[php-maint] [PHP-DEV] PHP 5.3.9 and is_a changes

Clint Byrum clint at ubuntu.com
Sun Oct 23 22:36:04 UTC 2011

Excerpts from Hannes Magnusson's message of Sat Oct 22 04:03:50 -0700 2011:
> On Fri, Oct 21, 2011 at 22:52, Clint Byrum <clint at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> > Hi everyone. I'm trying to plan things for Ubuntu's upcoming 12.04 LTS
> > release. LTS stands for Long Term Support, and it will be supported by
> > Canonical for 5 years. Because of this, I really want to ship a version
> Wouldn't you rather want to include 5.4? 5.3 will no longer be
> supported by us shortly after your release.. So for the next 5 years
> you will be including something that is already unmaintained?

I appreciate the sentiments of all who have weighed in on this, and I
do want to make sure that we are paying attention to the greater PHP
community's needs, not just Ubuntu's users. Shipping really old PHP
versions is definitely not what we want to do.

However, we do need to be able to support the release with updates.
While 5.4 would probably mean more of those updates would be simple cherry
picks from 5.4, it also means there would likely be a lot more of them,
since 5.4.0 will undoubtedly be a more aggressive release than 5.3.9, and
like any ".0" release, it just won't have the exposure that 5.3.x has had.

Also, we have 105 PHP applications in Ubuntu, 2 of which are in our "main"
component (ganglia and nagios), which means they are supported by our
security team and developers for the entire lifecycle of a release. Its
not likely that we would be able to test all 105 of them with PHP 5.4
before the release date, which may mean some of them will be quite broken,
and also require stable release updates to fix.

Now, all of that said, I would love to have 5.4 as the version in 12.04.
Since 103 of the 105 apps are "community" supported, that means we'd
need a large community effort to make sure this is doable.

Here's what would need to happen for 12.04 to ship with 5.4 instead of 5.3:

1) PHP needs to make a commitment to release very soon. Beta is fine
for the first month or so of the cycle, but not more.
2) App developers need to commit to testing their apps on the dev release
of Ubuntu. If people are interested, I'd be happy to set up a jenkins
instance somewhere and give people write access to a bzr/svn/git tree
of tests to run daily on the dev release.
3) We would need buy in from the rest of the server interested folks
and the Ubuntu security team. The right time to discuss that is at the
Ubuntu Developer Summit, which is coming up in Orlando, FL, US, just a
week from Monday (starts Oct 31).
4) We need it *at least* in Debian experimental, preferrably in
Debian unstable.  I have not discussed this at all with the Debian PHP
maintainers, so this is a big unknown. I've cc'd them for their comment.
I do see that 5.4.0 beta is in experimental as of yesterday, so I suspect
this will happen naturally.

So, I've registered a blueprint for UDS here:


There's no guarantee we will be able to fit it in, so make sure to
subscribe to it if you are interested in this topic.

If any of you are interested in joining us virtually (or physically!)
You can go here:


And register, then find it on the schedule at http://summit.ubuntu.com

If you register for UDS-P with your available times, and subscribe
yourself as "essential" for the blueprint, then the scheduler for the
summit will make a best effort to put the session during the times you
are available.

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