[development] Go PHP 5, Go!

Victor Kane victorkane at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 12:59:02 UTC 2007

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

I think there has been a great deal of intelligent/constructive feedback,
the best of it _strategic_, as for example in the case of Robert Douglass
(sorry Robert, this doesn't make you responsible for the stuff I say :)  :

...We as developers know deep in our
hearts that PHP5 is the best thing for Drupal.
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.

Because, at a time (a very different situation from 2005) in which Drupal
wins a Web 2.0 award in the Publishing category from CNET, alongside Flash,
WordPress and Blogger, the real debate is, what is the _real_ Drupal

What is the _real_ Drupal roadmap?

To be another script people can install from Fantastico (above and beyond
the frequency of update problem); or a CMS Application Framework?

If the latter is the case, we must be moving towards an object-oriented
paradigm for most of core. That is why partial "compromise" solutions won't
work: the ideas of making Drupal _partly_ compatible with PHP4 is a deal
breaker. We need to shift to PHP5 to avoid painting ourselves into a
"scripty" corner out of which we will never emerge. In order, too, to save
PHP5 itself as a decent framework language.

That is what is going on: the fight for a Web 2.0 application framework.
This requires a gradual paradigm shift only possible with a relatively
short-term move to PHP5. So as to gain time in order to be able to be
gradual in our paradigm shift to an object oriented framework (some
procedural in the innards of core, but an object oriented API). It is that
or oblivion, in the long run. Only we can choose.


Victor Kane
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