PHP projects have all
> agreed
>> that effective 5 February 2008, any new feature release will have a
> minimum
>> required PHP version no older than PHP 5.2.0.  It is our believe that
> this
>> will allow web hosts a reason to upgrade and the PHP development team
> the
>> ability to retire PHP 4 and focus efforts on PHP 5 and the forthcoming
> PHP 6,
>> all without penalizing any existing project for being "first out of the
>> gate".
>> ------------------------------------
>> Notes:
>> - I chose the date because I figure that will be 7-8 months after we
>> officially announce this thing, which I believe should be sufficient
> time for
>> web hosts.  It also comes out to 5/2/2008 (using European convention),
> and I
>> just like inside references like that. :-)
>> - This does not preclude any project from moving before the deadline
> date, or
>> from supporting older versions for however long they wish to.  That's up
> to
>> each project.
>> - PHP 5.2 is already the most widely installed version of PHP 5, based
> on the
>> latest published stats.  I know at least two web hosts I work with that
>> either have jumped or are in the process of jumping from PHP 4 straight
> to
>> PHP 5.2.  By the target date it will have been out for nearly a year and
> a
>> half.  It also adds a number of new and useful core features
> (filter_input,
>> json, a stable PDO, etc.).  It's a good version to target.
>> Thoughts?  Comments?  Support?  Rotten tomatoes?
> --
> Sean Robertson
> Web Developer
> NGP Software, Inc.
> seanr at ngpsoftware.com
> (202) 686-9330
> http://www.ngpsoftware.com

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