[development] Go PHP 5, Go!

Larry Garfield larry at garfieldtech.com
Sun Jun 10 00:39:12 UTC 2007

On Saturday 09 June 2007, Khalid Baheyeldin wrote:

> We don't need to publicize that there is a possibility that we can go
> back in our decision.
> This is a reality check that leaves a fallback option open. If February
> comes and nothing changed as far as distros and hosting companies
> are concerned. What are we going to do then? Just keep forging ahead
> as if PHP4 does not exist, and corner ourselves?
> We can say that we reevaluate this in February and that is it. We don't
> need to make any decisions now (apart from pushing hard for hosts
> and distros to go PHP5).

It's really disingenuous to plan for optionally changing our minds later.  If 
all we do come February is say "we only support PHP 5 now" but we've still 
made sure the code works on PHP 4, then that's frankly dishonest.  Rather, 
whatever version we expect to ship next after that date we should permit 
ourselves to use PHP 5-only features.  There's plenty of places in core where 
that would greatly simplify things, but using PHP 5-specific features, 
naturally, means breaking PHP 4.  (That's the evil cycle that we're all 
caught in right now.)  And there's no reasonable way to then "undo" that if 
we decide "oh well, it wasn't quite as successful as we hoped, I guess we'll 
back out".  

It would be completely infeasible, not to mention destroying any credibility 
Drupal has in the OSS world.  "Wait and see" means "don't participate at 
all".  That would be really unfortunate, as this effort cannot be successful 
without big names like Drupal.  

Larry Garfield			AIM: LOLG42
larry at garfieldtech.com		ICQ: 6817012

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