PHP4 is dying

About 11 days ago now, Derick Rethans (author of the wonderful XDebug, among other things) broached the topic of dropping support for PHP 4 at the end of the year on the PHP internals mailing list. Seven days and approximately 165 replies later (record time for the internals list, if you ask me), an announcement was posted on

As a developer working for a company that bemoans the fact that we still have one legacy application running under PHP 4 (and only on the server; it’s running under 5 on our workstations), I thought nothing of the announcement. I definitely didn’t expect the uproar that it’s apparently caused. Perhaps the most visible complaint so far: the author of WordPress.

PHP 5 has been, from an adoption point of view, a complete flop. Most estimates place it in the single-digit percentages or at best the low teens, mostly gassed by marginal frameworks.

Again, my view of the transition has been skewed, so I can’t even relate to the above statement. In either case, it’ll be interesting to see how PHP 4 projects react.

2 Comments so far

  1. n1zyy on July 17th, 2007

    That’s odd… You’re looking at WordPress on PHP5. Getting PHP5 and Apache 2 playing together, and getting WordPress running on PHP5, was easy as pie, too.

    Maybe it’s a reporting bias. People groan loudly when they can’t get something to work, but no one’s going to write a lengthy post about how they want to install PHP5, typed “emerge -v php” and, five minutes later, had a working PHP5 installation.

    (I’ve got to edit these templates… It irritates me that there are what basically amount to ads all over it.)

  2. andrew on July 17th, 2007

    I wasn’t sure if WordPress ran on PHP 5 or not. That it does simply underscores the truth of the matter: most PHP 4 code will run under 5 without modification, and the remaining code can be ported pretty easily.

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