How to tell when PHP 5 is safe to use…

The answer is very simple – watch John.

When John migrates, to me it means two things in particular;

  • If there is a performance hit vs. the older PHP version, it will be an acceptable one.
  • There are no show-stopping bugs.

Don’t believe me? Well the short proof is John’s company have their future riding on it. A longer proof is to take a deep look at the code in adodb which is a great way to grasp John’s mindset / experience. Otherwise browse the phpeverywhere archives…

And here’s a quote from John that needs repeating to naysayers;

The PHP Internals Developers did a really good job maintaining backward compatibility

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  • http://www.procata.com/ Selkirk

    Tipping point? :)

  • Dr Livingston

    i would proberly have to agree with you there harry, lets hope one particular member doesn’t post comments on that blog again.

    still not got over that one :(

  • LinhGB

    It’s safe enough to use and easy enough to migrate to if you have full control over your applications (i.e you code them yourselves). However, for those who rely on other web applications (in my case, one of those is ezPublish and the other is Plesk) we’re still stuck with PHP 4.x.

  • Ivo Jansch

    We have the same problem. The backwardscompatibility issues are small, and we could easily fix our own apps. But we also do hosting for several hundreds of websites not created by us. Getting all our customers to fix their sites (and providing them with a means to test) will be hellish. :p

  • Jared

    John is regarded by many, as a bit of a moron. Half the stuff he says on his blog is incorrect. I am not refering to this post specifically, but rather things he has said in the past. My advice would be to NOT turn to his blog for advice.

  • John Fishman

    I remember that I’ve made it, I’ll write in couple of days if interestingly.

  • http://aplosmedia.com/ Eric.Coleman

    LinhGB,

    I’ve been running plesk on php5 for months. What’s your problem there?

    — Eric

  • LiQ

    The PHP Internals Developers did a really good job maintaining backward compatibility

    Is “a really good job” acceptable? Compare to .NET Framework where the backwards compatibility is 100% (so far no other reports).

    I think that shows one the weaknesses in PHP, they don’t have enough power behind them.

    … Interpreted code… Dynamically typed… What where they thinking?…

  • http://www.tonymarston.net Tony Marston

    Is “a really good job” acceptable? Compare to .NET Framework where the backwards compatibility is 100% (so far no other reports).

    Excuse me. Is VB7 (VB.NET) backwards compatible with VB6? I think not!

  • LiQ

    Excuse me. Is VB7 (VB.NET) backwards compatible with VB6? I think not!

    I said .NET Framework, not the languages. Sorry, should have been clearer, I meant compatibility between 2.0 and 1.1 (and of course 1.1 and 1.0).

  • momos

    The .NET-framework has backward-compatibility issues too, only not really for the end-user…

  • http://www.phppatterns.com HarryF

    John is regarded by many, as a bit of a moron. Half the stuff he says on his blog is incorrect. I am not refering to this post specifically, but rather things he has said in the past.

    Think you’ll have to qualify that. Which “many” and which posts?

  • Dr Livingston

    i would have to disagree with that observation myself, and cannot understand as to where Jared is coming from.

    considering that there are many blogs out there that offer bad advice and show a complete – and utter – lack of understanding, this blog isn’t all that bad, at the end of the day.

    as to BC there wouldn’t be an issue if everyone moved to version 5 – as i see it, there isn’t an excuse to remain with version 4 anymore anyways. if you are stuck using version 4 then the problem is that you need to convince those in a higher authority that it’d make business sense to make the move.

    when push comes to shove, you need to be more accertive i think – otherwise in my view, you have no reason to winge about BC issues.

    do you? :D

  • ajking

    Note to Jared: I have read and enjoyed John’s blog for at least the past two and a half years. Mistakes? A very few and he has always promptly acknowledged them and corrected them. But everyone makes mistakes (just like you, Jared) — it doesn’t make them a moron. And that kind of epithet could not be farther from the truth when it comes to John Lim. His adodb database abstraction package is tremendous; his skills in profiling code (one of his favorite things to do, judging from my scanning of his blog over the years) are terrific; his observations of the workings of PHP are astute and to the point. And he has a big enough sense of humour that he usually finds something to poke fun at even in the negative comments of others.

  • http://www.users.on.net/~stephen.nesbitt/ SlicerX

    Jared, lets keep comments about others off of sitepoint. This is NOT slashdot, we don’t need to start abusing others here. Of course, say what you want about other peoples comments, but don’t hack on the individual. Sorry to make a point of this, but it always starts small. I for one love this site, it has helped me so much in my learning and career and I would love to keep it that way.

  • LinhGB

    LinhGB,

    I’ve been running plesk on php5 for months. What’s your problem there?

    — Eric

    Hi Eric, I should’ve clarified that it is the applications that come with Plesk (like Application Vault) that is the issue, not Plesk itself. I really don’t have the time and resource to upgrade every client’s applications (in many cases there’s no PHP5 version of those apps) and I don’t quite have the $$$ for another server just to run PHP5, not to mention that I can’t think of any valid reason to convince clients that this upgrade will benefit them.

    Therefore, PHP5 development is restricted on my home server for my self-learning purposes (until I get big enough clients/projects to get a new server :p).

  • Sikosis

    Errr … “We use code generators a lot” … wouldnt that be his problem straight away ? ;)

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  • Etnu

    Converting code to run on PHP5 is NOT difficult. In most cases, you simply need to remove some ampersands and you’re good to go (if you even need to do that). The HARD part about PHP5 is when you’re trying to write php-land code that needs to run on both PHP4 and PHP5.

  • http://www.primacognos.com bigduke

    When you say John you mean John Coggeshall right ?

  • manthrax

    It has been 2 years since this was commented on, I’m gonna give it a shot.