AWS pulls support for EOL’d but widely used versions of PHP

AWS pulls support for EOL’d but widely used versions of PHP
Get with the programme

AWS has called time on a raft of older PHP runtimes, sending ripples through a community still wedded to creaking versions of the scripting language.

In a blog post late last week, AWS software engineer Sean O’Brien said the AWS SDK would no longer support PHP 8.0.x from January 13, 2025. That version reached official end of life in November 2023.

Additionally, he said, “We will no longer support PHP 7.2.x, 7.3.x, and 7.4.x, which reached end-of-life November 2020, November 2021, and November 2022, respectively.”

It’s not hard to work out why the cloud giant made its move. As O’Brien wrote, the PHP community has been scaling back support for EOL’d versions.

“There will be no further bug fixes or security updates in these runtimes. To ensure we are providing up-to-date and secure libraries, we are aligning with this migration. To ensure your applications and services remain secure, please upgrade to an actively supported PHP runtime, such as 8.1.x.”

He added, “Our policy is to continue supporting SDK dependencies for at least 6 months after the community or vendor ends support for the dependency.”

Which is fair enough. However, a large part of the PHP community seems to find it particularly hard to give up aging versions.

The most recent Zend PHP Landscape Report from Perforce showed nearly 55 percent of those surveyed using at least one end of life PHP version in production. That was a decline on the previous year but not by much. The 2023 survey showed 61.9 percent of respondents were using end of life versions.

In a statement accompanying the release of the 2024 survey, Zend Senior Product Manager Matthew Weier O’Phinney, said enterprises were struggling to keep up with rapid PHP lifecycles.

“With many PHP teams understaffed, and nearly all teams being asked to prioritize development of new features over migrations, it’s no wonder that so many teams are falling behind.”

These are common complaints yet AWS’s hardstop will force the upgrade issue albeit in a potentially painful way.