[wp-hackers] WordPress moving to PHP 5.3x?

Michael D Adams mda at blogwaffe.com
Thu Jul 12 17:46:29 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 9:31 AM, Mike Schinkel <mike at newclarity.net> wrote:
> Then today someone on our team found KeyRing[1] which "requires PHP 5.3+ to work, because it makes use of some modern features in PHP like late static binding and abstract classes."[2].  This plugin's authors include Automattic and 3 others who I think are Automattic employees so I'm wondering it this is a (semi-official) statement of support for 5.3?

Actions by Automattic should not automatically be taken to be guiding
lights in WordPress' development.  While I'm happy to be a member of
both Automattic and the WordPress community, those two entities are
very different things :)

We (Automattic) developed Keyring for WordPress.com (correction: see
PS), which is PHP 5.3.  As you've obviously noticed, some things are
way easier in PH 5.3 :) That's really the only reason Keyring requires
PHP 5.3: because development was easier and simpler, not because we
think WordPress should soon move to requiring it.

You'll note most of our other plugins (Jetpack included) do not require PHP 5.3.

> So the specific questions are:
> - How soon is it likely for WordPress to move to 5.3, especially considering how much debate was had moving from 4 to 5.x?

No idea. I imagine PHP 5.2 is at least 2/3 of the install base out
there, so probably not any time soon.  (That 2/3 is a guess, not a

> - Is assuming 5.3 a moot point for most professional site builders starting new sites?  Or are there still a lot of prescribed environments where the client forces <5.3?

No idea.  New sites are probably more likely to support 5.3 than old
sites, but if you're looking for wide applicability, you need to
target WordPress' minimum requirements: 5.2.4.

> - Why did KeyRing choose 5.3?  Was it really needed, or just preference?  Did they paint 5.2 out of the picture on purpose, or was if a detail they really didn't think about?

Preference.  We thought about it.  We decided it wasn't worth the
extra headache to support PHP 5.2.  Though there's been interest from
the community around Keyring, it's probably not something any given
site will need.  If it convinces someone to upgrade to 5.3, so much
the better, but that decision may not be a good one for your
plugin/theme.  It's certainly a horrible one for core at the moment.


PS: I just checked with Beau, the original author.  Before its use on
WP.com, he wrote the original version of Keyring as a personal
project.  He intentionally disregarded the notion of wide adoption and
wasn't even sure we'd end up using it on WP.com.

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