I've been looking at this for a long time: https://news-web.php.net/

Almost every single mailing list has the last messages sent to them in the year 2000-2003. That's 17-20 years ago!

It would be an understatement to say that I was shocked by this. I find it seriously creepy.

Even the most "active" PHP mailing list on that page has almost no messages at all, and those that exist are from the same couple of people, with zero responses to their questions...

The complete deadness of the PHP mailing lists, coupled with the state of the manual, would make me think that the PHP language doesn't even exist if it weren't for the fact that new releases regularly are published, the most recently PHP 8.0.0 (which contains some bugs which I reported and which somebody apparently fixed, but there has not been any new release since that patch).

The only other form of communication listed on https://www.php.net/support.php is the IRC chat room, which is very inactive and cannot even be accessed because of freenode's extreme anti-privacy measures.

Obviously, PHP is not dead, but its website could have fooled me into believing so if I didn't know better.

How can this be? It's almost impressive how not a single spam message or anything could have been sent for decades to their mailing lists. Nothing on that page I linked to indicates which ones are active/dead, and I have no clue how I'm supposed to reach somebody working on PHP since they don't respond to anything sent to any of their mailing lists.

I truly don't know what to make of this. There's clearly people maintaining the project (at least the language itself), but why keep all those ultra-dead lists around like that? This is like a cold shower, as if I'm suddenly realizing that the software I rely entirely on and have so much invested into is still basically run by a couple of random guys who do everything.

I hope I'm missing something.

  • Perhaps mailing lists aren't used as frequently anymore. There could be other ways of communicating with other developers. – Dan Wilson Dec 6 '20 at 17:18
  • Looks to me like a request to find the correct link the PHP mailing lists in disguise. Unfortunately, request to 3rd party resources are off-topic for this site. – Doc Brown Dec 6 '20 at 17:42
  • @DocBrown There is nothing "in disguise" here. I'm asking a genuine question which truly concerns me, very on-topic and without being the slightest bit rude. So why all the hostility and downvotes? I don't get why people here are so incredibly toxic. – user14756437 Dec 6 '20 at 17:48
  • @user14756437: ok, it is a request to find the correct link to the PHP mailing lists - not in disguise. Still off-topic, sorry. – Doc Brown Dec 6 '20 at 17:54

As it says on the top of the page [bold emphasis mine]:

This is a completely experimental interface to the PHP mailing lists as reflected on the news-web.php.net NNTP server

So, this is not showing you the PHP mailing lists. This is showing you the PHP mailing lists as they are mirrored to the NNTP server. You are not looking at the PHP mailing list archive. You are looking at the NNTP mirror of the mailing list archive.

Apparently, the NNTP mirror has not been updated since 2004, which is not terribly surprising, since nobody uses NNTP anymore. (I very much liked Usenet, but even I have to admit, it is dead.)

The actual PHP mailing list archive shows the current messages. For example, on the PHP internals mailing list, there is a lively discussion about the enum RFC, including people even working Saturdays and Sundays (i.e. today).

  • But it says that all messages on the news server are synced to the mailing list and vice versa? – user14756437 Dec 6 '20 at 17:47
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    Where does it say that? On the site that has not been updated in 16 years? Have you ever considered that the information on the site that has not been updated in 16 years might be 16 years out of date? – Jörg W Mittag Dec 6 '20 at 17:48
  • This is my entire point, though? Who would ever suspect that one of the main sections of PHP.net has not been updated for 16+ years when the other pages have? I certainly did not. – user14756437 Dec 6 '20 at 17:49
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    Honestly, I am having trouble seeing where the problem is. I know nothing about PHP, I know nothing about the PHP community, and yet, I was able to find the list of mailing lists in about 10 seconds, simply by following the link to the Support page that you posted in your question. On that page, there is a big fat heading that says "Mailing Lists", and under that heading is a link which takes you directly to a list of mailing lists with the email address, link to the internal archive, link to an external archive, and even a menu for subscribing to them by simply selecting the ones you are … – Jörg W Mittag Dec 6 '20 at 18:27
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    … interested in and entering your address. I can't imagine many ways of making this simpler. – Jörg W Mittag Dec 6 '20 at 18:27

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