[development] Go PHP 5, Go!

Chris Johnson cxjohnson at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 12:00:43 UTC 2007

On 6/26/07, Dries Buytaert <dries.buytaert at gmail.com> wrote:

> Except that this time, we risk leaving 70% of the install base
> behind.  The amount of intelligent/constructive feedback to this
> thread has been surprisingly low.  Let's stick to facts and real
> arguments, please.  I'd like to see a _real_ discussion here.

I rather thought we were having a real discussion.  I'm tempted to ask
just exactly what "real arguments" are.

The facts in the situation are preciously few:

*  PHP5 provides better support than PHP4 for a bunch of technologies.
*  Many developers of PHP-based software would like to move to PHP5
but are held back by the installed base on PHP4.
*  The PHP developers would like the developers and users of PHP-based
software to move ahead to later releases (per Rasmus Lerdorf), but are
similarly held back.
*  Hosting service providers have little motivation to upgrade in such
a situation.

Beyond the above, we have little in the way of "facts" to guide us.
It's not because people simply have not stated those missing facts.
It's because they don't exist.

They don't exist because we are operating in an area of many unkowns
and guessing the future.   One never has all the facts in such a
situation, and even when one does, it is impossible to foretell the

Let me quote Greg Hudson:

"It is important not to let the perfect become the enemy of the good,
even when you can agree on what perfect is. Doubly so when you can't."

As someone who is migrating a bunch of D4.6 sites to D4.7, and
planning migration of 60+ sites from D4.7 to D5 and PHP5 at the same
time, I already feel very "left behind" by the Drupal 6 crowd.  The
amount of support for D5, D4.7 and D4.6 users is rapidly evaporating.
For 4.x, it's quickly approaching zero.

Temporarily leaving 70% of the install base behind will probably be
Good Thing.  It will result in increased pressure for better
documention and support of past releases.  It might even foster some
empathy for the numerous sites which just cannot keep up with the
9-month, break-everything release cycles Drupal is famous for.  That
would beneficial, in my view.

More information about the development mailing list