Top 5 PHP 7 New Features to Watch

Top 5 PHP 7 New Features to Watch

PHP is certainly the most popular and favoured programming language. The entire community is excited about the mega release of PHP latest version in decades. PHP 7 new features definitely will add more flexibility to the existing skillful language.

There might be many questions in your mind, like why they named it PHP 7 and not PHP 6? What is PHP 7? What’s new in PHP 7? Do you know the PHP 7 release date? You’ll get all your answers in this article.

Many dates were speculated, but finally, the PHP 7 release date was 3rd December 2015.  The reason for naming the release as PHP 7 was that the modifications to be done in PHP 6 were already made in PHP 5.3 and later.

This may not be the exact reason to change the name, but what I’m trying to convince you’ll is that we haven’t missed anything. To avoid chaos and confusion with a dead project, gave a name PHP 7 to the latest version of PHP.

In this huge excitement for PHP 7, developers must be excited to know what’s new in PHP 7? To get details about PHP 7 release date, PHP 7 new features, and many more, let’s deep dive into this article, and all your queries will get solved.

What Is PHP 7?

PHP 7 is a huge release of the PHP programming language.  It has arrived as an evolution in how web applications can be delivered and developed for mobile to enterprises and the cloud.

The release of PHP latest version considered as one of the vital changes for PHP after the release of PHP 5 in 2004.

What’s New In PHP 7?

1. Speed Advancement

The PHP developers for the PHP 7 have done an admirable job here. The PHP codebase utilizes less memory and provides PHP development Company with much better performance than before.

After the grand release of its release, the internet was flooded with promising benchmarks. And with the release of PHP latest version, the server response time was nearly double.

To know more about the details on benchmarks, contact the web development company now.

2. Execution Of Type Declarations

The type of declaration is generally used to define the type of variable. The PHP programming language sets it automatically, which makes it a weakly typed language.

Web development company can make radical changes with variables as PHP does not need to declare the data type. Radical changes like adding Float into String without resulting in an error can be done.

PHP 7 new features of type declaration can help the developers to achieve expected results. Ensuring that only definite procedures are to have occurred and makes the code understandable.

In previous versions of PHP, there was a type hinting method. And this method is used to determine the type of argument declaration in the function.

But the major drawback of this method was that it could only be used with a function declaration. And due to its major drawback, it limits developers to only two types: a class name and an array.

  • Scalar Type Declaration

PHP 7 new features include Scalar type declaration for float, int, boolean, and string.

Addition of scalar type declarations and allowing strict requirements assures that more accurate and well-documented PHP programs can be quoted. These declarations can help web development company gain control over the code and make it easier to read.

By default, on PHP latest version, these declarations are non-strict, and due to this type, forging is made possible. Like for instance, if you pass the string starting with a number to a float type function.

It will grab the number from the start and will skip everything else. To pass a float into a function that would require an int, then that float will become int.

Non-strict example:

function getSum(float $a, float $b) {

   return $a + $b;

}

getSum(6, “7 week”);

//Here int(6) changed to float(6.0) and string “7 week” changed to float(7.0)

//with a “Notice: A non well formed numeric value encountered”

//returns float(13)

getSum(1.1, “2.2”);

//Here string “2.2” is changed to float(2.2) without any notice

//returns float(3.3)

getSum(3.1, 2);

// changes int(2) to float(2.0)

// returns int(5.1) 

In the above example, the get sum function accommodates two floats, and further, it adds them together, returning the sum.

While you take PHP 7 into action, these non-strict types of declarations will reforge these arguments to match the specific type in the function.

It explains that whatever argument we pass on the PHP latest version will convert it to float.

Strict Example:

The new features in PHP 7 provide an opportunity to strict the declaration type. It can be obtained by adding “strict_types=1” to the top line of the file.

It assures that any calls made to the functions specified must precisely adhere to the specified types. Strict is driven in the file where the call to function is made and not the file in which the function is to be determined.

While one will use strict type declaration if in case mismatch occurs, an “Fatal Error” occurs, then we get to know that some things are not going as they are desired.

IT further helps to prevent causing any random and confusing diagnose issues. Let’s look at an example to understand the strict types.

declare(strict_types=1);

function getSum(float $a, float $b) {

    return $a + $b;

}

getSum(3, “2 week”);

// Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: Argument 2 passed to getSum() must be of the type float, string given 

getSum(1.8, “4.5”);

// Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: Argument 2 passed to getSum() must be of the type float, string given 

getSum(3.1, 2);

// int(2) change to float(2.0)

//returns float(5.1)

Setting “declare strict_type” to “1” helps the first two calls to pass a string to produce a fatal error, i.e., “Uncaught, Type error: Argument 2 transferred to get sum() must be of the float type, string givenâ”.

There is only a single exception in the third call as if you pass an integer for an argument in place of float value, PHP 7 will perform “widening”, and this comprises of adding .0 at the end of the integer value and will take back to (5.1).

  • Return Type Declarations

The 3rd type of declaration, which is supported by PHP 7, are return-type declarations. As a return, it supports all the similar types of argument. To get a better understanding of how to specify a return type, let us look at an example:

function getSum(float $a, float $b) : float {

}

The addition of a return type assures that only an anticipated value type returns.

In the last 2 examples, if we set the return type to float, it will function in the same manner. As the values to be returned earlier float. Therefore now let’s look at an example for int. return types.

Non-strict Integer Example:

If we determine the return type as int for the earlier examples, it will function the same in the absence of the strict type declaration.

The only difference it is likely to have is that the return will be forged to an integer. Hence this will truncate the float value and only returns the integer.

function getSum(float $a, float $b) : int {

    return $a + $b;

} 

getSum(6, “7 week”);

// changes int(6) to float(6.0) & string(“7 week”) to float(7.0)

// returns int(13); 

getSum(1.1, “2.2”);

// changes string “2.2” to float(2.2)

// returns int(3.3) 

getSum(3.1, 2);

// changes int(2) to float(2.0)

// returns int(5.1)

Strict Integer Example:

For instance, if we change strict types on we’ll, we will get a Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: Return value of getting sum () needs to be of the type integer, float returned.

For this deal we’ll, we will be moulding our return value as an int. which further returns the abbreviated value.

declare(strict_types=1); 

function getSum(float $a, float $b) : int {

// return $a + $b;

// The above statement shows Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: Return value of getSum() must be of the type integer, float returned

    return (int)($a + $b); // truncate float like non-strict

} 

getSum(3.1, 2); // changes int(2) to float(2.0) and returns int(5.1)

Advantages:

These new features in PHP 7 of type declarations will help make the code easier to read and understand.

PHP 7 new features PHP Development Company is likely to get versatile type declaration methods that will make their work-life easier. You can determine at the initial stage of the function what is require and what will you get.

3. Execution Of Error Handling

The next PHP 7 new features we will be discussing are the Error Handling techniques implemented in the PHP latest version. Management of data errors was like suffering in the previous PHP versions.

If there are any fatal errors, it’ll directly stop the script instead of invoking the error handler. On the production server, it is likely to return a blank white screen which further will lead your credibility to drop.

But the PHP latest version enables an exception to be thrown away when an error appears instead of stopping the entire script. It does not imply that the fatal errors are removed from PHP 7.

It continues to exist, and it implies that an unrecognized exception will be a fatal error in PHP 7. One more thing that is important that other types of errors like notices and warnings remain unchanged in PHP latest version. Recoverable and fatal errors only give exceptions.

Nevertheless, exceptions and errors both in PHP 7 enforce the current throwable class. It defines that both of them function the same way. Let’s look at an example to understand in a better way:

-> Exception implements Throwable

    -> …

-> Error implements Throwable

    -> TypeError

    -> ParseError

    -> ArithmeticError

        -> DivisionByZeroError

    -> AssertionError

Taking about errors now, the PHP 7 has many more factual errors, and it consists of Type error, Parse Error, Assertion Error, and Arithmetic Errors.

All the errors specified as fatal in PHP 5, now throw example errors of PHP 7. It will help the Web Development Company to enhance the legibility of their codes.

4. New Operators

The new features in PHP 7 bring us some new operators. Let’s directly dive into learning and understanding these new operators.

  • Spaceship Operator

The foremost PHP 7 new feature in the list is the Spaceship operator, also called the Combined Comparison Operator.

This operator is assembled using the previous 3 operators, namely “=”, “<” and “>”. It will be constructed something like:

<=>

What is the use of this operator, and how will it compare the values on the left side to the values on the right side and returns of the three distinct values. To get a better understanding, look at the instance shown below:

$compareResult = $a <=> $b 

if $a < $b it returns “-1” to the variable “compareResult”

if $a = $b it returns “0” to the variable “compareResult”

if $a > $b it returns “1” to the variable “compareResult”

It is raffer as a significant operator. PHP development companies are using it for sorting. Get some tips for hiring PHP Developers for your Web Development.

  • Null Coalesce Operator

Another new feature in PHP 7 is the Null Coalesce Operator. If it is not null, then it returns the left operand, or else in other cases, it returns the right operand.

It is mentioned to understand that it would not pop any notice if the left operand is a null variance.

$user = $userName ?? “v3ron”;

In the above instance, if the variable username is not specified as null, then it is likely to push that value to the variable “user”, or else “v3ron” will be assigned to the variable “user”.

Before the PHP 7 release date, something like this was written as

$user = isset($userName) ? $userName : “v3ron”;

And it is possible to stack these so that they can be used further. It functions to check every time from left to right till it finds one that is not null. Further, it will use that value.

5. CSPRNG Functions

Let’s understand what CSPRNG is. CSPRNG stands for “Cryptographically Secure Pseudo-Random Number Generator”.

The CSPRNG functions are contacted as cryptographic secure Pseudo-random number generator is an easier approach to use API.

It offers one a simple and trustworthy way to develop secure random integers and bytes. Later it will use within cryptographic contexts. It is using for developing random passwords or password salt.

Two new functions added to the list of new features in PHP 7. They are “random_bytes” and “random_integers”. Let’s understand them to analyze what all it has to offer to PHP Development Company.

  • Random Bytes

With the help of random bytes, you will get a single argument which is likely to be the whole length of the random string which will be returned in bytes. Here is an example to make you understand in a better way.

$randomByte = random_bytes(10); // 10 is the length in bytes 

var_dump(bin2hex($randomByte)); 

// output for the above code is: string(20) “5f655db3ae43c256937b”

These bytes are not integers. And for a random number or integer, one needs to use the random_int function.

  • Random Integers

The Random integer function helps to generate secure random integers. When the Web Development Company uses random_int, they supply two arguments, namely min and max.

And this determines the maximum and minimum numbers for the random integer. For instance:

random_int(2,10);

The above-written code returns a random number between 2-10 also including the above two as well.

At priority, you may learn how to develop a PHP website to get a better ranking in search engines before building a PHP website.

Conclusion

The release of PHP’s latest version has removed the obsolete and old code and has created a way for the new PHP 7 to provide performance upgrades in the future.

Additionally, PHP 7 is likely to get add-on performance optimizations pretty soon. In spite of the capability breaks with past releases, most of the queries are easy to resolve.

Some features removed from all the PHP 7 new features. Some of the PHP versions have expired.

Therefore, it is the perfect time to upgrade to PHP 7 for an effortless, quick approach, hence updating all the codes. Consult the top PHP Development Company today to get a swift upgrade to PHP latest version.

php 7 new features

FAQs

Which PHP Version to Use With WordPress?

To run WordPress effortlessly, we recommend host supports to use PHP version 7.4 or PHP latest version. Either they can use MySQL version 5.6 or greater or MariaDB version 10.1 or advanced.

How to Find out Which PHP Version You're Using?

To find out which PHP version you are using, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Type the command that states, replacing location with the path of your PHP installation.
  2. By typing PHP, -ve will show you the latest PHP version installed in your Windows system.

How to Safely Upgrade Your WordPress PHP Version?

If you wish to upgrade your WordPress site's PHP version, then head to 'sites' and then click on the site you want to change the PHP version. Further click on the 'tools' tab. Under the 'PHP engine', select head towards the drop-down and select from the offered PHP versions.

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