PHP 8.0



This week, the shiny new PHP 8.0 release will take place! It has been 5 years since PHP released a new major version. In this article, we want to share less-technical benefits of the new release.

PHP 8.0

The upgrade to PHP 8.0


Every major release allows for breaking changes to be introduced. This version however introduces little breaking changes to the main programming language. This might be considered the downside of this release, but in fact: it is not! It means that if you kept your PHP versions up-to-date, upgrading will go a lot smoother than upgrading from PHP 5 to PHP 7.

PHP is 25 years old and is a rather old computer language. Within every major upgrade, they try to get rid of some inconsistent legacy. Within this release, they worked on improving the string to number conversion and comparison. Meaning that if your application receives numbers in a string format, PHP will be more consistent in converting these strings into usable numbers. This will result in a more consistent application, which results in less strange “bugs”. Besides that, the sorting has finally been made stable. So items that have the same sort value, will always be in the same order than before they were sorted.


It will allow your developers to deliver better code quality, resulting in fewer bugs

PHP Release 8.0


On top of that, this new version comes with A LOT of new technical features. Most of those new features are opt-in syntactical improvements and additions, added types, new functions, shorter ways of doing the same thing… This is very technical stuff, but in short: it will allow your developers to deliver better code quality, resulting in fewer bugs.

The previous major release, the 7.0 release, came with a massive performance boost. The PHP 8.0 version has a new opt-in feature called the Just In-time Parser (JIT). Depending on what type of application you are writing, this might result in another performance boost. However, the effects of JIT might not be noticeable in regular PHP web applications. You can always play around with the new JIT settings and benchmark if it has any positive effect on your application.


What with older versions of PHP?


Another side-effect of this new release is that support on PHP <7.2 will disappear and PHP 7.3 will only get security patches. The only actively supported versions will be PHP 7.4 and PHP 8.0! This is exciting, because it means that we can use pretty much all of previously introduced type optimizations in every project without having to look back to older PHP versions! This will have a big positive effect on the general code quality and stability of every PHP project out there.

Today, the PHP community is working hard on getting all packages (like Laravel, Magento, Symfony,...) PHP 8.0 compatible. Most of this work is being done for free by random people on the internet. If you want to help out : there are a lot of people looking for a sponsorship to work on their open-source packages!


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