[Phpmyadmin-devel] going to PHP 5-only

Thijs Kinkhorst thijs at debian.org
Sun Jun 17 17:44:09 CEST 2007

On Thursday 14 June 2007 17:20, Marc Delisle wrote:
> > The most concrete drawback is that it will be hurting those users who
> > have no control over their host's PHP config or have other reasons not to
> > upgrade to PHP 5 yet.
> We are talking about not releasing for PHP 4 our new-feature releases
> after 5 Feb 2008. Users who want to run the current phpMyAdmin version
> on PHP4 hosts will be able to; meanwhile they can put pressure on their
> hosts. And remember, this is part of a bigger movement that should
> convince providers to switch.

For me personally it's not about "hosting providers" but rather in-house 
custom developed systems. I've had the experience that the upgrade from PHP4 
to PHP5 can be quite non-trivial, especially if you have a large custom 
application that needs to be ported.

I'm therefore wary of updating requirements of PHP 5, unless there's a 
demonstratable benefit to it. I'm also active in another project, 
SquirrelMail. We've noticed that there have only been very few items where a 
PHP 5 construct would have done something slightly better, but we were able 
to fix those just by using a couple of lines of code extra. If that's all it 
takes, it doesn't outweigh excluding those not ready to upgrade yet.

To me a logical point to stop supporting PHP4 would be when it either becomes 
a too big a burden for the code (which I'm seeing not much concrete examples 
of), or when PHP itself stops support for it.

> > And if you decide to move to PHP5 only, how will PHP4-bound users be
> > security-supported?
> You are right, we will have to deal correctly with this; the stable
> phpMyAdmin version on 5 Feb 2008 will have to be maintained for some time.

I think this is the most important thing to take care of if you decide to go 
through with this.

> - We announce the fact on phpmyadmin.net: yes
> - We no longer test for non-supported platform: yes
> - We block and/or emit warnings for non-supported platforms: ?
> - We remove code that relates to those platforms: ?

If you go through with this, blocking users of PHP4 seems strange. A warning 
should be sufficient. If phpMyAdmin still works for a PHP4 user, why deny 
them that?

If you decide to go PHP5, then do it only when developing new code or where 
there's a measurable benefit in replacing the old code.


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