[development] Go PHP 5, Go!

Larry Garfield larry at garfieldtech.com
Sun Jun 10 01:05:56 UTC 2007

On Saturday 09 June 2007, Chris Kennedy wrote:

> So, a coordinated shift to PHP5 is more persuasive if there is no
> possibility for reevaluation.
> This brings to mind some possible tactics for Drupal to pursue:
>  * Provide a chance for distributions and hosting companies to give
> feedback on the proposal, prior to the final commitment.

I have been thinking in the past few days if contacting selected hosts to get 
their feedback as well would be a good idea.  Allie mentioned[1] that she 
runs a web hosting company and supported this idea because it would make her 
life simpler, too.  Allie, your input here would be hugely welcome.  What's a 
good way to go about getting your company and other web hosts on board?

[1] http://lists.drupal.org/archives/development/2007-05/msg00465.html

>  * Provide adequate time for distributions and hosting companies to
> upgrade (this is where the input process will also help).

>  * Recruit as many participating projects as possible.
>  * Secure concrete, irreversible agreements from all participating
> projects. 

I am actively working on these points, which is what this thread is about. :-)  
If anyone has suggestions for projects that we should contact, let me know.  
So far my hitlist consists of Drupal, Joomla, CakePHP, Symfony (they say 
they're in), Symfony's partner projects, Gallery, and WordPress (Dries said 
he talked to Matt and he's being stubborn, but we need to keep on it).

> * Clearly communicate the rationale and benefits of the decision, 
> citing external, legitimate authorities if possible (e.g. Zend).

We should see if we can get a quote or comment out of Rasmus, too, especially 
giving how much he was haranguing on us about this at DrupalCon. :-)

>  * Secure internal commitment by adding code, or reimplementing old
> code, in ways that eliminate the possibility of reverting to PHP 4.

Agreed.  I think by just explicitly allowing devs to use PHP 5 features this 
will happen naturally for Drupal.

>  * Measure the extent to which its community is affected (e.g. by
> including a question on php4 vs. php5 in the drupal.org user survey).
>  * Reduce migration costs by providing documentation or even automated
> testing and conversion (coder.module, unit test automation, etc.).

The GoPHP5.org site can probably include some guides and tips for making sure 
code is PHP 5-friendly.

>  * Promote (communicating to its users) distributions and hosting
> companies that provide PHP 5, and penalize or deemphasize those that do
> not.

One of the plans for the web site is a listing of web hosts that offer PHP 5.2 
as their default setup for new sites (with appropriate "we aren't endorsing 
or saying these work with every project, just that they're playing nice" text 
to CYA).  

Agreed on all points down the line, Chris!

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

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