You’ve probably heard about PHP 7 and you're probably excited that a new version is available. PHP 7 has many new features, some of which have been long wanted by developers all around the world.
You may have also heard the hype about PHP 7 being faster and you may even be using the latest version in your project. Well, just in case you want to sound smarter while chatting about the latest version of PHP we’ve got 7 things you probably want to know about PHP 7.
1. There will be no PHP 6
The current stable version of PHP is 5.6, and after much discussion, the developers decided to call the new version PHP 7. Now this was done because a preliminary version of PHP 6 was released in beta but because of its bugs, it never made it to development. To avoid confusion, developers thought it would be best to call the new version PHP 7.
2. New Zend Engine
Zend engine was introduced with PHP 4’s release in 1999, and ever since then, it has been powering up PHP. Currently, Zend Engine II is supporting PHP 5.X series.
But with the release of PHP 7, a new version of Zend engine will be released which is expected to be bigger and better. The code name for the new version is PHP#NG.
3. PHP 7 is faster
As the development team completely refactored the Zend Engine, the memory usage was also optimized. All in all, by using PHP 7, you will be able to execute your code faster because fewer servers will be needed to serve the same amount of users.
Tests with the new PHP 7 show speeds that are twice as fast as the current 5.7 version.
4. Better Error Handling
If you are a PHP developer, you might already know how difficult it is to handle errors in PHP. Luckily, the new PHP 7 comes equipped with Engine Exception which will help developers replace errors with exceptions. If the exception is not caught, PHP will keep throwing errors like it does in the current version.
Since the \Exception base class is not extended by the new \EngineException, there is backward compatibility which allows two different types of exceptions in error handling – engine exceptions and traditional.
5. Support for 64-bit Windows
Being a member of LAMP stack, PHP’s native environment is Linux. But there was still support for Windows. Though, the 5.x series only had experimental support for 64-bit Windows.
With PHP 7, developers will get native support for 64-bit Windows and larger files as well.
6. The new spaceship operator
With PHP7 comes a new operator referred to as the spaceship operator and it looks like this:
<==>, and can be used to compare 2 values
$a <==> $b.
This comparison operator will return 0 if the values are equal, it will return 1 if the left value is greater, or -1 if the right value is greater. This new operator may save you a few lines of code so be sure to make use of it if you are using PHP 7.
7. Clean up some space
As of PHP5 there have been many functions that have been deprecated for quite some time and you probably haven’t even used those functions. Since those old functions and unsupported extensions are no longer used they have been cleaned up and removed from the core of PHP7.
Less clutter gives us more space and with more space we have a cleaner and simpler foundation.
So all-in-all PHP7 has some vast improvements over the previous versions of PHP. This is a great step forward in keeping PHP up-to-date and more widely accepted by programmers and companies.
Now that you know all this about PHP 7, are you excited to use it in your next project?