PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
We know PHP is a server scripting language. It has been years since we have been using it to create dynamic content that interacts with the database.
At present, the latest stable version available is PHP7.4, which is a subversion of PHP7. This version is the fastest and most secure version of PHP.
But the question here is, “Has anything else changed much since the first version i.e., PHP/FI was released?” Well, the answer is an absolute yes. Initially, only 10% of the sites were made using PHP but, with the advances of the time and its version, 70% of the sites, including Facebook, WordPress, and Wikipedia, on the internet are powered by it, according to Clarion Tech. Also, when we compare the PHP/FI version, released in 1995 to PHP7.4, we can sum up the difference by stating that the latter version offers high connectivity and is less time-consuming as compared to the former one. Thus, PHP is not the same language it was two decades ago.
Apart from all this, you might be wondering, “What’s next then?” So only to bring it to your notice, the PHP Development Team has announced that the updated version i.e., PHP8.1, a subversion of PHP8 is all set to release on 25th November 2021.
The updated version will have the following features:
- Enums: Enums or Enumerations can give predefined values which IDEs (Integrated Development Environment’s) auto-completion feature can easily understand.
- Fibers: Also referred to as green threads, this feature of PHP8.1 solely focuses on helping its users save and utilize their time more efficiently. To give a brief overview, when we want to send n number of HTTP requests, we must send a request, wait for the response, and then send the other one. But with PHP8.1, we send the first request, followed by the next. We do not wait in between. The only time we wait is after all the requests have been sent. In fact, in the meantime, we can check the status of one of the requests.
- Match: This feature is a better alternative to the switch expression. The reason match expression is better is because:
- To begin with, it combines different arms into one, only by using commas.
- In addition to this, we need to assign the value only once.
- Also, it strictly compares values, unlike switch expression which does it loosely.
The list can go even longer, but that is enough to summarize why match expression is superior to switch.
- Named Arguments: This is yet another significant feature of PHP8.1. Here, instead of adding numbers to pass input data into a function, you add the argument name. It will help in getting more clarity in knowing which variable does what.
- Construction Property Promotion: While constructing simple objects, we must use a lot of boilerplate codes (codes that are repeated with little or no variation) but with property promotion, these codes are reduced up to a great extent.
The list of the features of PHP 8.1 can go on and on.
This blog gives you an idea that “No, PHP is not dead yet.” There are many projects still working on PHP as it is convenient, easy to use, and constantly evolving. Hence, we can say conclusively that with new versions, PHP is upping their game by releasing new and easier to use versions.