The latest version of PHP8 which was released on November 26, 2020, comes packed with some of the most innovative features and performance improvements. Touted to be a major update to the PHP language or an improved PHP version, PHP 8 has surfaced with distinct features and optimizations in a new avatar, such as –
Named arguments – Optional parameters are skippable over the specific ones.
Union types – It allows runtime-validated native union type declarations.
Attributes – It mandates PHP’s native syntax instead of PHPDoc annotations.
Constructor property promotion – No heavy boilerplate code for initializing properties.
Match expression – It allows strict comparison and the result of an expression to be stored in a variable.
Nullsafe operator – With new Nullsafe operator, users can avoid null check conditions while choosing a chain of calls.
JIT (Just-In-Time compilation) – With new Tracing JIT compilation engine, synthetic benchmarks will be improved 3-times better.
Improvements in error handling, type system and consistency – It allows correction to the signatures of magic methods, among many other features.
Now We Are Going To Elaborate The Highlighted Features Of PHP 8.0 Which Are As Follows –
PHP 8 Named arguments
Under the new feature, arguments can be passed to a parameter-named function, instead of the parameter position. As a result, the arguments passed thus can be termed as self-documenting qualifying the arguments to arbitrarily skip the default values.
Benefits of named arguments in new Php version –
- Users are now at the leeway to directly overwrite specifying all the defaults until one of them deems it necessary to be changed. So, if there are certain defaults you wish to overwrite, named arguments can allow that.
- It allows code self-documenting even though programmers don’t wish to overwrite the optional arguments.
- PHP 8 simplifies declaring classes for value objects.
- It allows a solution for side-effects due to object initialization problems in a way not affecting the prevailing language semantics.
PHP 8 Attributes
The Attributes v2 RFC is precedent to doc-comments that allowed to add metadata to declarations of classes. Now, with the fresh introduction, PHP can be termed as a structured and syntactic metadata. Users can add it to the declaration of classes and functions etc.
Pros of Attributes:
- It resolves the name of an attribute against imported symbols during compilation. PHP 8 prevents accidental reuse of namespace attributes by different applications.
- It allows programmers to add meta data to classes, without having to resolve the DocBlock.
- Users can apply structured metadata with the native syntax of PHP without PHPDoc annotations.
- Programmers can add attributes after or before a dock-block comment.
- The number of attributes for a single declaration could be more than one, and vice versa.
PHP 8 Constructor property promotion
The concise syntax proposed by PHP 8 constructor property promotion is insidious of simplification related to the property declaration which induces shorter and less redundant version of the process (property declaration). One of the most salient features of this PHP8 classification is that it allows programmers to define and initialize properties using less boilerplate code.
Pros of Constructor property promotion –
- It allows for an improved process regarding object ergonomics in PHP.
- It simplifies the property declaration and helps programmers to avoid making the process more redundant like several times repetitions.
Things constructor property promotion don’t allow –
- Promoted properties are not allowed in abstract classes and interfaces.
- It does not allow implicit behavior concerning nullability.
- It does not allow callable type, as it is not a supported type for properties.
- Constructor properties keyworded with ‘Var’ are not allowed.
- Combination of both promoted properties and explicit properties should not be declared in duplication.
PHP 8 Union types
The values accepted by Union types are of variant segments. At present, PHP lacks supportive provision meted out to union types with syntax-exception (? Type) and exception to (iterable) type. Prior to PHP 8.0 was brought to existence, union types supported specifications in phpdoc annotations.
Pros of Union Types:
- The language supported by union types expedites moving more type information from phpdoc into function signatures.
- A “union type” does not refuse the values of multiple different types.
The application of union types, both in PHP’s standard library and in the open-source ecosystem is pervasive.
- When supporting union types in the language, one of the benefits it brings forth is early detection of mistakes when types are enforced. The enforced types are less vulnerable to getting defunct.
- Union types can find their presence in every position where types are presently accepted.
- PHP-supported all types are supported by union types.
PHP 8 Match expression
The match expression bears similarity to Switch but features safer semantics. It also makes easy for programmers to return values.
Pros of Match expression –
- The biggest benefit of using match expression is that unlike switch, it doesn’t compare values loosely.
- It allows more concise syntax, thanks to its multiple comma-separated expressions.
- Being an expression, match allows its results to be stored in a variable.
It follows strict comparisons, irrespective of strict_types.
- Unlike switch experiencing fallthrough, match expression doesn’t encounter such problem, as it adds an implicit break after every arm.
- It allows an early detection of mistakes thus preventing program crashes.
PHP 8 Nullsafe operator
In short-circuit evaluation the evaluation of second operator is initialized after the first one fails to evaluate to null. On the other hand, if the null is evaluated by an operator in a chain, it triggers failure of the execution of entire chain and evaluates to null.
Pros of Nullsafe operator
- The new Nullsafe operator allows application of a chain of calls, thus eliminating the need for null check conditions.
- It aborts an entire chain’s execution right after the evaluation of a single element in the chain fails. It also prompts an entire chain evaluates to null.
The release of PHP 8 was an overnight achievement, considering it consumed heavy investment of time and efforts for the professionals. However, the released new php version of PHP 8 will surely be a nice treat to enthusiastic PHP community to try the new version. Use this link to gain complete details associated with the latest release of PHP 8.0.
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- PHP has gone through several rounds of improvements since its 7.0 version. As a result, it comes equipped with specializations and better improvements.
- Php allows secure implementations and rapid innovations without encountering performance penalty. Moreover, the use of JIT can offset the susceptibility of PHP to overflows and other issues, including memory management.
- Being an open-source platform, the involvement of php development is a cost-effective approach for a big and small enterprises.
- It facilitates ease of customization with expanded functionalities for websites. As a result, your digital business will experience boosted performance for target audiences.
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