PHP 8 Tutorial

PHP 8 Introduction

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. Rasmus Lerdorf, an Apache team member, invented PHP in 1995. Rasmus Lerdorf named PHP as a Personal Home Page. Later Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans worked on it, and the acronym was changed to PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. Later Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans worked on it and the acronym was changed to PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

Hypertext Preprocessor means we do not need to compile the code. On every page request, the request is first sent to the server. The server interprets the code and returns the output in HTML format to the client browser.

PHP is a procedural and object-oriented language. It is server-side scripting or programming language which is very easy to learn and understand. The object oriented features are implemented by Zeev and Andi in PHP version 5.0 in 2004.

It has many of the most useful specific functions like generating dynamic page content, sending email, adding, deleting, modifying data in database, collecting form data, handling cookies and session. As this is absolutely free to download and use, so today this is most widely used in web development.

PHP Characteristics and Features

  • Simple
  • Interpreted
  • Open Source
  • Faster
  • Plateform Independent
  • Secure
  • Flexible

PHP Advantages

  • PHP is very simple and easy to learn. Its basic features are very simple and easy to understand. It also contains more advanced features for professional development.
  • It is capable of handling websites with lots of traffic, like Facebook, and trusted by thousands of developers for fast development of e-commerce sites, blogs, CMSs, etc. Wordpress is the most popular CMS developed in PHP.
  • It is a platform neutral language, so it can be run on all major operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS and also supports all major web servers like Apache, IIS, Netscape etc.
  • We can connect this with all major databases like MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server and also with MongoDB.
  • As it is a server-side scripting language, the code executes on the server and the generated result in HTML format is sent back to the client machine or display on the client browser.
  • It is an interpreted language, so its performance is hit by being interpreted rather than compiled.
  • PHP makes it easy to communicate with other programs and protocols. It supports Java and distributed object architectures and making n-tier development.
  • It has a large number of libraries, this is one of the reasons for becoming PHP so popular.

New Features of PHP 7

PHP7 is the major release in PHP history. It is conveyed for mobile applications and the cloud. This is a big release after the arrival of PHP 5. It uses Zend Engine 3.0 for better memory consumption and enhance the performance. The important features of PHP 7 are -

  • Improved Performance : PHP 7 is up to twice faster as compared with PHP 5.6.
  • Memory Consumption : It consumes less memory space.
  • Abstract Syntax Tree : It represents the structure of a program, it offers us to create some interesting representation of a program to analyse, and then we can transfer it back into the text-based program.
  • Consistent 64-bit support : Now it can be easily supported on 64-bit architecture-based machines.
  • Many fatal errors converted to Exceptions : By converting many fatal errors, which previously would crash a program to exceptions, that can help us to easily handle those exceptions.
  • Secure random number generator : It increases the security where we need to generate the random numbers.
  • The null coalescing operator (??) : It returns the first operand if it is set and not NULL, otherwise it returns the second operand.
  • Return and Scalar Type Declarations : It comes in two flavours: Coercive and Strict.
  • Anonymous Classes : It allows us to create objects without need to give them a name.
  • Zero cost asserts : It allows for zero-cost assertions in production code and provides the ability to throw custom exceptions when an assertion fails.

PHP 7 Migration

The PHP official site provides a brief explanation of how to migrate the site from the previous version of PHP to PHP7. If you want to migrate, please visit the following link -

New Features of PHP 8

PHP 8 was released on November 26, 2020. It's another new version, which implies that it will present some breaking changes, just as heaps of new features and performance enhancements. The important features of PHP 8 are -

  • Union types : It accept values that can be of different types. It allows you to declare more than one type in your classes or arguments, like -
    public function test(Test|Demo $input): int|float;
  • Constructor Property Promotion : This RFC adds syntactic sugar to make esteem or information transfer objects. Rather than indicating class properties and a constructor for them, PHP would now be able to consolidate them into one.
  • Static return type : PHP 8 introduces the usage of static as return type next to self and parent types.
  • JIT (Just in Time compiler) : The most prominent highlight accompanying PHP 8 is the with perfect timing (JIT) compiler.
  • Named Arguments : Named arguments are another new expansion to PHP 8. With named arguments, you would now be able to pass an argument to a function dependent on the parameter name.
  • Null-safe Operator : Null-safe operator provides safety in method/property chaining when the return value or property can be null.

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