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

Jeremy Clarke jer at simianuprising.com
Wed Oct 7 14:52:31 UTC 2009

On Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 10:05 AM, Sharon Chambers <sharon at brewerradio.com> wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> * 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 are out of date.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.

This came up recently but just to have it mentioned in this thread
also: Remember that not all PHP 5's are created equal. There are a lot
of functions/features added in PHP 5.2 that are very useful but not
available to a lot of the people using PHP 5.

Specifically, CentOS/RHEL is sticking with 5.1.x currently, and the
process of upgrading to PHP 5.2.x is complicated enough that even
reasonably knowledgeable sysadmins could get stymied (installing new
repos, futzing with repo priorities, risking using the 'testing'
repo). I bet that a lot of the hosts that provide PHP 5 wouldn't even
know about or would be unwilling to make the upgrade to 5.2.x.

ALSO: I noticed it 'cause of a few Drupal modules that needed it
(blegh). Drupal has an elaborate system for specifying in your module
metadata what version of PHP is required and showing errors if your
version isn't high enough. IMHO this isn't even a particularly good
system, as it turns out some of the modules actually list higher
requirements than they require, simply because the maintainer didn't
feel like testing it on older PHP versions and just listed the version
they use (forums tell you to 'fix' it by just changing the hardcoded
requirements in the module file!).

I think the best solution is to note any functionality that is version
specific and show useful errors (with links to 'how to get your server
upgraded by your host' articles in the codex or whatever) to people
who are missing functionality, just like you should for apache/PHP
modules that a server might be missing.

Jeremy Clarke | http://jeremyclarke.org
Code and Design | http://globalvoicesonline.org

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