Consequences of bumping PHP minimums, from a Joomla lead that’s been there

There’s a mega Trac ticket to, “strategize the updating of minimum PHP version.” Joe and I talked about this on the latest podcast too (in the last segment), if you’re curious. The Trac ticket goes every which way, as you’d expect. But this feedback from Joomla developer @mbabker is great to be able to get, considering the similarities between the communities:

So I’m going to “butt in” here with an outside perspective from a project that did a PHP bump on the same EOL PHP branch last year. In Joomla, we moved from 5.3.1 to 5.3.10 with a transition period giving security support for the old minimum. Yes, there were user groans about the change (I would suggest searching our forums if really interested), but surprising to me was that the most vocal groans came from those we would say are technically capable of managing their PHP installs. Those folks worked at companies with policies or made decisions that they were only using the *nix LTS versions (at that point most were on 5.3.3 and the new LTS releases were just getting tagged), and those folks made demands that a version minimum shouldn’t be forced but rather feature detection mechanisms with fallbacks or using those tests to block running the app. From my experience in that and observing what WordPress has done with hosts, the right calls are being made for the end user at the expense of a lot of excess baggage in not forcing an update. Just some random food for thought.

I guess I should’t be surprised that it was corporate entities that complained the loudest, but I am. But this is a “+1” for the core team’s position, from someone that’s been there — and that is saying something.

Related: Aaron Jorbin shared his thoughts on the subject, after some feedback on his post noting WordPress will support PHP7.


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