I was first thinking about the title "and the beginning of the end" – but that sounded a little bit too Armageddon. In fact, 2.x will probably still be around for years – and at least 2.7 will still be released some day (it is not impossible that there might even be a 2.8 …).
The title "and the end of the beginning" fits much better as it allows fresh projects and early migrations to already leverage the new 3.x milestone while the rest just sticks to the 2.x one a while longer.
So what does 2.6 and 2.7 mainly bring?
First of all they benefit a lot from 3.x backports.
Many of the new 3.x functionality has been and will continue to be backported to 2.x.
They also allow the chance to further cleanup the code-base and make the code itself more "3.x-ish". Some of that can be done by looking at how the new core does things, some of it can be achieved using Shims (Code bridges between two versions).
Some of those things became already clear from the dev-preview versions of 3.x – and my article around it.
A few basic things that are very useful in light of the above:
- Make your 2.x code (app, plugins) PHP5.4+ (maybe also use short array syntax). It will make the upgrade process smoother
- Remove deprecations and outdated ways of doing things
- Stay up to date with the 3.x developments and how to best use that information for future proof 2.x development
And most importantly in general
If you must still use 2.x at this point when 3.x is long released, then you must always be up to date with the latest 2.x minor release. Everything else is shooting yourself in the foot.
My recent doings
First I made sure, every app is now running on latest 2.6 stable, and added a few more tests along the road.
Further I made sure relevant changes or new features in 3.x core are backported to the 2.x core and that I plan to migrate to those in my apps ASAP.
I started to extract my super-fat Tools plugin into smaller chunks. Most recent split off is the Shim plugin as I had to acknowledge the fact that I mixed too many fixes/shims and new functionality, which is usually not the best thing to do.
So there it is: A Shim plugin to contain all the bridge code towards 3.x and a few fixes along with it. And a Tools plugin that builds on top of it and adds the actual functionality.
This was the logical thing to do. Most of the shims are not needed beyond 3.x, and as such they shouldn’t be in a more persistent plugin.
That brings me right to the next point: I looked into how to get 2.x apps closer to 3.x. Especially for lager code bases this really helps the migration to the next major version. Less necessary changes mean less change for breaking and faster upgrading results.
I ported flash messages to my 2.x version of
FlashHelper – including the syntactic sugar of
This code will not have to be modified again at all when upgrading then.
Instead of the "mocking the hell out of it"-ControllerTestCase class I backported the IntegrationTestCase to 2.x which has a more sane approach on actual controller testing.
Using the syntax of 3.x in 2.x allows me to add a lot of new integration tests that will flawlessly work after the major version jump some day.
I migrated my 2.x apps from
sha1 to state of the art PHP5.5+ password hashing (and the default in 3.x) – which can already work in 5.4, as well, thanks to shims. But I also needed to support existing passwords to provide BC.
So basically, I use the
Shim.Fallback password hasher along with
Simple ones to have a graceful fallback on old accounts and an auto-hash migration upon login. Each time a user logs in the new hash replaces the old
sha1 one. Over time all users will be fully migrated and I can switch back to just
Shim.Modern hasher directly (which is the
Default hasher in 3.x by the way).
So after migrating to 3.x it will be:
- Shim.Modern => Default
- Simple => Weak
The latter is only relevant in case not all passwords have yet been migrated.