Ryan Boren discusses adoption of PHP 5 for WordPress. I see two factions here – the developers who like the goodies in PHP 5 and want to use them, and the application developers who want to make sure that it does not hurt the end users. Both of them are right in their own place, in my opinion.
It is quite true that popular applications, especially in the open source space, drive adoption of new technologies. These migrations or adoptions or ports are never one-time activity, they happen over time. They happen with collaboration between developers across projects, bridging libraries and supporting each other. If not, the new technology is as good as being obsolete, it does not get used.
I believe there are two reasons for the clash –
- PHP 5 is not something that the end user will ever demand. A non-techie blogger will hardly bother about it. And PHP 5, by itself, does not carry any features, if you will, that directly impacts the end user. But I believe that the advancements will help the user, even if indirectly.
- An allround adoption seems to be lacking. For PHP 5 to get into mainstream it has to be adopted by all the players – the developers, the community and the ISPs.
We have seen similar impacts in case of MySQL 5. In spite of beating the older version with advantages like stored procedures, views, triggers and information schema, MySQL 5 has still not been able to replace its older counterparts.
There has to be a combined effort from the community to adopt the new technologies. PHP 5 has some good features, especially in working with XML and enabling pull parsing. Maybe a transition phase can help, where these tools support both the older and newer versions. That is one of the reasons, I feel, Habari can be good. I think all CMSs, not only WordPress, should gradually start adopting the developments, it will directly or indirectly help the user.