Are you a web developer or a website owner? Do your sites run on PHP-enabled Content Management System such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or Magento? Then I have good news for you: the new PHP 7 was released. The 7.0.0 major release contains so many cool features that we decided to dedicate a whole post to it.
1. The name is PHP 7, not 6
The version released before uses the version number PHP 5.6. After some dispute the development team decided they would omit the PHP 6 name for the next major release. PHP 6 already existed in the past as an experimental project but never reached the production phase.
To prevent users from mixing up the former attempt with the latest development, the new major release is under the name of PHP 7.
The goal of this article is to analyse both discs and decide which option is actually the right one. In order to do that, we will make a comparison of SSD and HDD storage and go over the good, the bad, and the ugly of both. But before that, please check the video below to visually see the difference between these two types of disc (SSD will be on your left and HDD will be on your right).
2. The brand new Zend Engine behind it
The Zend engine has been powering PHP since 1999 when it was introduced with the then new PHP 4 release. Zend – not to confused with the Zend Framework – is an open-source execution engine written in C that interprets the PHP language.
The current PHP 5.X series use Zend Engine II that enhanced the functionality of the initial engine and adds an extensible object model and a significant performance enhancement to the language.
PHP 7 receives a brand new version of the engine coming under the code name of PHP#NG (Next Generation).
The most easily recognisable advantage of the new PHPNG engine is the significant performance improvement. The development team of PHPNG refactored the Zend Engine, and remarkably optimised memory usage.
The results? You can see the performance benchmarks provided by the Zend Performance Team below. By using PHP 7 not only your code will be executed faster but you will also need fewer servers to serve the same amount of users.
4. Facilitates Error Handling
To say the least, handling fatal and catchable fatal errors have never been an easy task for PHP coders. The new Engine Exceptions will allow you to replace these kind of errors with exceptions. If the exception is not caught, PHP will continue to return the same fatal errors as it does in the current 5.X series.
The new \EngineException objects don’t extend the \Exception Base Class. This ensures backward compatibility and results in two different kinds of exceptions in error handling: traditional and engine exceptions. To enable programmers to catch both, PHP 7 introduces a new shared Parent Class under the name of \BaseException.
5. 64-Bit Windows Systems Support
PHP is a prominent member of the LAMP stack which means its native environment is Linux – but it’s also possible to run it on a Windows system. The 5.X series don’t yet provide 64-bit integer or large file support, so until now x64 builds have been considered experimental.
PHP 7 is changing this as it introduces consistent 64-bit support which means both native 64-bit integers and large files will be supported, allowing you to confidently run the language on your 64-bit Windows system in the future.