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Discussion on: On upcoming PHP deadlines

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chainq profile image
Károly Balogh

The underlying problem is, no one really cares about PHP any more, or the software written in it. I as a sysadmin run a bunch of PHP code, because I have to, and it genuinely sucks that I can't upgrade the PHP running it, because it won't execute (some of the) old PHP code. PHP was the first wave of the throwaway-instead-of-maintain software for the web some 15 years ago, which since became a trend with all these frameworks in NodeJS and Python. People wrote a bunch of code in this managed environment, then moved on, then the running environment broke their compatibility for reason X, and now we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. Almost all this PHP software I still depend on would need active maintenance or complete replacement. I just don't have the energy/resources for that. I'm not interested in that. It's a burden that PHP developers just pushed on my desk, the compatibility breakages they labelled "But hey! These now are our best practices!" and now it's somehow my problem. I hate this.

If I ever going to touch most of my custom written PHP code (which becomes more and more unavoidable) I'm not upgrading it to a newer version of PHP, but I'm going to replace it completely. Because not the code I written in PHP, but PHP itself already became my problem. So I'm not keeping this problem around for the future, sorry.

(Note: this post may sound a bit harsher than it should be, but the intention was to show one aspect why the new PHP adoption is so slow across all the web. Because most of that code is unmaintained, and the running environment only gets updated, when Ubuntu for example bundles a new PHP, and they update the server running that code. Otherwise, no one is really interested, or around any more to do so. Most of this code is not maintained by the "PHP Community" whatever that might be, but people who never subscribed to do this kind of job, like me.)

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franklaemmer profile image
Frank Lämmer Author

Maybe we have a tunnel vision? We run a PHP hosting platform and we see indeed much new and interesting stuff. Laravel, Craft CMS and the new PHP versions.

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chainq profile image
Károly Balogh

I think anyone who primarily moves in a domain misses things from a big perspective. It happens to me in my domains too. I didn't claim there weren't new things happening in PHP, it's just i still remember from 10 years ago, when PHP was THE web backend language, which landscape is much more colorful now, with a lot of PHP code left in legacy status. This is what I see anyway.

It's also the inherent conflict of makers, who love to move fast and break things (and this attitude enabled a lot of things, and had many benefits, don't get me wrong) and the maintainers, who are left with the broken things to care for, and from that view nothing is scarier/more worrying than a new version "with many exciting new changes". :) So I just wanted to add these two cents.

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kilian442 profile image
kilian442

The problem is larger, i am a new software engineer, but i can observe that almost everyone prefer to code in easier language. I always hear people say "This language is stable, have good performance, easy to code...)" for languages like NodeJS or frameworks like Angular, but they have right only for the last argument, because languages like PHP or C++ in the software world (in opposition of JAVA) are harder to learn and you have to think about your future application, his maintenance and optimization before starting to code anything. But if you master in theses "hard" languages, you will have the same, or even better performance (than mastering in easy frameworks) and better maintainability.

The real problem is that people think too much about the code, and forget the most important : the software engineering.