Ilia Alshanetsky – an active PHP developer, has posted an interesting post asking opinions about upgrading from PHP 4.x to PHP 5.x The comments seem to host a range of excuses, like the chicken and the egg application quandry ( Popular PHP applications don’t require PHP 5 so hosters don’t upgrade so popular PHP applications don’t require PHP 5.x – do you see the infinite recursion?), the cost in both time and money of running and testing “legacy code” – even blaming Linux distributions.
I’ve personally been using PHP 5 since the first beta, and can’t even remember how to code for 4 anymore. I’ve also had some surprisingly pleasant experiences moving procedural style applications from 4 to 5. I’ve also had a horror story featuring much search and replace dealing with an upgrade of a predominately OO application.
So what are your thoughts on PHP 5.x? Are hosters the problem? Or applications? Or is it just word of mouth marketing that needs to bring the new version into the spotlight? PHP 4.x is dead, and as Ilia states – “PHP 4 is basically in low maintenance mode with very few developers even looking at it. The only things going into it are security fixes are [sic] critical bug fixes. Even that may go away once the current maintainer Derick Rethans loses interest”