follow-up to #8156
Updated on 15.05.19 to latest news
I want to start this (probably controversial) discussion now, so when Matomo 4 will come out one day we will have found a consensus :slightly_smiling_face:
PHP 5.6 (and also 7.0) went end of life and doesn't receive security updates anymore (even though it had the double security support duration than a normal PHP version)
Of course there will be Linux distributions that will continue to backport security fixes, most have moved on and only support PHP 7+.
For comparison this are the requirements for other famous PHP applications:
Dropping support for 5.x will allow
Of course one can now check the PHP versions that are most used by Matomo users and see that PHP 5.6 shows up quite often there.
But I'd like to argue that this isn't showing the reality as :
I'll continue to extend this post if I or someone else can think of more reasons to drop PHP 5.x in the next major Matomo release.
PS: I think if we decide so, this should be announced far before the upgrade and the last Matomo 3.x release should include a check that refuses to upgrade and shows an explaination on what to do to.
+1 for dropping 5.x support for Matomo 4
+1 there are even PPAs for older Linux installs if needed.
Requiring PHP 7+ should be doable by the time we release Matomo 4. I'm sure we probably still have 20% PHP5.X usage but that should be fine. @mattab could give more accurate numbers.
Current stats of all Piwik/Matomo instances:
php ratio 5.6 30.81% 7.0 23.42% 7.1 12.04% 5.5 10.55% 7.2 10.09% 5.3 6.68% 5.4 5.03% 5.2 1.33% 7.3 0.06%
Should probably re-run the numbers and look at those who are using Matomo> 3.3.0 or so to restrict to users who keep Matomo somehow updated
I reckon we will want to directly only support PHP 7.2 or PHP 7.3?
Considering PHP7.2 will be end of life like half a year or so after Matomo 4 you wonder if we still want to support it? And anyone not being able to run PHP 7.2 would still be able to use Matomo 3.X which is supported for 1 year anyway.
The choice we make here also affects Matomo for WordPress of course and by the looks there we won't be able to send updates to users using an older version of PHP.
I reckon PHP 7.1 is not a question considering it is already EOL and we don't want to support an EOL version for the next 3 years or so.
Not sure what PHP versions are supported by different LTS linux distros. Looked here http://phpversions.info/operating-systems/ and some other sites but the information is outdated.
FYI current stats of all Piwik/Matomo instances:
and only for users on 3.11, 3.12 or 3.13 (installed/updated within the last 6 months)
Tricky to decide the minimum version to set...
are there already maybe strong reasons to drop 7.2 support (it is still security-supported by PHP team for almost another year), or could we still support PHP 7.2 for a while (maybe until PHP team itself supports it) and during the Matomo 4.x cycle, then when we need to require PHP 7.3 or even 7.4 or later, we could release a Matomo 5.0 (without many other changes) then?
It be more of a question whether there is a somewhat big distribution with an LTS version where users won’t be able to get PHP 7.3 by say May 2021… (when Matomo 3.x maybe retires... in worst case we could decide to support Matomo 3.x longer though).
Dropping support for PHP 7.2 be definitely good if any possible... It affects which features we can use, which libraries we can use, etc. Realistically, we will be likely working with Matomo 4 for 3 years or so... so we don't want to get any problems there.
Releasing a next major version of Matomo earlier we said few times before but I reckon realistically it wont really happen in the end.
We can see closer to the release also.
We already set minimum requirement to PHP 7.2 for Matomo 4. Guess we can close this issue and maybe create a new one to drop PHP 7.2 support somewhen? 🤔
I reckon be good to keep it open until closer to the release. We might go with PHP 7.3 at the end and would change things at some point. It be just good to keep it open as a reminder to evaluate the situation as we don't know yet when Matomo 4 will be ready etc. In theory, PHP 7.3 doesn't have much to offer, but there might be other reasons to directly go with PHP 7.3 such as other libs, hiring, getting more contributors etc which can be easier and more motivating when not an outdated PHP version needs to be supported etc.
Closing it for now and we can reopen if needed.