It is 08/08/08 today. The day they took PHP4 behind the barn and shot it through the head. The date of the official discontinuation of PHP4 -- even for security issues.

Unfortunately, as I predicted in April 2007, PHP4 is still more widely used than PHP5 is. According to the latest Nexen data, PHP5 has only a 33% install base after more than four years.

Drupal's success depends on that of PHP, and PHP5's slow adoption rate has certainly been annoying. Hopefully, we can all move forward together now. Drupal is ready for it.

If you still haven't upgraded to PHP5, today would be a good day.


Bramlt. (not verified):

In my experience, most hosts do offer PHP5 but still have PHP4 as the default. Changing file extensions to .php5 or fiddling with mod_rewrite can alleviate that minor annoyance, but it's something that a lot of people don't seem to be aware of.

Jacques (not verified):

The true story is "when something is not broken, why fix it?". A lot of web sites out there don't have their back-end code upgraded at all and continue to run for many years.

It's only when developing new applications that developers wants to use the latest developments platforms, which pushes everything forward.

PHP 5 might be at 33%, but it's market share is growing very fast.

Anyway, in two years, it's PHP 4 (all versions) that will be below 33%.

Pour ce qui est de Nexen, je crois que leur site Internet fonctionne en PHP4.

eigentor (not verified):

Maybe move on to Python in three years.
This slow progress is scandalous, and also a bit the fault of the PHP guys - there are just too few new features and amendments in new versions.

On FOSDEM I listened to a presentation about PHP 6. It basically came down to: PHP6 is PHP5 with Unicode. Er... Sorry? This is a way of doing things that is even getting down a giant like Microsoft.

(Even if getting Unicode in is a vast improvement and a lot of work.)

Innovate or get obsolete.

Robert (not verified):

So, swapping PHP 5 for PHP 4 is just what I wanted to do with one of my customers' projects. They use a once-great-but-now-rather-defunct hosting company here, have been with them for ages.

This is what the hosting companies tech support told me:

"Your site would have to be relocated onto another box, which requires you to talk to our sales rep, backup all your data including files and databases and restore them on the hew box." Not! This particular site will probably stay at PHP 4 forever...

NikLP (not verified):

Personally, and admittedly this may be slightly naive of me, I think that the best option is just to continue apace with the php5 implementation and ignore the state of the hosting market.

It is proven that customers will vote with their feet. If Drupal et al continue to grow at this rapid pace, which necessitates the using of more modern development platforms, then it follows that hosting buyers will demand this from their providers. If the providers don't play ball, they'll lose business, simple as that - although it's true that these people love to maintain the status quo for their own comfort.

Basically, I reckon it's best to just flip the bird at php4 and walk on.

Kyle Cunningham (not verified):

@eigentor: You don't seem to understand the enormity of having unicode support in PHP. This requires rewriting and working with over 3000 functions, including making sure that Unicode support works with a large number of external resources (such as MySql, Postgres, etc.)

As far as next generation language features, most of the new jazz appears to be getting languages to cooperate on VMs, but that isn't really language specific, so what's the problem? PHP is still an overwhelmingly popular choice for building websites and I don't think that it's because nothing else is out there.

morphir (not verified):

Hehe. It's not just php4 that is dead. Php in general is. It's a horrible language.

Both ruby and python has left php in the dust.

However, if there is anyone that has straightened up the reputation of php - its Drupal and your careful design decisions Dries.

Unix Dude (not verified):

OK, first of all php5 is a big improvement over php4, people should and will move to php5. As far as php6 goes I don't know what has evolved but I really doubt it's just Unicode.

And this last one is for morphir: YO Momma is UGLY, i mean ugly as hell.

PHP isn't dead, have you seen the benchmarks python is as fast as a sexually molested snail, don't get it me started on ruby.
These are programming languages that make a developer extremely superficial.

N.B. Hope morphir will some day forgive me for what I said about he's momma. She probably is a great woman!