[development] Go PHP 5, Go!

Robert Douglass rob at robshouse.net
Tue Jun 19 10:19:58 UTC 2007

This is not the time to be timid. We as developers know deep in our 
hearts that PHP5 is the best thing for Drupal. The amazing resonance 
that Larry and I have been receiving from the developers on other 
projects shows that we're not alone in thinking this.

A PHP5 based Drupal 7 will not cut off the upgrade path of anybody. 
Let's be honest about upgrading Drupal. If you follow the instructions 
then you have to be able to export your database (and potentially import 
it later if you screw things up) and be able to backup the files on your 
file system, potentially replacing them if the upgrade fails. These are 
coincidentally the same steps that are needed to migrate your Drupal 
site to a new web host. There are already plenty of web hosts that 
support PHP5. Anybody who doesn't have the skills to migrate to one is 
fairly unlikely to ever upgrade their Drupal installation anyway.

We have a chance right now to act in unison with a majority of the 
meaningful PHP based FOSS projects. This is an action that has no 
precedent. Never before have we all spoken with one voice in a 
coordinated way. I feel that failing to take a position of strong 
leadership based on what we believe is best for our software is the shot 
in the head, not the other way around.


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

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