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

Clint Byrum clint at ubuntu.com
Mon Oct 24 23:20:38 UTC 2011

Excerpts from devis's message of Mon Oct 24 15:18:14 -0700 2011:
> Hi,
> I have always disliked the lack of modern packages on Debian/Ubuntu distros,
> I feel like minor are misused as major versions, with an exaggerated fear to
> upgrade. It's like building web sites for IE6 because people are not allowed
> to upgrade to IE9, very frustrating for developers and hard to explain to
> stakeholders. (OT: so I welcomed Chrome/FF choice to bump major versions
> very frequently).
> Why can Ubuntu only support 5.3.x and not simply 5.x ?  As far as I can see
> BC will be guaranteed, PHP maintainers are really committed to it, and only
> a new major version would be so problematic as many suggest.
> As a user, I would really encourage to include the latest stable 5.x and
> provide to the community all the available 5.x upgrade during the next 5
> years (5.4, 5.5 etc).  Those 105 php apps should be maintained or removed,
> not used as an excuse to slow down the community.

devis, Firefox and Chrome are "leaf" packages. They can bump versions
and they only affect one package, themselves. This allows testing to be
simple and definitive.

PHP supports not only the 105 apps in the Ubuntu archive, but thousands
upon thousands of PHP applications which people write to run on top
of Ubuntu.

By freezing around a single version, and emphatically reviewing each
update to ensure it does not introduce any changes in behavior (even
positive changes!) without a clear justification (fixing a critical
bug for instance), users can be assured that the app they write for any
given release of Ubuntu will continue to function for the life of that

We actually do have a "micro release exception" process which we have
in place for a few upstreams:


PHP5 isn't actually that far off from the requirements there, just need
to enable the regression tests in the build and have them all pass. As
I understand it, PHP 5.4 will have that, so one more positive for that.

Note that we also have the ubuntu-backports project which can be used
to obtain newer versions in the older release. There is a requirement,
however, that all dependent packages are smoke tested with each backport,
so somebody would have to automate testing all of the PHP applications
in Ubuntu before backports was a viable option.

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