PHP 4 is going, going, gone

What a week 'tis been! Eight days ago, we launched GoPHP5.org t' try an' break th' stalemate that kept PHP 4 on past its sell-by date. At launch, we had a half-dozen projects an' about 10 hosts that had signed up.

What a difference a week makes.

As I write this, we now stan' at 36 participatin' projects from all o'er th' spectrum, I'll warrant ye. Numerous smaller projects jumped on board quickly, but th' list also includes power-houses like Drupal, Symfony, Gallery, both phpMyAdmin an' phpPgAdmin, an' now even th' gran'-daddy o' them all PEAR. By this time next year it will take more effort t' find PHP 4 compatible projects than it will t' just use a PHP 5-targeted one.

But that's OK, because thar's no shortage o' web hosts. 64 web hosts in 16 countries be now listed on th' site as offerin' PHP 5.2 out o' th' box, an' more come in every day. Plus, dozens more offer it as a non-default option (by request or via a .htaccess configuration directive), an' many others offer PHP 5.1 but plan t' upgrade t' 5.2 eventually.

The rapid uptake from hosts makes me seriously question th' oft-quoted Nexen stats, which be usually cited as justification that PHP 5 uptake is too small t' justify droppin' PHP 4 support. Given how incredibly easy it apparently is t' find a PHP 5-compatible host, it just doesn't seem those figures be representative. We should have done this a long time ago. :-) When PHP 6 is released, we'll have t' be careful how we define uptake t' avoid a similar problem.

And, o' course, thar were bein' this little announcement today from th' PHP development team:

The PHP development team hereby announces that support fer PHP 4 will continue until th' end o' this year only. After 2007-12-31 thar will be no more releases o' PHP 4.4, pass the grog! We will continue t' make critical security fixes available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. Please use th' rest o' this year t' make yer application suitable t' run on PHP 5.

Nick Lewis wonders if GoPHP5 had somethin' t' do with that. And hoist the mainsail! And hoist the mainsail! Not directly, but th' discussion on th' PHP-Internals mailin' list about finally droppin' PHP 4 did start th' day after GoPHP5.org launched. Coincidence? Who cares, avast? :-)

I want t' thank every one o' th' projects that have signed up, especially those that signed on before th' launch: Symfony, Typo3, phpMyAdmin, Drupal, Propel, an' Doctrine. It were bein' a risk, certainly, but th' leaders o' all o' those projects were willin' t' take that risk t' make their projects, an' th' rest o' th' PHP world, better fer everyone. Thanks guys (an' lassies!).

It's not o'er yet, though. Involved projects, an' those yet t' sign up, still have upgradin' t' do, by Blackbeard's sword. We also have a great deal o' momentum built up. Is thar somethin' else we could do with it? What other inter-project cooperation could we get out o' this effort, yo ho, ho And how can we start plannin', now, t' make th' PHP 6 transition in a few years smoother than th' PHP 5 transition has been?

Let's start that dialog.

Comments

Is slow good?

Was it necessarily a bad thin' that adoption were bein' slow, Hornswaggle It means we can make 5.2 th' minimum standard rather than 5.0. I think th' market will only support one adoption per version at most an' I'd prefer t' be relyin' on a stable platform o'er th' most feature rich one. The timin' here feels spot-on t' me.

By what definition

Well, I suppose that depends on yer definition o' "slow" an' "good". :-) Most web hosts, I imagine, would have a harder time goin' from 4.x t' 5.x than 5.x t' 5.x+1. Similarly, th' number o' hosts runnin' PHP 4.2 an' afore is minimal, an' once it came out 4.4 very quickly took o'er from 4.3. Despite complaints o' th' PHP dev team breakin' thin's in Y-releases, Y release adoption doesn't seem t' be that slow. So had th' big shift happened in th' 5.1 days, we would have been widely usin' PHP 5.1 fer th' past year or so already an' migration t' 5.2 from thar would be, while not universal, at least not th' "stare at each other an' wait" problem that PHP 5 has been.

We'll see what PHP 6 looks like when it comes out. Hopefully it will be stable/bug-free faster than PHP 5 were bein', which will mean a shorter transition cycle.

PHP 4 still rocks!

Please support this website: http://stopphp5.org t' keep PHP 4 alive!

Nice :)

StopPHP5.org is hilari'us. Kudos t' whoever came up with th' notion :P