Today, nearly 80% of websites use the PHP language in its different versions. Many PHP developers responsible for these sites use mostly version 5.4 (38%) in their daily missions. The current version is version 7.1, released on December 1, 2016. It uses Zend Engine 2 and introduces more powerful object modeling, error handling based on exceptions model, as well as business management capabilities. PHP 5 already brought a lot of novelties, such as support for SQLite as well as ways to manipulate libxml2-based XML files and structures. In addition PHP5 brought a much better management of the objects compared to PHP 4.
Abort of PHP version 6
In 2005, the project to make PHP a working language of Unicode origin was launched, using the International Components for Unicode (ICU) library and using UTF-16 to represent strings in the engine. But this represented a major change both in the functioning of the language and in the PHP code created by its users, and it was decided to integrate this in a new version 6.0. However, for human and technical reasons, this version was never born.
Creation of version 5.3 in 2009
In 2009, a version 5.3 was created. Version 5.3 introduced many new functions: namespaces - a fundamental element in the development of extensions, libraries and structured frameworks, anonymous functions, closures, and so on.
The project has since passed on to an annual delivery cycle containing significant advances but while preserving as much as possible the retrocompatibility with the existing PHP code:
- Version 5.4 in 2012,
- Version 5.5 in 2013,
- Version 5.6 in 2014.
In view of the different orientations taken by PHP 6, some developers propose to name PHP 7, the successor version of PHP 5. The new version proposes an optimization of the code and, according to the company Zend, offers performance exceeding that of virtual machines like HHVM. Since support for the PHP 5 is coming to an end, it becomes urgent to switch to PHP 7. Indeed, this one presents itself as much more efficient and fast.
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