[wp-hackers] looking for opinions on php5-only plugins

Aaron D. Campbell aaron at xavisys.com
Wed Oct 7 13:28:25 UTC 2009

According to the guys at Automattic, roughly 85% of WordPress installs 
run on PHP 5+.  The idea is to start introducing PHP 5 features and see 
if they can increase that percentage before actually requiring PHP 5.  
However, they currently encourage plugin authors to use PHP 5, which 
will hopefully help push that percentage up as well.

As someone that uses PHP 5 in my plugins, I can say that you need to 
make sure that you state "PHP 5 Required" in as many places as you can.  
In my experience, you will get people that say your plugin doesn't work, 
but usually you can just tell them that it requires PHP 5 and that they 
can talk to their host to switch.  I've noticed that I haven't had a 
single person recently (last 6 months) who was told by their host that 
they didn't offer PHP 5.

As for when 3.0 will be here, there's no exact date set yet (that I know 
of).  I'd estimate that it'll be here in about 6 - 8 months (2.9 isn't 
that far from Beta then RC).  Maybe someone from Automattic could chime 
in with more exact numbers, but that's what I've picked up in the 
developer chats.

Michael Toppa wrote:
> So my specific questions are:
> * Are there any current numbers out there on PHP5 adoption rates, 
> especially among the hosting providers for WordPress users? All the 
> general php5 adoption rate numbers I found online are from years ago 
> and are out of date. Having a sense of how many users I might be 
> leaving in the cold will be the key factor in my decision.
> * Is there any sense of when WordPress 3.0 is coming? It would be 
> helpful to know if my switching to PHP 5 for my plugins would put me 
> ahead of WordPress itself in a timespan measured in months, vs. a 
> timespan of years.

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