[wp-hackers] PHP 5 any time soon?

Austin Matzko austin at ilfilosofo.com
Mon Jan 25 17:34:45 UTC 2010

On Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 10:09 AM, Andrew Nacin <wp at andrewnacin.com> wrote:
> Instead of simply breaking PHP 4 compatibility, the idea is to use PHP
> 5-only features as a form of progressive enhancement. Over time, more and
> more features in WP will require PHP 5 when no PHP 4 alternative is
> available or if PHP4 compat just isn't worth the trouble.

The problem is that some of the best parts of PHP 5+ are found by
using its particular syntax, which means that "progressive
enhancement" won't work.  PHP 5 is really a different language from
PHP 4, and you can't enhance your way from PHP 4 into PHP 5 any more
than you could enhance your way from Latin into English.  Or at least
the process will take so long that everyone else will have already
left you behind by the time you get there.

There's always (rightfully) talk of how end users will be affected by
requiring PHP 5+, but I think it's imprudent to ignore PHP 4's
wet-blanket effect on developers.  What kind of developers are
attracted to a project if forced to write in a dead language,
excepting those who have an existing commitment or financial

Matt Mullenweg used to say that we'd increase the minimum requirement
to PHP 5 once PHP 4 use fell below 10%.  I think we need to stick with
that criterion to keep from stagnating.

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list