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Latest Drupal release drops support for php 5

Submitted by daniel on

Yesterday, May 1st 2019, Drupal announced the latest stable iteration to their open source CMS Drupal 8.7.0. There were a number of announcements including 

  1. JSON API module becomes stable and enables Drupal sites to double up as restful API's
  2. Improvements to the experimental Media module
  3. Stable release of new core Layout Builder Module
  4. Custom menu links and taxonomy terms are now revisionable, which allows them to be used in editorial workflows
  5. The Umami food magazine demo now includes a new welcome tour, Layout Builder integration for recipes, and multilingual features.

Also of note is that this release coincides with the phasing out of support for php 5.

Note that new Drupal 8.7.0 installs now require at least PHP 7.0.8. Existing sites still work on at least PHP 5.5.9 for now, but will display a warning. Drupal security updates will begin requiring PHP 7 as early as Drupal 8.8.0 (December 2019), so all users are advised to update to at least PHP 7.0.8 now.

PHP 5.5 has already reached official end-of-life in 2016. PHP 5.6 also stopped receiving active support from PHP maintainers in January 2017 (i.e., it no longer receives bugfixes, even for some very serious bugs that impact Drupal development) and will reach its EOL in December 2018.

With php 7 offering many benefits over php 5 including security and bug fixes and of course performance improvements, it is somewhat surprising to see that of the 79.1% share of websites where php is used server side, the latest stats show that the majority, approx 67%, are still running php 5!

Perhaps we will see a last minute rush of Drupal sites being updated from php 5 before the end of this year? If you have not updated yet, now might be a good a time as any to look into it. 


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