WPupdatePHP is a project by Coen Jacobs to evangelize the need for people to use modern PHP versions for their WordPress installs. It's both a website and a script people can include in their plugins, to function like BrowseHappy does.
Coen hasn't really announced this project officially that I know of, but I did talk to him about it the first week in January. At that time, I brought up some of my concerns on Skype, which I'll list here verbatim:
- The core team is pretty adamant that this is a host issue not a user issue. Not that that should prevent non-official entities from doing whatever they want
- This is too developer-y with the content. Need to be uber basic for users.
- I'd make sure to highlight you aren't affiliated w/ either PHP or WP in an official capacity.
Coen disagrees with point #1. He does say, however, that he's recommending WPupdatePHP be used for new plugins, not existing ones.
For my second point that the site is too developer centric, he built a landing page to address it. I still think it misses the mark.
Third, though he now highlights that he's not affiliated with PHP, I believe Coen's project is a pretty direct violation of the PHP license.
3. The name “PHP” must not be used to endorse or promote products from this software without prior written permission. For written permission, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's from the 3.01 version of the license, as shown on Wikipedia. While Coen's project isn't commercial, I think it's still not compatible. I believe the PHP Group does protect this part of the license, as I recall it being the reason PHPurchase rebranded to Cart66, which I wrote about in 2011.
I think Coen's intentions are good, but WPupdatePHP misses the mark. I agree with the core team that this issue should be tackled at the host level — and not with mandates, but with relationships and education. From there, the hosts can work on ways to educate their users for the benefits of updating.
For managed hosting environments, hosts can update their users without opt-in, but a large host made an interesting point to me recently that they didn't feel it was right to force upgrades on non-managed clients, where the upgrades were certain to break some software applications.
I don't know that I agree with that either; perhaps there is a middle ground. Anyway, I don't think nagging users with a script like this will move the needle.