Mailing List Archive

Compatibility
I've been skimming the archives looking for something unrelated, and noticed
that we fairly regularly have threads about compatibility, specifically the
use of function X or feature Y in PHP, CSS, skins, or whatever. I concluded
that we don't really have one centralised place where we document the
software we support. So in the spirit of documentation, I've created
another page to complement the other half dozen which already discuss system
requirements (:-D) at mw.org: http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Compatibility
which is distinct primarily in a) trying to record which versions *did*
support software which we now say we don't support, and b) including
browsers and css/js.

I wanted to bring it to everyone's attention primarily to check that we're
all agreed on the software we no longer support. In addition to PHP4,
PHP5.3.1 and MySQL3, which have been unsupported for donkey's years, I've
marked PHP5.0 as unsupported (per [1][2]), since 1.15; that's a pretty
arbitrary version to choose, but I picked one with some overlap with PHP
5.3. I've also marked IE <6 as unsupported, as IIRC someone said that
recently (:-D). Is that accurate?

For the future, PHP5.1 has just seen in its fifth New Year. Dropping
support there would allow us to use __tostring() magic on various objects,
which could be useful in various places. Equally, the Wikimedia cluster has
run MySQL 5 for over a year now [3], and it's approaching its eighth
birthday; MySQL 4.0 and 4.1 are no longer maintained.

Of course, we're not saying "right, we don't support X, let's go add fun
things to make absolutely sure that it doesn't work"; once a product is
unsupported, we allow incompatibilities to gradually creep in in the course
of normal development. We're not going to go change the recentchanges table
to use BITs just because we can; but we might use that type if we introduce
*new* columns.

Also interested in what people think about the CSS/JS/Text-only section. Is
that a fair summary of our position?

--HM

[1] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2009-June/043584.html
[2] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2010-October/049828.html
[3]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikitech-l/2009-December/046127.html


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