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Halls of Valhalla:
From PHP 5 to 7
September 22, 2014 @ 10:56:32

On the "Halls of Valhalla" site there's a new post the tries to explain the jump from PHP5 to PHP7 and what all that means for the language (and community around it).

Since around 2005 we've heard talk about PHP 6 development. There have even been books sold about it. But where is it? As of July of this year it was decided that there won't be one and that PHP will skip directly to version 7. Why is it skipping to the next major version, and what ever happened with PHP 6? And if we're already jumping to PHP 7, what kinds of features will it have?

They start with a "brief history" of PHP since its inception back in the mid 1990s and follow its evolution at a high level through the years. Then comes the topic of PHP6 and the work that was already being put towards it and integrated Unicode support. It talks about some of the difficulties of this conversion and the delays that ended up happening. Instead, it was decided that things would stay in the PHP 5.x series and 5.3, 5.4 and 5.5 have been created since. The jump to PHP7 came from this vote with several different reasons influencing the decision.

The post finishes with a look at some of the new things that will be coming in PHP7 including major performance improvements, abstract syntax tree functionality and asynchronous programming, allowing for the execution of parallel tasks in the same request.

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Link: http://halls-of-valhalla.org/beta/news/from-php-5-to-7,146/

PHPClasses.org:
PHP 7 Features and Release Date
August 04, 2014 @ 12:54:58

As Manuel Lemos mentions in his most recent blog post the official name for the next major release of the PHP language has been decided...and no, it's not PHP 6. Based on the results of this vote, the next major version will start off the PHP 7 series.

Manuel talks about some of the reasoning behind skipping over the PHP 6 naming and how it's possible that the PHPNG branch could become the base for PHP 7. Some of the improvements in this release could include:

  • Huge Performance Improvements
  • JIT (Just In Time) Engine
  • AST: Abstract Syntax Tree

As it stands now, there's no predicted release date for PHP 7, but guesses put it between one to three years out, depending on the functionality it plans to include.

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Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/242-PHP-7-Features-and-Release-Date.html

PHP Town Hall:
Episode 29 Dont Mention PHP 6 v PHP 7
July 31, 2014 @ 11:04:17

The PHP Town Hall podcast has released their latest episode, hosted by Phil Sturgeon and Ben Edmunds - Episode #29: Don't Mention PHP 6 v PHP 7. In this episode they're joined by guests Paul Jones and Daniel Lowrey.

Paul has recently been talking a lot about "Action Domain Responder" which is billed as a more representative replacement of the often mis-used "Model View Controller" architecture. Luckily he does a good job of ELI5 so we don't get too lost, and we talk a bit about how ADR helps with putting content negotiation in a logical place. Daniel then goes on to talk about a few awesome topics, including some of the OpenSSL changes in 5.6, and a HTTP server he is working on built entirely from PHP. It's async, non-blocking and web-scale.

They also talk about HTTP2, the Aura framework and the PSR-7 HTTP messaging proposal. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player, by downloading the mp3 or you can watch the live recording from the Google+ session.

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Link: http://phptownhall.com//blog/2014/07/30/episode-29-dont-mention-php-6-v-php-7/

Phil Sturgeon:
The Neverending Muppet Debate of PHP 6 v PHP 7
July 24, 2014 @ 10:18:14

Phil Sturgeon has posted about something he calls the "neverending muppet debate of PHP 6 versus PHP 7. As the PHP language moves forward, the PHP 5.x series is coming to a close. The discussion as started up whether to name it "PHP 6" or "PHP 7" and both sides have their proponents.

There are a few major, important conversations happening in the PHP internals mailing list as we speak: The Facebook lot heading up a specification based off of PHP 5.6 Should phpng be moved into master to be the base of the next major PHP version How can we best go about scalar typehinting? There is also another conversation: Should it be PHP 6 or PHP 7 Wait... what?

He goes on to provide a little context, pointing out that back in 2010 PHP 6 was being slated for release as the next major version of the language (this was around the PHP 5.2 days). Unfortunately, it stalled out and some of what was planned went into PHP 5.3. This didn't stop publishers from releasing books and articles about "PHP 6" though. It's already being put up for a vote with "PHP 7" pulling ahead. Phil also includes more context around the discussions, sharing the main points of each side and snippets from the RFC and mailing list thread currently ongoing.

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Link: http://philsturgeon.uk/blog/2014/07/neverending-muppet-debate-of-php-6-v-php-7

PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP Podcast #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP6"
January 20, 2014 @ 11:36:41

On the PHPClasses.org site today they've published the latest episode in their "Lately in PHP" podcast series, Episode #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP 6".

The Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine, HHVM, has been evolving a lot, so PHP developers are considering it as a possible replacement for Zend Engine in PHP 6. This was one of the main topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and César Rodas in the episode 43 of the Lately in PHP podcast. They also discussed other topics like FastCGI support in HHVM, having PHP function naming consistency plans for PHP 6, TLS peer verification for secure connections, and using Composer to install JavaScript, CSS and images for PHP projects.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or watching the live video recording from the Google Hangout.

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Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/225-Is-Facebook-HHVM-going-to-Replace-Zend-Engine-in-PHP-6--Lately-in-PHP-podcast-episode-43.html

Florin Patan:
Next big thing in PHP
February 27, 2013 @ 12:19:47

Florin Patan has posted about what he calls the next big thing in PHP - his observations of the current state of the language/community and what could be coming down the road.

What's the next big thing in PHP? Or more accurately, how do you get to wish/want for a next big thing in PHP? PHP currently is seen as a jack of all trades, master none by most of people outside of PHP world and it's starting to look the same way for people who are using it as well. How did we got there?

He spends a lot of the post talking about the future of PHP, though - what could be coming along with a PHP 6 release. He suggests that, with the way things are going, PHP could not be around too much longer if something dosen't change. He also makes several suggestions to the core PHP developers about what they could do to help the situation including strong typed variables, a "smarter parser" and a poll for PHP.net asking the users what they want in the language.

This should be the next big thing in PHP. Collaboration and better community interface for both worlds, users and devs. Help us help you on PHP6, help us making a better world for everyone using PHP.
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Phil Sturgeon:
PHP 6 Pissing in the Wind
January 28, 2013 @ 10:42:16

With some of the recent talk about the consistency of naming methods in PHP (or lack thereof) Phil Sturgeon has put together some ideas about why this (and unicode) changes aren't happing in the language.

PHP is well known for having an inconsistent API when it comes to PHP functions. Anyone with an anti-PHP point of view will use this as one of their top 3 arguments for why PHP sucks, while most PHP developers will point out that they don't really care. [...] Another big thing that anti-PHP folks laugh about is the lack of scalar objects, so instead of $string->length() you have to do strlen($string). ANOTHER thing that people often joke about is how PHP 6.0 just never happened, because the team were trying to bake in Unicode support but just came across so many issues that it never happened.

He shares an "obvious answer" to the problems and shares a theory as to why it's not happening - that no one is really working on out (outisde of this POC) and some of the handling with the recent property accessors RFC. He finishes off the post with three more points, all related to the results of the voting - little points seem to get voted in easier, the representation of developers in the process and that at least one of the "no" votes had to do with not wanting to maintain the results.

Making changes to this language should not be blocked just because a quiet minority of the core team don't like the idea of being asked to do stuff.

Be sure to check out the comments on the post - there's lots of them, so be sure you have some good time to read.

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PHPClasses.org Blog:
2010 Yet another great year for PHP
December 23, 2010 @ 08:50:54

On the PHPClasses.org blog today there's a new post from Manuel Lemos looking back at 2010 an the life of PHP - yet another great year.

2010 was an year full of interesting happenings for the PHP development and its community of developers. This article presents a balance of what were the most important happenings in the PHP community in 2010, as well a reflection of what we can expect for 2011 for PHP, as well for the PHPClasses site.

Among the important happenings of this past year he mentions the issues surrounding PHP6, HipHop and PHP running on the Andriod platform. He speculates on a few things that we can expect from PHP in the upcoming year(s) like the release of PHP 5.4. Also included are some updates that were made to the PHPClasses.org site itself.

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LWN.net:
Resetting PHP 6
March 31, 2010 @ 13:30:19

On LWN.net there's a new article written up by Jonathan Corbet about the state of PHP6, what it was supposed to be and what it might be in the future.

Rightly or wrongly, many in our community see Perl 6 as the definitive example of vaporware. But what about PHP 6? This release was first discussed by the PHP core developers back in 2005. There have been books on the shelves purporting to cover PHP 6 since at least 2008. But, in March 2010, the PHP 6 release is not out - in fact, it is not even close to out. Recent events suggest that PHP 6 will not be released before 2011 - if, indeed, it is released at all.

He talks about features that were supposed to disappear in PHP6 (with some of them making their way into PHP 5.3) including the Unicode support the language needs more and more. He mentions how the development has stalled out a bit recently but has been spurred back to life when major decisions were made to get away from a PHP 5.4 branch and move back to PHP6.

Be sure to check out the great comments on the post from other PHP developers from all around the web.

If you enjoy this post, please consider subscribing to LWN for more great articles.

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