As of the next updates for WP RSS Aggregator, after the release of version 4.7.7, the plugin will no longer be supporting PHP 5.2; an out-dated and obsolete version of PHP.

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Those still using PHP 5.2 are urged to contact their hosts to upgrade at least to version 5.3.9. Read on to understand why we’ve taken this decision.

As explained by Coen Jacobs in this post, one of the main reasons behind this change is that older, unsupported versions of PHP no longer receive security fixes. With PHP 5.2 declared at its end of life about 4 years ago, that’s a very, very long time with no security fixes. In addition to this, as noted by Stephan Vierkant, using a more recent version also allows us to make use of newer functions and to remove legacy code.

Now, certain hosting companies such as SiteGround already update their clients’ WordPress sites to make use of PHP 5.5, and this will eventually be the way forward for WordPress too as it starts to require more recent versions than 5.2.

Here’s a word from our Lead Developer Anton Ukhanev on why this change is necessary:

Aside from important security fixes, there are other reasons for this change. A language is a way of expressing concepts, and computers are known to be pretty strict in the kind of instructions they can understand and follow. Similarly to a normal human language, a programming language evolves to allow more concise and flexible expressions and to include new words, which makes it easier and faster to describe even very complicated concepts.

For a long time, the old version of PHP made it hard for us to write the useful features we now enjoy in WP RSS Aggregator. Today, the WordPress community is making this necessary and much anticipated step, and we are making it too! This change will allow us to write features and fix bugs faster and easier, streamlining the development process, as well as improving the readability and architecture of our code.  Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make this transition possible!

For a more detailed explanation, please read the extended version of this reasoning here.

Published by Mark Zahra

The Team Lead and Head of Support for the WP RSS Aggregator project, which forms part of the RebelCode family.

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