Hey! What happened to 2023Q2?

You may have noticed that production sites with normal updates are being upgraded from 2022Q4 to 2023Q1, and non-production sites are being upgraded from 2023Q1 to 2023Q3. So what happened to 2023Q2?

Wrangling the amount of pre-built software we do is a constant challenge. Something is always changing. And changes frequently break stuff. Several things changed around the same time earlier this year, especially some stuff related to Python, the FreeBSD ports-building process, and other more niche languages that our members care about, like Haskell and Octave. Some of those had nasty interactions. We also have some other changes in the works that have impacted this. (It will be an Epyc change. More details coming soon!)

To make a long story short, we spent so long on the 2023Q2 quarterly software build that it was July, and we still had problems. We finally have a clean build that passes all of our hundreds of internal tests. But we also have the 2023Q3 quarterly build running just as smoothly. Since 2023Q2 won’t get any security updates through the FreeBSD ports team, having our non-production members test it doesn’t seem useful. And we’re sure not going to roll it out to production sites untested.

And so, we are skipping it. The default realm for production sites will be the (now very thoroughly tested) 2023Q1 realm. And the default realm for non-production sites will be the shiny new 2023Q3 realm. As always, we’ll backport security fixes as needed from 2023Q3 to 2023Q1.

No more PHP 7!

For those sites being upgraded from 2022Q4 to 2023Q1, it’s worth reiterating that PHP 7.4 was deprecated in 2021, and security support ended in November 2022. If your site still runs on PHP 7 eight months later, you’re in for a bad time. The PHP developers are ardent adherents of “move fast & break things,” and backward compatibility is the thing they break the most. Back in February, we posted information about this, including some advice for updating, in our forums.


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  1. If we set Realm Updates to “Late” and select PHP 7.4 as our version, how long will it stay that way?

    I’ve got to make some changes to get our site up to date. I’m going to start on that right now but I’m hoping to keep our site up in the meantime.

    Please see the forum posted linked above. -jdw

    Comment by Jesse — July 29, 2023 #

  2. Hello, I’m one of your annoying customers who ignored all this and now my site is dead. If changing the site realm back to 2022Q4 and PHP to 7.4 was going to work, would it work immediately or might it take some time? I imagine (or maybe hope) I’m not the only one in this boat and I’ll move onto other fixes if the answer is “if it was going to work you’d know within 2 hours”.

    Comment by emily — August 4, 2023 #

  3. If you run into problems related to PHP 8, the forums are the place to start with that. -jdw

    Comment by jdw — August 5, 2023 #

  4. The 3 steps listed in the forum fixed my broken site. That “000” error page was rad. I guess I need to made the little PHP I have better. Changing to 2022Q4 and PHP 7.4 seemed to fix it immediately (or within a minute) for me.

    Comment by Daniel — August 29, 2023 #

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