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in Q2A Core by
The older PHP versions PHP 5.2, PHP 5.4 and even PHP 5.5 are no longer supported. Is it good idea to support dead PHP versions? (speed, security, not active function, web hosting with PHP 5.6, 7.0)

Q2A version: 1.7

1 Answer

+5 votes
edited by

Unfortunately not. Those PHP versions still have a lot of usage - PHP 5.5 and below accounts for over 65% of all PHP websites according to w3techs. We can't shut out that many people.

PHP 5.2 is now below 10% so it will be ditched in the next version. However, when development on v1.8 started it was higher so I decided on that as the supported version and cannot change mid way through.

The security issue is not as big a deal as it seems. Firstly, many server operating systems (like Ubuntu or CentOS) back-port fixes from later versions - so if your version says PHP 5.3 you will likely have security fixes from 5.4, 5.5 etc. Secondly, it's almost unheard of that a security issue in an old PHP version suddenly makes all sites on that version vulnerable. It usually depends on very specific and rare circumstances.

Speed is of course a great reason to upgrade but it's up to the users of Q2A to do that. We strongly encourage everyone to be on at least 5.6 if not 7.x.

I am about to switch to my q2a site from ver 7.xx to dev version at https://github.com/q2a/question2answer/tree/1.8

Despite most of the code is based on ver 5.3 you still believe switching to 5.6 or up is safe? Wouldn't that break anything ?
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking - is it about Q2A versions or PHP versions? PHP is quite good at backwards compatibility so it's possible to make something work perfectly fine on PHP 5.1 and PHP 7.x.

Both the stable Q2A (1.7.4) and dev version (1.8) work fine on PHP 5.6 and PHP 7.0. There were some issues in PHP 7.1 that have been fixed in Q2A v1.8 but not v1.7.

Q2A 1.8 on the whole is fairly stable but we cannot guarantee that - I'm regularly adding stuff so there could be bugs.