“It’s a great time to be writing PHP,” is not something you hear in all corners of the programming world. But in Aaron Jorbin’s mind, this is the case. Aaron notes that the growing popularity of HHVM and the upcoming PHP 7 changes are exciting, but aren’t without challenges.
While WordPress can run successfully on many platforms, it doesn’t fully pass unit tests for either HHVM or PHP 7, and he aims to make it happen.
For the last several weeks, WordPress has been running it’s unit tests on PHP7 nightly builds. They’ve been running on HHVM for months. Right now, the unit tests are not passing for either one and as far as I know, have never passed for either one. This is a problem.
It also interests me that there is still such a large education problem regarding WordPress’s PHP compatibility within the broader PHP community:
While I was at PHPUK, one of the most common conversations I had was people being critical of WordPress for supporting PHP 5.2 as a minimum. Many of those same people became less critical once they find out WordPress runs great on PHP 5.6 and that many people run it on HHVM.
If you’re interested in making WordPress great on new and exciting platforms, passing unit tests is a great metric, and it’s a good time to get involved. Aaron (and I’m sure others) will be getting started on this task with WordPress 4.3.