This is today’s newsletter editorial, posted here for easier discussion.
As PHP7 approaches with exciting new changes (indeed, no more than a few days ago the Great Scalar Type Hint War of 2015 has been won), we’ll need, once again, a collaborative push towards clients, shared hosts and end users. Those not involved with internal discussions and the updates they produce will have little to no idea how outdated a version of PHP they’re using once PHP7 rolls out, and they need to be educated and encouraged to upgrade, much like we did with GoPHP5 - a world-wide initiative to make developers and providers understand the importance of moving their PHP version to 5+.
Due to some API changes in the PHP engine, the way extensions are developed will change slightly. This time, it’s up to the community to notify extension developers and have them update their extension code to support new PHP. The extensions are, effectively, in the first line of fire. Whereas the owners of the most popular frameworks are already making sure their frameworks work on PHP7 (and are testing on Travis CI which heroically added PHP7 nightlies to its test runtimes), it’s many extension developers this time around who are asleep behind the wheel and need reminding.
Read the page, get involved. Talk to your fellow PHP devs, get them on board - get everyone interested. Get in touch with us - write tutorials about setting up PHP7, testing on it, using some of its upcoming features and more - we’d absolutely love to publish them! This one push of awareness will have long term consequences as more people automatically become aware of the new PHP version, paving the way for easier convincing of shared hosts later on - but that’s a story for GoPHP7-2.