[development] Go PHP 5, Go!

Chad Kieffer chad at 2tbsp.com
Sat Jun 9 17:10:11 UTC 2007

I applaud this effort and submit the following for consideration.

Be careful in questioning the "why" question with ISPs, I would not  
lump them into a single "lazy" category. There are many, including  
Dreamhost, that provide customers a choice between PHP 4 or 5.  
Perhaps constructive suggestions on how ISPs/Hosts can configure  
their hosting environment to support the cause and why they should  
(security, performance, etc.).

It's been mentioned by others in this thread already, the problem  
isn't FOSS compatibility with PHP 5, it's custom app compatibility  
with PHP 5. If I'm a developer and am not going to get paid to  
upgrade my customer's PHP 4 site, why should I even bother? Here lies  
the biggest challenge of this effort, IMHO. I think providing  
information on upgrading apps from 4 to 5 would be helpful, but  
probably won't yield great results.

Practical transition plans are what needed. Perhaps allowing visitors  
to share their migration/upgrade experiences would be helpful.

- Chad Kieffer

On Jun 5, 2007, at 11:25 PM, 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?

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