[wp-hackers] PHP5

Robert Deaton false.hopes at gmail.com
Mon May 21 21:12:15 GMT 2007

To be quite honest, I'm really rather frustrated with much of the BS
that's been flying around this mailing list for the past couple days,
from the proponents and opponents of adopting PHP5 for some magical
future version. Its also frustrating having to read people repeating
stupid comments because they haven't read the thread or just flat out
don't know what the hell they're going on about. Let's get a few facts

1. PHP5 is not more widespread than PHP5. Perhaps it is today on the
larger hosts, Site5, Godaddy, Dreamhost, ASO, MediaTemple, [insert
your favourite buzzy host here], but at the same time, the thousands
upon thousands of smaller hosts out there, relying on nothing but
cPanel/WHM for their server management, are stuck on PHP4. The smaller
hosts vastly outnumber the large hosts that everyone can quickly name
with PHP5 support. Face the facts, PHP4 is still far more common.
Here's a nice graph for PHP's version distribution as of April 2007.

2. There are advantages to switching, and it is holding developers
back on features that they might want to implement. Does this mean we
should switch immediately? No, but there are certainly features of
PHP5 that we could use and hindrances of PHP4 that we could lose
(rhyming not intended).

3. It is too early to tell. WordPress has been having issues even
locking down a 4 month development cycle, and yet people are trying to
predict 1 year into the future? We don't know where PHP will be then,
we don't know where WordPress will be then, and we don't even know
that there will be a version 3 by then. Let's take things as they
come, we're getting ahead of ourselves with even having this

With those things in mind, right now, despite being one of the people
who has always actively promoted PHP5 and the only one to even post a
list of reasons to move to PHP5 on the list so far, I say that we are
not ready to make a decision on when we should drop support for PHP4.
Keep it for now, bring this discussion back up later once PHP5 has _at
least_ a majority marketshare, or a killdate for PHP4 support has been
announced by the PHP team, and we'll be more prepared to answer the

--Robert Deaton

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