[development] PHP5 going forward

Ken Rickard agentrickard at gmail.com
Wed May 23 01:17:39 UTC 2007


I received a private note from Larry Garfield this morning based on
something I posted online, so it's time to make it more public.

Jonah Braun, who is on Joomla's security team and the 1,5 core team works in
my office.  When I came back from DrupalCON, I toid him that Rasmus had
asked Drupal to drop support for PHP4.  Jonah immediately took to the idea,
and here's what he saw as the challenges.

Two problems with dropping PHP4 support:

1) Many hosts (including mine) only support 4.x
2) If one project (Drupal) drops it but the other doesn't (Joomla), the
audience (both developers and users) may abandon the project that drops

Jonah's modest proposal: An agreement to set a release version (or date)
where major PHP-based projects drop PHP4 support.

Larry, always ambitious, suggested that we get WordPress and Galley
involved, too.

I can very clearly see the advantage to projects setting an arbitrary date
(say, January 1, 2008) after which we don't officially support PHP4.  THis
wouldn't say that we try to break PHP4, simply that new feature development
(and patch support and security updates) require PHP 5.

So consider this a modest proposal to get folks thinking about how to move
forward together.  I already passed Larry on to Jonah to see who might make
that decision on the Joomla side.

- Ken Rickard
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