After discussions here on meta over the past years and practical initiative in the year 2012, it has been researched and practically established that the tag actually is not needed any longer and has passed it's lifetime.

All questions with the tag have been reviewed and the tag has been removed where appropriate and possible. The handful of questions that were locked due to being merged have also been corrected by diamond moderators.

This effort would not have been possible without the nice folks in the chat.

Please establish a tag synonym so that new users who enter the tag by accident don't tag their question with the "wrong" tag.

  • 2
    I'd rather it be blacklisted than incorrectly synonymized.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 25, 2012 at 4:39
  • 1
    So would I, but it's about to be a moot point. The locked questions have been removed. The tag is now on a deathwatch. The next time the empty tag reaper runs, it's going to disappear.
    – Charles
    Dec 25, 2012 at 5:29
  • 2
    So that's what happened to my bronze [php5] badge. Dec 25, 2012 at 7:07
  • 1
    Sorry! (Not really.)
    – Charles
    Dec 25, 2012 at 7:07
  • 4
    Last call for any reasonable objections to this, I plan to do between now and 1/1/2013.
    – Tim Post
    Dec 25, 2012 at 7:26
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn: Until there is no recalc, the PHP5 badges are rare and limited collectors editions.
    – hakre
    Dec 25, 2012 at 11:35
  • X-Ref: Meta: Version tag in addition to main tag
    – hakre
    Mar 19, 2013 at 7:37

2 Answers 2


I did one last merge as a few more crept in since you posted, but this is now completed. is now synonymous with .

This is another example of how the PHP community does a fantastic job of curating the tag, thank you all for your efforts.


Arguments in favor:

  • As of December 2012, when people talk about PHP, it's about 5.x.
    • There will be no confusion between 4.x and 5.x questions:
      • The tag has received about 50-60 questions a year since 2009.
      • PHP 4.x development and support were halted in 2008.
    • There will be no confusion between 5.x and 6.x questions for the foreseeable future:
      • The source branch that was to be 6.0 was killed in 2010.
      • This was not completely apparent when the last synonym discussion was had.
      • It's unlikely that we'll see whatever follows 5.5 within a year, and everyone's already calling it 5.6 unofficially (mainly in the ext/mysql deprecation discussion).
  • Minor versions are the ones that matter in current discussions.
    • Almost every minor 5.x release has a tag dedicated to discussion of version-specific features:
      • - default filter, zip and JSON extensions
      • - namespaces, late static binding, closures, goto... eww
      • - traits, short array syntax, better array dereferencing
      • - generators, a password hashing interface, finally, etc
      • Apparently nobody cares about 5.1? It was a yawnfest anyway, with a focus on performance.
    • Nobody is proposing the removal or merging of these version tags.
  • In modern use, and even in retrospective historical use, is noise.

Previous arguments against that are now moot given modern use of PHP and the removal of all questions from :

  • "PHP5 != PHP"
    • This was barely true when it was said in 2010, and it's even less true now.
    • ... and even less true now that the tag has been removed from all current questions.
    • It would be better expressed "PHP !== PHP5 && PHP5 == PHP". *
  • Questions that do not belong to the tag should be removed from it.
    • This has been done. It took roughly twelve months, but it's done.

Previous arguments that have some weight:

  • Having but no is going to be trouble when we need
    • We'll deal with that a few years from now, if 6.0 exists.
    • Can we just make sure to use hyphens when the time comes?

tl;dr The time has come, push the button.

* This is a PHP truth table joke. PHP is the real joke here.

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