Re: [PHP-DEV] Re: hebrevc() and other 'contentious' 7.4 proposed deprecations

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July 17, 2019 14:33 (Zeev Suraski)
On Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 9:07 AM G. P. B.> wrote:

> On Tue, 16 Jul 2019 at 17:00, Zeev Suraski <> wrote: > > > On Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 7:34 AM G. P. B.> > wrote: > > > >> The RFC process establishes a consensus when 2/3 of the voters agree, > >> which is currently the case. > >> > > > > As the author of that RFC, I can tell you with complete confidence that > > deprecations were not in the intended scope of that process. It's quite > > evident from the language of the Voting RFC itself: > > > > "Given that changes to languages (as opposed to changes to apps or even > > frameworks) are for the most part irreversible - the purpose of the vote > is > > to ensure that there's strong support for the proposed feature." > > > > If the bar to remove a feature is identical to introducing it - it's > > hardly irreversible. The current behavior was never ever intended. It > > wasn't even supposed to be used for deprecations - but for new features. > > > > It seems this mention has been removed after the amendment from the > "Abolish Narrow Margin" RFC,
True, I think it's an unfortunate side-effect of the somewhat hasty process that surrounded that amendment. It's completely clear from the background of the 'Abolish' RFC that the gripe was with the fact that there was differentiation between language features and non-language features, and not with the rationale for the need for a high bar. In the process, the rationale for having a strong majority (as opposed to having a regular 50%+1 majority) was entirely lost, which is unfortunate - but obviously does not change in any way the rationale itself.
> > Also, I just want to point out that, IMHO, the main reason for the high > amount of deprecations for PHP 7.4 is that it is the last minor version > before the next major. And who know how long it is going to take to have > the next major (supposedly 5 years) which is a long time in tech. >
I agree - but I still fail to see that as a reason to deprecate things which are harmless (or that in other words - provide no tangible value upon removal). There are things on that list that would likely do no harm even if they existed in PHP 20.0. These thresholds are, in my mind, pure insanity.
> ... > This is madness: to make a vote fail you just need to find, with current > voting turnout, 2 other people to make a vote fail. > Sure it is possible for a tyranny of the majority but with these threshold > there is also clearly a tyranny of a minority because 56 voters in favour > and 3 against is IMHO a clear statement of consensus but would fail with a > 95% majority. > And I don't think a 90% threshold is that much better. I think the highest > threshold I would possibly go with high discomfort is 80% (4/5). >
It's not madness at all. Deprecations need a strong, non-partisan case to be enacted. A lot of the deprecations on the current RFC simply do not have that. Others do, and you can easily tell the difference between them - consensus (or uninamity), vs. not. So it's clear that for good, valid deprecations - getting that 95% or even 100% uninamity is easy. The reality is that right now, the PHP project somehow became deprecation-oriented, and lost its long established guideline of bias for downwards compatibility. I'm absolutely positive that folks that voted in favour of deprecations have thought less about the implications of their votes compared to folks who voted against. It's simply easy to go with the flow, join the majority - without understanding the details I'd go as far as saying that had the other half of originally proposed deprecations stayed on the ballot - many of them would also clear - quite easily - the 2/3 bar - because of the pro-deprecation sentiment that currently exists on internals. We just have to be thankful that Nikita and Kalle were responsible to remove them ahead of time - I just wish they did the same thing with a few of the other ones. The solution may be to somehow 'bucketize' the deprecations, as security-related, maintenance-related or cleanliness-related (maybe there are other categories). Security related are probably fine with 2/3. Maintenance related (i.e. if there's no maintainer for a certain extension) may not even require a vote at all (but are probably fine with regular votes). It's the 'style' ones which are IMHO unacceptable for 2/3. In other words, without a tangible benefit - a deprecation proposal should either not be proposed at all, or should clear a virtually unanimous threshold to be enacted. Zeev
July 23, 2019 05:44 (Stanislav Malyshev)

> The reality is that right now, the PHP project somehow became > deprecation-oriented, and lost its long established guideline of bias for > downwards compatibility.
Hear, hear! I am positively astonished at so many RFCs trying to deprecate so many functions in PHP. Who does it help? Who did those functions hurt? I understand when we're deprecating something that does not work or has too many broken uses to use it right, etc. Sometimes we recognize we made a mistake and have to get rid of it (magic quotes!). But doing it just to "reduce the size of standard library" looks to me completely contrary to what PHP has always been about - going extra mile to make it easier for the user, even at the cost of redundancy. We're not one of those slick code golf languages where you can write witty one-liners that do something you won't remember next morning. We aim for people that actually do work with the language. Which means, we provide them with tools handy for various tasks, and we are very conservative in breaking their code - only as the last resort. So I must say I'm rather disappointed with the zeal people are voting for removing functions that hurt nobody. -- Stas Malyshev