[development] Go PHP 5, Go!

Dries Buytaert dries.buytaert at gmail.com
Mon Jun 18 15:32:45 UTC 2007

On 18 Jun 2007, at 16:49, Larry Garfield wrote:
>>> If I can believe my own projections (http://buytaert.net/php-is- 
>>> dead-
>>> long-live-php), PHP5 will have a 30% adoption rate by February 2008,
>>> rather than the current 20%.  Maybe February 2008 is a little too  
>>> early?
>> Not if we can help push it ;)
> That is precisely the intent of the GoPHP5 effort. :-)  Change the  
> curve so that it's not 20%-30%, but 50%+.  That pushes past the  
> tipping point, and PHP 4 can more quickly go the direction of PHP  
> 3.  To do that, though, requires market pressure.  We're trying to  
> be that market pressure.

Sure, I understand that much.  The question is: what if we fail to  
bend the curve?

My guess is that all Drupal installations take up at most 0.5% of  
PHP's total install base.  That doesn't make for a lot of "bending  
power", does it?  Add a dozen of other systems, and it might add up  
to 10% of PHP's total install base?

Are we willing to take this bet and to leave most of our users behind  
when we failed to significantly bend the curve 6 months down the  
road?  Clearly, being able to use PHP5 would help us help our users.  
Not providing an upgrade path for 70-80% of our install base seems to  
be at odd with that.  It certainly has something kamikaze-like.

Will people remember gophp5.org two weeks from now after it fell of  
the Digg main page?  Just asking.

I'm all for pushing PHP5, but I'm not sure I want to take such an  
extreme stance.  As I mentioned in my blog post, let's start by  
making some features PHP5 only.  Like, let's rewrite the aggregator  
module with PHP5's simplified XML parser API.  That's disruptive too,  
but at least we'd be shooting ourselves in the foot, rather than  
through the head.

Dries Buytaert  ::  http://www.buytaert.net/

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