PHP (Hypertext Pre-processor) is among the most common and widespread programming languages for servers that are commonly used to build websites. With quicker turn-around speed, better security and affordability, PHP has been the website developers' preferred choice. Several prominent online firms use this programming language because of the multitude of advantages. With PHP, coding is like authoring an essay for a machine to read in English, only that the document is a piece of code that instructs it to build and manage websites as efficiently as possible. In addition, for potential website developers, PHP removes barriers to entry, enabling them to exploit their coding abilities and talents to get started simply. A PHP code can run on all the main platforms, allowing the developer to incorporate websites across various platforms smoothly. This helps the corporation to optimize all established infrastructure cost-effectively, combining networks.
Old PHP Versions
As it has a sufficiently wide family of PHP-versions, it can offer incredibly quick turnaround times. Typically, each major PHP release is fully supported for two years after its release. Bugs and security issues are fixed and patched on a regular basis during that time.
- Unique PHP versions like PHP 1 and 2 were not meant to be a modern programming language, but they had the basic PERL/CGI script toolset features.
- Versions 3 and 4 of PHP were released with some advanced features, including the Zend engine and, of course, variables, shape handling, and HTML embeddability.
- PHP 5, including a scripting engine called the new Zend Engine II, was introduced a few years later. PHP 5 and its subversions had become a standard language for popular websites.
- PHP version 6 was meant to provide native Unicode support, but it was never successful with that expansion.
- PHP version 7 came with features such as Null Coalescing Operator, Declarations of Scalar Type, Declarations of Return Type, Operator of Spaceship, and many more. PHP 7, along with scalar style hints, return type declaration and several other syntax changes provide impressive performance and improved error handling until version 8 came into being.
Brand New PHP 8
The newly introduced PHP 8 is loaded with new features and optimizations including named arguments, union types, attributes, constructor property promotion, match expression, null safe operator, JIT, and improvements in the type system, error handling, and consistency. Compared to previous models, it is known to deliver greater performance, more traditional syntax, and refined type protection.
- Just-In-Time compilation - As PHP code is run, it is normally performed on a virtual machine by compiling & executing it. By compiling the code into x86 machine code and then running the code directly on the CPU, JIT will alter this. It would increase efficiency for applications that rely heavily on mathematical functions. To speed up the code execution and provide support for multiple platforms, the JIT compiler is necessary. It entails less memory use since the JIT Compiler compiles only the methods that are needed at run-time into machine code. By using the JIT compiler, page faults are minimised since the methods needed together are more often on the same memory page. The JIT compiler is also advantageous as it can perform code optimization based on mathematical analysis while the code is running.
- Named Arguments - In older versions, you had to call a function and move each argument in the order defined by the function. PHP 8 upholds only the necessary parameters, skipping optional ones. The claims are independent of order and are self-documented.
- Attributes & union types - With PHP 8, you can now use standardised metadata for PHP's native syntax, rather of PHP Doc annotations. However, you can also use native union style declarations that are checked at runtime
- Constructor property promotion - In order to describe and configure properties, PHP 8 supports fewer boilerplate coding. PHP 8 will now support to merge class properties and a constructor into one, instead of factoring them separately.
- Match expression - The new match is functionally equivalent to a switch and is an expression indicating that its outcome can be stored or returned in a variable. It promotes single-line sentences and does not require a pause. On top of that, it makes strict comparisons.
- Null safe operator - With the current PHP 8 null-secure operator, you can now use a call chain. Instead of writing !==, you can now make use of “?” operator to write just 1 line of code. This will make the application becomes pretty clear.
- Saner string to number comparisons - When compared to a numeric string, a number reference is used by PHP 8. Otherwise, it transforms the number to a string, and a comparison of the string is used.
- Consistent type errors for internal functions - If parameter validation fails, several internal functions now throw an error exception.
- Standard library changes and additions - For performance improvements in scenarios where data is being cached, Weak Maps, Throw Expression, and Trailing Comma in Parameter List have been added in PHP 8. This is of particular relevance for Object-relational mapping (ORMs). Lastly, this new version of PHP also has an added support for building Date Time objects from interfaces, and for adding a String able interface that can be used as a type-hint.
Such new additions and enhancements are sure to improve the developers' attempts to make excellent websites. These updates make PHP one of the most powerful programming language.