I’ll come clean upfront – I’m a lazy developer. (I’d like to also be clear here that development is not part of my job so this isn’t a subtle confession to my employer about any under performing.) When I started my website some years ago, it was in a bid to grow my developer experience. That interest hasn’t waned over the years but my interest in other things has grown so extending and updating my website code struggles to get a look in. Not really a problem until you realise that a load of the functions you use for database access will be not just be deprecated in the next release of PHP, but actually completely removed. They will cease to work. Hmmm.
You might be thinking at this point that it’s not fair to give people no notice before removing a function – that’s not good upgrade practice. You’d be right. They were actually deprecated at least a couple of versions ago. But I never bothered to keep track on the changes in PHP releases. I usually relied on Sam for this. On this occasion, he missed it too!
Cue some rather frantic updating of code. Sam, as usual, is ahead of me and has done all of his. I’m part way through. I can only be thankful at this point that I moved all of my blog and travel functions to wordpress some time ago, saving me some effort. Unfortunately I also implemented a mobile site last year which has a different layout and so isn’t just another style sheet layered on to my normal website code. I’m about half way through.
Whatsmore, it’s been quite a while since I upgraded PHP on my local dev environment. Fortunately the new data connection functions are available in the version I have (showing how behind I truly am!) but I did have to break one of my own personal rules recently to fix some other code: I had to test it on my live website. Fortunately my readership is quite small so I doubt it was noticed. But it still pained me!
The moral of the story: no matter how small a development / application is, keep it up-to-date. Or at least keep abreast of the changes so you can react at a slightly more leisurely pace. Will I learn from this and keep up-to-date with changes? Probably not…but I’m hoping Sam does!