Table of Contents

PHP RFC: Name of Next Release of PHP


There has been some debate over what the name of the next major release of PHP, to succeed the PHP 5.x series, should be called. This RFC is an attempt to settle the matter once and for all.

This RFC proposes that the next major version of PHP shall be named either PHP 6 or PHP 7, based on the outcome of this vote. In the following arguments for both sides are presented.

Historical context

The reason why this question even comes up, is that there has been a previous attempt at a new major version, which was started in 2005 and abandoned in 2010 due to difficulties in the Unicode implementation. Apart from language-integrated Unicode support, most features added for that version were integrated either in PHP 5.3 or PHP 5.4.

This previous attempt at a new major version was also developed under the name of PHP 6 and as such there are various resources referring to it, including a number of books. There is concern that there might be confusion between the abandoned previous attempt and the work that is currently happening.

The Case for PHP 7

The case for choosing 7 as the next major version for PHP is comprised from 2 key elements - there are no good reasons not to do it, and several good reasons to do it.

No good reasons NOT to skip version 6

Regarding the first element, it seems that many people are concerned that if we skip a version, we somehow cause confusion or break away from our versioning scheme.

The main confusion point cited by proponents of 'PHP 6' was that people will wonder 'how come we suddenly have PHP 7 and without having PHP 6?' - however, this is really much more of a trivia question than a cause for confusion. For obvious reasons, it will be clear that 7 is the latest version and even if there is 6 out there, 7 is newer and better.

We also wouldn't be breaking away or even changing our current versioning scheme. We're only skipping a version, while keeping everything about our versioning scheme intact.

Strong reasons of why we actually should skip version 6 into 7

There are several reasons of why we shouldn't reuse version 6 for the next major version of PHP.

As a special non serious bonus, 7 is perceived as a lucky number in both the Western world and Chinese culture. A little bit of luck never hurt anybody. (no, we're not truly seeing it as a real advantage - the case for 7 is very strong without it).


Version 6 is already taken by a highly publicized project that is in the minds of a very large chunk of PHP developers, internals and general PHP community alike.

We risk nothing by calling it PHP 7. We risk confusion and negative perception if we insist on reusing 6 for a completely different project.

Taking a risk that stands to yield absolutely no reward is not a good strategy.

The Case for PHP 6


A 50%+1 (simple majority) vote with two options, “PHP 6” and “PHP 7”, is proposed. If more votes are for PHP 6, that shall be the name of the next major release of PHP. Otherwise, if more of votes are for PHP 7, that shall be its name.

Voting started 2014-07-20 but was cancelled.

Voting restarted 2014-07-23 afresh and ended 2014-07-30.

Shall the name of PHP NEXT be PHP 6, or PHP 7?
Real name PHP 6 PHP 7
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Final result: 24 58
This poll has been closed.