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06 November 2015

PHP 7.0 – Things You Need to Know About PHP Latest Version

PHP 7.0 – Things You Need to Know About PHP Latest Version
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By Manmeet Anand

Things-You-Need-to-Know-About-PHP-Latest-Version

PHP latest version 7.0 is about to be launched in the market with its exciting features and impressive performance.  According to W3techs, PHP has a market share of 81.5%. Among all PHP versions, 98.7% PHP websites are using PHP V5. However, the latest PHP version is expected to outperform all the previous versions.

If your website is developed on PHP based Content Management System like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and Drupal, then this is the best time to upgrade your website because PHP 7.0 is a full package of surprising and cutting edge features.

PHP 7 is still in the development stage and a competed version will be released in November. But you can download its latest beta version and experiment it on your website to test what will and what will not work for your website. It will help you to fully prepare your website for the full version of PHP 7.0.

The first beta of PHP 7.0 was released in July 2015 along with the announcement of releasing full version of PHP 7.0 on November 12, 2015.

Here is a list of top 7 things you need to know about PHP latest version 7.0.

1. The Name

PHP 6 was expected to be a major release but the project failed due to several bugs. The performance was also not up to the mark. However, people confused the latest version of PHP with modified PHP 6.0. The dispute was resolved by naming the latest version as PHP Version 7.0 instead of PHP version 6.0.

2. Zend Powered PHPNG

Since 1999, Zend Engine has been used to power up PHP. It was launched when fourth version of PHP was released. Zend Engine II was launched along with the introduction of PHP Version 5.0. PHP latest version is powered with Zend New Generation. This is why it is also called PHPNG.

PHPNG supports almost all extensions except the following.

  • Interbase
  • MSSQL
  • PDO_OCI
  • OCI8
  • SYBASE_CT
  • PDO_DBLIB

A complete installation and usage guide for PHPNG is also available online.

According to Zend blog, PHPNG is already outperforming Facebook’s HHVM. Endi Gutmans, the founder of Zend, believes that PHP is a complete and dynamic ecosystem of innovations.

3. Abstract Syntax Tree

Abstract Syntax Tree or AST has already been implemented in PHP 7.0. It enables you to implement Syntax in intermediary structure easily. It allows you to emit opcodes directly from parser and remove a number of hacks to make implementation easier.

The use of AST will bring you two primary advantages.

  • Firstly, it makes maintenance of parser and compiler easier.
  • Secondly, it allows you to decouple syntax decisions from other technical issues.

4. Facilitating Error Handling

Handling catchable and fatal errors in PHP has never been easier than in PHP 7.0. PHP updates show that the new Engine Exceptions will replace old errors from PHP V5. In order to further facilitate the users, the Exception Base Class does not extend in the new Engine Exceptions.

This way, it provides you two different kinds of exceptions to handle the errors. The first one is traditional error handling and the second one is Engine Exceptions.

5. Cloud Computing Solutions

Zend has partnered with globally reputed cloud computing systems to allow its users to make their applications portable. With cloud computing solutions, you will not only be able to retrieve or extract your files, but you will also be able to exchange your files from one cloud to another cloud server whenever you need.

This PHP7 development with Zend will facilitate Ecommerce stores. Without affecting speed and performance of your web store, you will be able to develop light-weight websites along with keeping your data safe and secure. It will also allow the entrepreneurs to store their company data with optimized security.

6. 64-Bit Windows Support System

PHP is primarily naïve Linux member but the users can also run it on Windows systems. PHP 5.X series didn’t provide 64-bit Windows support system but PHP 7.0 does provide this support. Along with improving PHP 7.0 performance, it will allow the websites to support native 64-bit integers as well as large files.

The 64-bit Windows support system is in experimental stage. If the experiment is successful then the users will be able to confidently keep running their websites with new versions of Windows in future also.

7. Doubled Speed

PHP New Generation engine has been conceived on the idea of improved speed. With Just-in-Time (JIT) compilation, you can instantly run compilations instead of waiting for execution time. According to Zend, this PHP7 development will offer improved PHP7 performance in two ways.

  • Firstly, it will allow you to serve the same number of users or traffic load but by using fewer servers.
  • Secondly, the code of your site will be executed faster.

According to the official website of Zend, PHP 7 will be 2X faster.

PHP 7.0 is also significant to cleaner website for faster speed. For improving the speed and site performance, PHP 7 operates by cleaning the environment in two different ways.

  • It removes the functionality which had been deprecated in PHP 5.0 version. Here is a detailed study of deprecated functionality in PHP 5.0.
  • It removes the dead SAPIs and extensions or those which do not support PHP 7.0. Here is a complete understanding of how it removes dead SAPIs.

When upgrading to PHP latest version, remember that PHP 7.0 will break the code of any running legacy app. PHP 7.0 will also come up with surprises for developers including Combined Comparison Spaceship Operator and Declarations and Scaler Type Hints. With all these innovations and development, managing your PHP developed website will become easier than ever.

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