Dependencies and Compatibility

Dependencies and Compatibility

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

As you may have noticed, two of Lilina’s major dependencies, SimplePie and HTML Purifier are becoming PHP5 only, with HTML Purifier’s latest releases being available for PHP4 only. I’ve posted previously on SimplePie’s availability for PHP5 only and how we could not switch to it. I later went back and completely backtracked, adding SimplePie to Lilina. It has now been used in Lilina for quite a while, mostly for the better. An old branch of HTML Purifier, 2.*, is used in Lilina and its new 3.* branch has a wealth of new features. Lilina is unable to utilise these at the moment for PHP4 compatibility. This disadvantages our PHP5 users, who could be getting faster and better parsing from HTML Purifier.

PHP5 has been around for more than 3 years and it is time to move on and embrace new developments and standards. PHP4 support and critical security updates have been dropped completely, as of 08/08/08 and all hosts are encouraged to upgrade to PHP5.

Going PHP5

As of today, PHP4 compatibility is being dropped from Lilina. We join a whole group of projects who have dropped support for PHP4.

What does this mean for me?

If your host is currently running PHP 5.2, nothing changes for you. If your host is currently running PHP4, 5.0.* or 5.1.*, convince your host to upgrade to PHP 5.2 or change hosts. Lilina will not be supporting PHP4 for future releases. For more information, check out this FAQ, published by GoPHP5.

What does this mean for Lilina?

This decision will enable faster development of Lilina, with many features being easier to achieve and faster. It also enables cleaner code, which can reduce the size of the codebase substantially.

This announcement will have benefits for everyone and I hope that it will have no ill effects on any users.

Subversion Broken for Now

Monday, January 7th, 2008

If you’re running a production server with the trunk version (i.e. from Subversion), please realise that it will be broken for about another day or so while we convert to SimplePie (in the complete opposite of my other post).

We should be fully converted by tomorrow and a heap of new template tags will make life easier for templaters, especially those with a WordPress background.

Why we can’t/won’t switch to SimplePie

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

This was originally to be a list of what was wrong with SimplePie, however the more I thought about it, the more I considered that it probably was a better solution. It’s under constant development, it’s got a few features we currently have our own code for and, best of all, it’s got an IRC chat room, which is always a help.

So, you may ask, what’s the big problem? Well, after having just looked at their blog (and realising they have released a new version), I noticed that they are moving to PHP5 only. This is a big setback in my opinion. My thoughts pretty much mirror those of Matt’s. However, we also need to consider users who can’t (or won’t) upgrade to PHP5, for various reasons. If SimplePie continues to release PHP4 compatible releases, we will most definitely use them in time.

My thoughts on SimplePie have changed somewhat and I’d now personally rather use SimplePie. Why?

  • Active development: I have access to Magpie’s Trac installation and no new updates have been released in a year. This is a major issue for me, as we want to keep this up-to-date so that we can parse everything possible. SimplePie is under active development so this would ensure that we are always up-to-date.
  • MySQL caching: Lilina is going to be using a purely MySQL backend from 2.0 upwards (we’ll start introducing support for it after 1.0), so this is a major one for us.
  • Friendly developers: The developers seem friendly and genuine (nothing against Kellan, but I don’t trust people who work for Yahoo! :P )
  • A bunch of other stuff I’m sure I’ve forgotten

So, the basic status on SimplePie is: we’d like to, but at the moment we can’t, due to it becoming PHP5 only.