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Transition to PHP 5.4 starting soon (Re: PHP 5.4 transition in unstable)

On 2012-02-04 14:16, Ondřej Surý wrote:
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Fellow developers,

this is just a heads up that we will upload php version 5.4 into
unstable very soon.  It is currently in RC phase and we spoke to PHP
upstream and both parties think this is a good idea to iron out more
bugs for upstream and allow us to have more time to transition.

Unfortunatelly PHP 5.4 introduce a couple of incompatible changes,
most notably:
- - safe_mode and register_globals was finally removed
- - default charset is now utf-8
- - magic_quotes are deprecated (with warning)
- - three new reserved words: callable, insteadof and trait
- - multibyte support is now default
- - removed syntax (break $var, continue $var)
- - sqlite(2) extension was removed (already done in php5.3 in Debian)

For a full list you can check upstream UPGRADING readme:

php5-5.4.0~rc7-1 will be uploaded as soon as php5 5.3.10 transitions
to testing to fix the criticil remote vulnerability in php5 5.3.9.
I will then block the transition to testing with a RC bug, so we can
start testing existing software as soon as possible, but keep testing
in relatively stable state. The blocking bug will be removed as soon
we get to 5.4.0 final.

I also plan to provide "official" backports for Debian squeeze when
final 5.4.0 is out, so people can come and test new php 5.4.0 before
they upgrade to wheezy. I think that safe_mode and register_globals
removal deserves it.

Final note: We already had similar transitions in php (4->5, 5.2->5.3,
etc.), so it's not really that big deal, but it will require some
amount of work hence this email, so you can prepare yourself for the
transition before freeze.

Thank you Ondrej.

Thanks to the PHP team for tackling this task.
Just a note, technically we certainly can do this transition, but in terms of coordination, we didn't have a comparable PHP transition in a very long time. The PHP 5 transition was versioned and both versions coexisted. As for 5.3, PHP 5.3 was uploaded to unstable over half a year after its release. We haven't, AFAIK, uploaded a development release of a major PHP version to unstable in the last decade. This could force usage of testing-proposed-updates. Thankfully there's a page being built to track problems in packages that contain PHP code: http://wiki.debian.org/PHP/54Transition I don't really know how different 5.4 is, hopefully it will be smooth. For reference, 5.3 took 18 days with some hinting: http://lists.debian.org/debian-testing-changes/2010/02/msg00043.html

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