PHP 5.4.0 is around the corner, with RC6 released this weekend. With the courtesy of Ondřej Surý it’s already available in experimental.
Earlier this week, Raphael Geissert, tested some PHP extensions with the new version and reported 16 bugs (severity: important) against those who failed to build with PHP 5.4. As they will become RC bugs when 5.4.0 will enter unstable (probably around mid February), I preferred to handle them sooner than later. The result is 3 patches sent (one already uploaded) and 5 NMUs done.
During the process I poked through a lot of upstream SCMs. In the way I found out a trivial change was done in PECL’s SVN two years ago for all the extensions located there, which got me suspicious regarding some extensions we have. For non PECL hosted extensions, I had to track if and when a fix was done and use it for building or do a trivial fix myself. Packages using the 3.0 (quilt) source format were extremely easy to fix, and I was quite happy it generally went fast.
In general I’m a passive subscriber to the Debian PHP Maintainers mailing list, and finally could help actually and not just reply emails. For me it’s also doing some Debian work after a few months of focusing on the coming LibreOffice 3.5 release.
From the 16 issues, only 2 aren’t fixed already or will be on the next upstream release. As their upstreams are dead, this is in the hands or the debian people, at least till they’ll FTBFS on unstable (instead of experimental).