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I'm doing research on what version of PHP to use when creating commercial scripts that will be sold to the public.

Although the available stats aren't great, PHP 5.3 shows a 18.5% adoption rate.

I'd like to use Symfony to create these scripts and it requires 5.3.2 which shows an even lower adoption rate (roughly 13% of that 18.5% use less than 5.3.2).

Would I be risking much by jumping straight to PHP 5.3.2+ or should I ignore the stats and plough ahead?

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closed as too localized by gnat, Walter, ChrisF Apr 8 '12 at 12:16

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Your definition of "end user" as someone who buys PHP scripts is somewhat strange... –  Michael Borgwardt Apr 7 '12 at 8:52
Sorry it should have read customers. –  Ash Apr 7 '12 at 12:07
Does your server work on 5.3.2? Does it do what you want with acceptable performance? If it does, why the heck do you care what adoption rates are? –  Ben Brocka Apr 9 '12 at 15:31
Did you read the question? –  Ash Apr 9 '12 at 22:49
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3 Answers

Usable points of reference are the requirements of common CMS’:

Every web host has to meet these requirements nowadays, so it is rather safe to rely on it. But any newer PHP version may be not available.

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  • php5.3 is so much better for developers than php5.2.
  • You are going do develop scripts for some time, during this time more people will switch to php5.3 and php5.4
  • its easier to sell your programs to people who have money. Chances are they are using "modern" tools (php5.3 was relased on 30-Jun-2009), unlike the forest dwellers, who cannot upgrade php within a 3 year time span.
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Your third points is almost exactly backwards. The people with the most money are big corporations, and those are the least likely to use bleeding edge tools and most likely to have standardized on a certain version 5 years ago and see any upgrade as costly and dangerous. –  Michael Borgwardt Apr 7 '12 at 8:51
@MichaelBorgwardt Your point would be valid for most other technologies, but "big corps using php and buying scripts from some random dude"... come on - if a corp is afraid to upgrade php5.2 to php 5.3, they would not buy small scripts from an individual. And, chances are - if they are big, they are using either Java or ASP.NET as their server lang. –  c69 Apr 7 '12 at 12:09
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It's all about the target audience.

The general adoption rate about versions is good, but it is general.

If you are aiming for a wide audience, which may or may not be knowledgeable about PHP and hosting solutions, and if you want the scripts to run on lots of hosting providers, especially on shared hostings that users don't have the option to upgrade, you should go for a previous version of PHP.

If the end users are more of a specific audience that knows their way around about hosting solutions, you can go for whatever you want.

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