The reasons behind the establishment of the PHP Foundation is that one of the key contributors, Nikita Popov, has decided to switch his focus away from PHP to LLVM.
You might think that large open source projects are well-funded, but this is not true. In fact many of them rely on a small group of maintainers, as is exactly the case with PHP.
Despite being used by 78% of the web, PHP only has a few full-time contributors.
Nikita Popov, a well-known long-time PHP ecosystem contributor, is the author of generators, variadic functions and argument unpacking, engine exceptions, uniform variable syntax, and many other PHP contributions. He is also known for PHP Parser which laid the groundwork for many other tools.
Popov started working on PHP in 2011 and worked on PHP at JetBrains with the PhpStorm team, making significant contributions to three major releases there – PHP 7.4, PHP 8.0, and PHP 8.1.
At the same time, Popov has long been a contributor to Rust and LLVM. For those of you unfamiliar with LLVM, it’s a library that is used to construct, optimize and produce intermediate and/or binary machine code.
I have two bits of news. The first is that I’m changing jobs at the end of the month, and won’t be working on PHP in a professional capacity anymore. I’ll still be around, but will have much less time to invest in PHP development.Nikita Popov
As a result to avoid the dependencies of the PHP project from individual key developers and their employment in commercial companies, it was decided to create an independent organization PHP Foundation.
The primary task of the Foundation will be to fund developers to work on PHP and to ensure the long life and prosperity of the PHP language. The foundation will be non-profit and was started as an Open Collective project.
The following companies are the PHP Foundation’s founder members:
- Private Packagist
- Craft CMS
In the 72 hours since its announcement it has already raised over $40,000 to advance the development of the PHP language.
In conclusion we would like to say: Thank you so much Nikita for your amazing work and for what you have done for PHP! We wish you all the best on your new path.