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Minimum PHP Version #1140
#810 was the last time the minimum PHP Version for Bonfire was updated, a little over 2 years ago.
CI 3 bumps the minimum version up from 5.1.6 to 5.2.4, but both CI 2.2.2 and 3.0 (as well as Bonfire) work perfectly fine on newer versions of PHP.
The biggest issue I see with upgrading the minimum version is that some operating system releases targeted at server admins are still running 5.3 (for example, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which doesn't reach end of life for almost 2 years; but Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was released over a year ago with PHP 5.5).
The benefits of upgrading the minimum version to 5.4 would be:
If no one has a problem with upgrading the minimum version to 5.4, I would expect it to go through alongside the removal of support for CI 2.x in the 1.0 release (so 0.7.x and 0.8.x would still support 5.3). I also don't intend to make/merge changes to the code base just for the sake of using the new features (like converting array declarations to short array syntax), at least in the short term.
I would probably expect an upgrade to 5.5 to come along a little more quickly than the upgrade from 5.3 to 5.4. From my cursory exploration of the shipped OS versions, many jumped from 5.3 to 5.5 anyway, or those which did not tend to be on a shorter release schedule.
Just to be clear, none of this means that you have to run the minimum version, just that you can't run an older version than the minimum. We would still upgrade Bonfire as needed to ensure it can run on newer versions, we just wouldn't add features in such a way that requires someone to use a newer version than the minimum.
I think that's a great idea, personally. I don't know how it will impact others, but there are a number of security performance improvements between those versions of PHP, also, that benefit everyone.
Unless you get a very vocal group here saying no, then I'd say go for it. :)
I'm still interested in finding out what version of PHP everyone is using. Everything before 0.9 will continue to work with PHP 5.3, but I'm moving forward with 5.4 as the minimum supported PHP version in the develop branch (what I'm currently calling v0.9.0-dev).