In 2015, the PHP project released version 7.0 of the PHP language. Doing so was
the culmination of several years of discussion and hard work to resolve what a
new major version would look like, what would be included, and most
importantly, what would be broken for existing users.
In the end, PHP 7 was released with almost no backward compatibility breaks for
well written, modern PHP 5 code. As a result, uptake of PHP 7 after two years
has been — depending on which source you use and how you measure it — between
33% and 67%.
In this talk, I’ll discuss how the PHP team balanced the carrot and the stick
to encourage adoption, and compare how PHP’s approach to a major version bump
has contrasted with other languages in the recent past.
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