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New Features in PHP 7

PHP is very popular web development language , PHP7 has come a long way since it was released in 2007. It is popularly used to create dynamic websites. There are several reasons why PHP is so popular and continues to be so. Some of the reasons are the high flexibility and database compatibility that it offers. In fact some of the biggest database drive packages use PHP. It is a scripting language that is used by many developers to create dynamic websites.

The final list of features for PHP 7 have been decided and hence no more features can be proposed and those proposed will have to be considered for a point release like PHP 7.1. This effectively means the PHP 7 feature freeze is done effective now and here is a brief look at some of the feature that you can expect to see.

  • Spaceship Operator: A new operator has been added which allows the combined comparison (<=>). It is very similar to the existing string compare function (strcmp), however the difference being it can be used on all generic PHP values. This new operator termed as the Spaceship operator is not something that a programmer would use on a regular basis but since it is a three way comparison operator it will make sorting easier.
  • JIT Engine: The JIT engine is a part of the PHP next generation development program, PHPNG. Although there has been a feature freeze it is still unclear whether the JIT engine will be implemented in this version of PHP. However if implemented, the JIT Engine which can dynamically compile Zend opcodes into native machine code is likely to run faster. It has already been established that it is faster than C, however whether or not it will replace the existing feature of PHP is something we have to wait and find out.
  • AST: Abstract Syntax Tree: This is also a part of the PHPNG feature and was initially proposed in 2012. It is highly likely that it will be included in this version of PHP which would mean better programming capabilities and added features.
  • Performance improvement: What PHP 7 brings to the table is massive performance improvements via PHPNG and the optimization of other existing features.
  • Asynchronous programming: PHP 7 will have the feature of simultaneous execution of asynchronous programming along with the tasks. Some of the tasks include access to database, networks and perform even related operations by implementing a single event loop.
  • Standalone Multi-threading Web Server: It has been possible to run PHP on multi thread web servers in the past however but that is not the same thing as having PHP run on its own multi threading web server. There are many advantages of implementing a multi threading web server as it can handle several simultaneous requests using a single memory pool, which avoids memory waste.

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