November 18, 2020

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3 Things PHP 8 Will Bring With It

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Meta Des: PHP initially stood from “Personal Home Page” since the creator, Rasmus Lerdorf, used the technology to track and monitor his personal resume visits.

PHP’s popularity is not hidden from anyone, be it a developer or an entrepreneur working in the tech-field. It is one of the most famous programming languages used for a significant period to develop all kinds of websites- static or dynamic. And also web applications.

PHP initially stood from “Personal Home Page” since the creator, Rasmus Lerdorf, used the technology to track and monitor his personal resume visits. Later, as PHP advanced with evolving technology, the acronym was changed to “Hypertext Preprocessor.”

A primary reason why many organizations prefer to hire PHP coders and make full use of PHP is that it is open-sourced and can be easily yet effectively embedded with HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), a famously used code.

HTML is used by most developers wishing to code the front-end of an application or website while integrating PHP to create a flawlessly working back-end that manages the functioning of a domain in the server.

Currently, the PHP team is aiming to launch a fresher update with version 8.0.0. Therefore, it would be best to know all about it before you create a PHP project or update your existing one.

In this write-up, we will mention three things you can expect to experience with PHP 8.

So what’s the wait? Let’s get started:

●    OPcache Extension:

The OPcache update is coming with PHP 8 to enhance the performance of the language in totality. The extension will save the precompiled bytecode in the shared memory.

It will entirely remove the system’s need to respond to each request with a load and parse. The JIT compiler prepares a cached version that is stored by the OPcache extension.

A typical execution process in PHP consists of 4 phases:

  • Lexing: It is also known as tokenizing; in this process, a string of PHP code is turned into tokens, which work as identifiers for a particular value.
  • Parsing: The next step the language takes is to register the input (the tokens), and then it confirms the validity of the token order. It is also responsible for generating the abstract syntax tree (AST), which provides an overview of the source code and is used in the third step.
  • Compilation: Compilation demands the recursive movement of the AST. It also includes optimization, including resolving the function calls via literal arguments. And even folding the mathematical formulas encountered regularly.
  • Execution: Finally, the code is executed by the system, and the output is displayed depending on the command.

Although to enable the OPcache extension, you may have to hire full-time PHP developers for proper optimization of work. Once you have integrated your PHP interpreter’s extension, you will just have to go through the entire code once. After this, the compiled version will be stored in the memory and executed on one command, skipping the first three stages.

●    JIT Compiler:

The JIT compiler, which stands for the Just-In-Time compiler, is one of those updates that is snatching away the developer’s sleep. The excitement revolving around this update is due to the possibility it holds of speeding up the execution of this language. The JIT compiler is expected to make PHP the direct competitor of offline languages in terms of power.

The inclusion of the JIT compiler in the recent update aims to increase the usability and performance of the language.

Since PHP is an interpreted language, it is necessary to translate the codes into a language understood by the CPU and other machines while they are executed at the runtime.

The introduction of this new feature allows the compilation of code to be executed at runtime instead of requiring interpretation on the machine’s part. Therefore, you can expect to experience a quicker translation process.

It can be seen as an already-interpreted running cached version of code.

●    Union Types 2.0:

PHP 8 is also bringing an update in the union types to allow the developers to state one variable in numerous types. In the older versions, these union types were specified just in phpdoc annotations.

However, this time, the language aims to provide considerable support for union types in the function signature. The feature frees the developers from turning towards the inline documentation when stumbled upon a task. Instead, using syntax, it is possible to define this function if you hire PHP programmers who are well-read and aware of the evolving technology.

The principal benefits the support of union types will bring are:

  1. Correct enforcement of the types
  2. Identifying glitches and mistakes in the early stages of development
  3. Reducing the chances of the display of outdated data.
  4. More flexibility via syntax in comparison to phpdoc

Conclusion:

The increasing excitement among the PHP community is a clear indicator of how remarkable the PHP 8 will be. Many developers are on their toes to use the most recent version of PHP and increase their website’s performance. Not just that, many entrepreneurs owning a website are also hoping to quickly implement version 8.0.0 and give their websites the boost they deserve.

The most awaited feature is (till now) the JIT compiler, which accumulates the code’s cached version to shorten the execution and transition process.

Other functions that are sure to make coders jump from their seats are- Union Types 2.0, OPcache extension, Construction property promotion, and many more everyone is looking forward to.

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