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

Mike Schinkel mike at newclarity.net
Sat Jul 14 20:03:37 UTC 2012

Hi guys,

I really appreciate all the feedback on this.  Ryan, thanks for finding the get_called_class() function, I wasn't familiar with it though I definitely see why it's needed (I have been focused on __callStatic().)

To everyone who commented may I ask what *you* would choose as a minimum requirement? Assume you are planning to release an open-source plugin targeting professional site builders who build CMS-focused WordPress websites for businesses and other organization (as opposed to "feature" plugins for a existing blogs?) 

The nature of the plugins are they will be used for new sites only, or maybe for existing sites if they are significantly overhauled and our goal will be to establish a large base of site builders using them. Note that what we have includes one foundational plugin, not really a "feature" plugin and nothing an end user would install, and then multiple vertical-market focused plugins (we're starting with just one vertical market.) 

The reason we're agonizing over this is because when I asked on Twitter I got answers from professional site builders like this that indicate they might have to build for <5.3:


Also earlier this year I was consulting with an agency that was building a website for Coke and they (Coke) had a specific install that the agency was required to use because it had been tested and validated;  it was WordPress v3.1 (yes, 3.3 was already out, but they were not allowed to use it.) Of course in that situation they would likely not be able to use our plugin(s) either, so that scenario is likely moot.

So we've been back and forth on this issue and, at this minute are leaning to 5.3 being a minimum requirement.  But given that wide adoption is a goal I ask Otto, Beau, Michael, Brian, Ryan, John and Brian: "What would *you* chose as a min PHP level required for use if you were releasing a plugin targeting the same market and with the same goals?" (Chason, I assume I already know what you would do. :)

Thanks again in advance for your advice.


On Jul 13, 2012, at 8:22 PM, Brian Layman wrote:

> On 7/13/2012 6:36 PM, Beau Lebens wrote:
>> If I was writing a plugin/system/component/theme/whatever for
>> WordPress with distribution and widespread adoption in mind, then I'd
>> aim it at the base WordPress requirements, so 5.2.
>> Since I wasn't doing those things, I wrote it in what I was
>> comfortable in and what worked for me, 5.3.
> That's a fair statement and completely legit.
> We need to remember that it is up to the developer what software they write and how they write it.  Their goals and plans may not match those of majority and that's perfectly fine.  If someone wants to come along and respectfully (or not I suppose) create a derivative work without those requirements, that's the benefit of GPL.
> That said, I've no problem with plugins starting raise the bar higher than circa 2008.  This sort of thing is what starts the ball rolling and causes clients to ask questions about upgrading their servers/hosting to newer software releases. From everything I've seen, 5.3 is significantly faster than 5.2 and may offer some security improvements over the version currently installed on a server. This is a good thing..
> Brian Layman
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