[RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

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Minimum PHP version for phpBB 3.3.x?

5.5.x
3
5%
5.6.x
12
20%
7.0.x
41
69%
7.1.x
3
5%
 
Total votes: 59

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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by P_I » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:45 pm

Voted for PHP 5.6.x, largely for the reasons cited in
hubaishan wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:58 am
php 5.5 must be excluded from this vote it is in END OF LIFE now, see

http://php.net/supported-versions.php

as in https://www.phpbb.com/about/release/ the end of maintenance of 3.3.x is june 2019
Security support of php 5.6 will end in 31 Dec 2018
and php 7.0 will end in 3 Dec 2018
and php 7.1 will end in 1 Dec 2019 at the time of end of life of phpBB 3.3.x

so php 7.1 has the nearest supporting time to phpBB 3.3.x but if there is not any php 7.1 features needed in phpBB 3.3.x the best choice is php 7.0 for minimize developing headaches and syntax conflicts.
and
Ger wrote:
Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:39 pm
Marc wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:10 pm
by the time phpBB 3.3.0 is released we should have a good enough user base on PHP 7.0
While I know phpBB doesn't plan on dates, I think the bold part is key in this discussion. As it is now, quite some hosts do not offer PHP 7 yet. AFAIK, CentOS for example ships PHP 5.5 by default. It might be 5.6, but surely not PHP 7.

That is of course the current situation. PHP 7 adoption is quite fast compared to PHP 5.x versions. phpBB 3.3 isn't planned for this month, maybe not even ready this year. 3.2 took more than 2 years. If development for phpBB 3.3 will take a similar amount of time, requiring PHP 7 will make perfect sense. When you expect it to be released this year, I would recommend to support the latest PHP 5.6.x version as well.
My forum(s) are hosted at Bluehost (PHP Version Selection (PHP Config)) and they only just recently added support for PHP 7.0. My experience has been that shared hosting providers are generally slow adopters of current LAMP software versions.

Or course, the actual target release date for phpBB 3.3.x could influence the choice if it occurs after PHP 5.6 goes EOL.

My $0.02

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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by Nicofuma » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:48 pm

Actually they are pretty fast at upgrading to 7.x because PHP 7.0 allow them to reduce their infrastructure costs. (it has been released last year while it took them years to make 5.6 available)
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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by VSE » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:21 pm

I voted 7.1, but I meant 7.0 :P
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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by 3Di » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:18 pm

VSE wrote:
Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:21 pm
I voted 7.1, but I meant 7.0 :P
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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by koraldon » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:58 am

DavidIQ wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:07 pm
Senky wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:51 am
koraldon wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:39 am
b.3.) It blocks direct upgrades from phpbb 3.1 or earlier, as they don't support php7 at all... No easy testing or rollback. Potential for nightmare upgrade issues.
This is really strong argument. Even when we decide for 7.0, upgrade process must work on 5.4, or we won't allow users to directly upgrade 3.0->3.3 and 3.1->3.3.
I don't see how this is relevant at all. You end up having to delete your old files and uploading the new set anyways so this is not a valid point. I will even go as far as suggesting that the automatic updater be removed in future versions for going across major versions.
I like running test board in parallel with live site on server - best way in my experience to squash bugs. This will not be possible with PHP 7 required and phpbb 3.1 or older.

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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by DavidIQ » Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:22 pm

koraldon wrote:
Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:58 am
I like running test board in parallel with live site on server - best way in my experience to squash bugs. This will not be possible with PHP 7 required and phpbb 3.1 or older.
Most relatively good hosts provide the ability to run different versions of PHP for different directories. Not really an issue plus doesn't involve the actual upgrade process at all.
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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by Ger » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:04 am

DavidIQ wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:07 pm
Senky wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:51 am
koraldon wrote:
Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:39 am
b.3.) It blocks direct upgrades from phpbb 3.1 or earlier, as they don't support php7 at all... No easy testing or rollback. Potential for nightmare upgrade issues.
This is really strong argument. Even when we decide for 7.0, upgrade process must work on 5.4, or we won't allow users to directly upgrade 3.0->3.3 and 3.1->3.3.
I don't see how this is relevant at all. You end up having to delete your old files and uploading the new set anyways so this is not a valid point. I will even go as far as suggesting that the automatic updater be removed in future versions for going across major versions.
I think it is. Say you have currently phpBB 3.1 running. That requires a host running on PHP 5.x. Of you want to upgrade to phpBB 3.3, you need to run that on the same host usually. Since phpBB 3.1 doesn't run on PHP 7.x and (as proposed) phpBB 3.3 doesn't run on PHP 5.x, you have a problem: you cannot upgrade simply from 3.1 to 3.3. You need several steps:
  1. Update from 3.1 to 3.2 on old server environment
  2. Update your server environment or move your installation (if host doesn't provide PHP 7)
  3. Update from 3.2 to 3.3
I reckon this would lead to MANY support topics from confused board admins.

However: it's not feasible to keep supporting PHP 5.6 for any upcoming phpBB version. At some point, it won't simply be possible to update from phpBB 3.0/3.1 to phpBB 3.latest, whether it will be 3.3, 3.4 or 3.5. I guess the decision would depend on the adoption rate of both phpBB 3.2 and PHP 7. Also: while phpBB 3.1 isn't EoL (or even EoS) yet, I think you should also provide a smooth upgrade path from phpBB 3.1 to 3.latest.
Above message may contain errors in grammar, spelling or wrongly chosen words. This is because I'm not a native speaker. My apologies in advance.

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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by DavidIQ » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:38 pm

Ger wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:04 am
I think it is. Say you have currently phpBB 3.1 running. That requires a host running on PHP 5.x. Of you want to upgrade to phpBB 3.3, you need to run that on the same host usually. Since phpBB 3.1 doesn't run on PHP 7.x and (as proposed) phpBB 3.3 doesn't run on PHP 5.x, you have a problem: you cannot upgrade simply from 3.1 to 3.3. You need several steps:
  1. Update from 3.1 to 3.2 on old server environment
  2. Update your server environment or move your installation (if host doesn't provide PHP 7)
  3. Update from 3.2 to 3.3
I reckon this would lead to MANY support topics from confused board admins.
Why would you have to update to 3.2 first? The migrations would run to upgrade the database from 3.1 to 3.3 just fine. The steps would really be (some of which are missing from your list):
  1. Disable all extensions.
  2. Delete all forum files except for config.php and the following folders: cache, files, store, images, ext.
  3. Upload new 3.3 files.
  4. Update environment to PHP 7.
  5. Run upgrade.
Having downtime due to the upgrade will be expected regardless of if we have the minimum of PHP 7 or not. Plus these steps are more or less the recommended way of upgrading right now. The added PHP 7 step takes less than a few minutes on most hosts.

To be clear: I'm not advocating strongly for the PHP 7 minimum requirement. Some of the reasons given to stick with 5.6 are just not really anything that would normally not be done for an upgrade of the software. I think the biggest point against going to PHP 7 is how fast the hosting market adopts it for their servers. The poll is leaning towards PHP 7 but it might be too early to make such a decision. I feel that in a few months we might have a clearer picture of what the hosting market is doing with PHP 7 adoption.
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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by Ger » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:30 pm

DavidIQ wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:38 pm
Why would you have to update to 3.2 first? The migrations would run to upgrade the database from 3.1 to 3.3 just fine. The steps would really be (some of which are missing from your list):
I recall a discussion between the both of us about the required steps for updates. ;)
Anyway: what you suggest works, IF you host even supports both PHP 5.x and PHP 7.x. If not, a move from host A to host B is required in the process, something that complicates stuff.
Above message may contain errors in grammar, spelling or wrongly chosen words. This is because I'm not a native speaker. My apologies in advance.

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Re: [RFC][3.3.x] Supported PHP versions

Post by koraldon » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:16 pm

DavidIQ wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:38 pm
Ger wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:04 am
I think it is. Say you have currently phpBB 3.1 running. That requires a host running on PHP 5.x. Of you want to upgrade to phpBB 3.3, you need to run that on the same host usually. Since phpBB 3.1 doesn't run on PHP 7.x and (as proposed) phpBB 3.3 doesn't run on PHP 5.x, you have a problem: you cannot upgrade simply from 3.1 to 3.3. You need several steps:
  1. Update from 3.1 to 3.2 on old server environment
  2. Update your server environment or move your installation (if host doesn't provide PHP 7)
  3. Update from 3.2 to 3.3
I reckon this would lead to MANY support topics from confused board admins.
Why would you have to update to 3.2 first? The migrations would run to upgrade the database from 3.1 to 3.3 just fine. The steps would really be (some of which are missing from your list):
  1. Disable all extensions.
  2. Delete all forum files except for config.php and the following folders: cache, files, store, images, ext.
  3. Upload new 3.3 files.
  4. Update environment to PHP 7.
  5. Run upgrade.
Having downtime due to the upgrade will be expected regardless of if we have the minimum of PHP 7 or not. Plus these steps are more or less the recommended way of upgrading right now. The added PHP 7 step takes less than a few minutes on most hosts.
If a user has multiple installation of phpbb or other software (non-PHP7 compatible) than the upgrade to 3.3 (and php7) will crush that other software. I'm not familiar with setting different php version per directoy and from a quick look at the setting in Cpanel I didn't find it... I assume that those with private servers might have it, but it is more "headache" for shared hosts and another technical "challenge"/Source for problems during upgrade.

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