PHP 8.2 will be released on December 8, and many articles have already been written about the new features in this version,

So let’s talk about the people involved in releasing PHP — the release managers.

Who are the release managers?

I joined the release manager team in May of this year, a lot of my developer acquaintances didn’t know that PHP had such a “position” and what release managers do.

Perhaps there are those among of readers who haven’t thought about this side of the PHP either, so I want to open that door a bit.

Who they are?

Release managers are chosen for each PHP version.

Since PHP 8.1, there are 3 members chosen: 1 “veteran” who has already been a release manager for some version in the past, and 2 rookies.

Also, previously the rule was that one person can not be a release manager for two versions at the same time, now that rule is no longer in effect, but rather it’s a good practice to have one of the rookie release managers from the current release, serve as the veteran for the next release.

Ben Ramsey, a PHP 8.1 “rookie” is now a PHP 8.2 “veteran”.

What do they do?

So what do release managers do?

First and foremost, release managers triage bugs and pull requests on GitHub and categorize them.

Since PHP has had a team of developers sponsored by the PHP Foundation, this makes the task easier, the Core-developers take on many of the tasks themselves: they have more expertise in this, and we listen to their opinions.

Of course, the release managers directly release the PHP (I think you guessed it 😅).

Before a GA version is released, it is preceded by a 6-month pre-release phase:

Every 2 weeks, they release a test version of the PHP: from alpha1 to RC6 (and in the case of PHP 8.2, RC7).

This branch is then supported for another 3 years: 2 years of active support and 1 year of security releases, after which the release manager retires.

What are they for?

Release managers cannot affect a feature, all new features must be RFC’d and voted on.

If the core-developers and the community lead development, why do we need release managers?

Their job is to keep track of release dates, keep the PHP branch in good condition, and respond in case of abnormalities.

There are sometimes controversial situations, release managers are a kind of court of arbitration: they have the last word and great responsibility for the decision made.

How to become an RM?

Soon, the PHP team will begin soliciting applications for PHP 8.3.

All you have to do is put your hat in the ring.

The election is by STV and 2 rookies will be chosen to contribute to PHP for 3.5 years.


Thanks so much to Ben and Pierrick for their help and support.

Don’t be afraid to get voted in and improve our beloved programming language 💙 🐘