Back in 2014 (a long time ago! PHP 5.6 was just released) I figured I actually had access to some interesting information on PHP usage in the Packagist.org logs. I wrote some shell commands to extract it and wrote the first blog post of the series.
As our infrastructure grew beyond one server I had to make some tweaks to still be able to gather data, and during the following years I improved this quite a bit to simplify the process of creating a blog post. In total I wrote 13 such posts, with the last one published a few weeks ago.
However, despite all these improvements, I noticed I was dragging my feet more and more each time my calendar reminder told me to write a new one, so I looked for a better solution..
.. and I am very happy to announce that the blog post series has been acquired by an investment fund for $1 billion and all posts will soon be replaced by ads!
No, unfortunately nobody else cares enough I am afraid, but thankfully Private Packagist allows me to spend quite a bit of time working on open source. So I decided to automate the data aggregation and built it right into packagist.org so you can now see php statistics data live!
As an additional goodie, and I believe this will make a lot of maintainers very happy, you can view these PHP version usage stats on a per-package, per-minor-version basis.
You can see for example the Monolog PHP version stats across all its versions, but you can also choose to see only installs for
2.* (which requires PHP 7.2) or
1.* (requiring 5.3) and you get to see very different user bases with
1.* still seeing about 6% of PHP 5 installs, and much less PHP 8 than
2.* does for example.
The new statistics page will enable maintainers to make much more informed decisions about which PHP versions they want to support going forward. For example for Monolog I see that PHP 7.2 is only 5% of
2.* usage, so I could probably reasonably drop this from the next minor version. People wishing to remain on PHP 7.2 could still use Monolog 2.2 which works well enough.
I hope you enjoy these new features, and I hope I can focus my blogging efforts on more unique content in the future.