Even though over two decades have gone by, since the introduction of PHP, its popularity continues to rise. We take a look at how using its latest version– PHP 7 would help businesses in the future.
PHP, ever since it was launched in 1994, has been a dominant tool in the field of programming and its importance as a developmental tool cannot be denied ever since then. Offering an ease of usage along with flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of situation, it has only improved by many folds over the last two decades. The current iteration – PHP 7.0 aims to take the tool into the new age with the same grace and ease of usage as its predecessors. Unlike other programming languages, it is relatively easier to learn and even easier to use and implement. And since it has been around consistently for over two decades it allows developers and programmers with a vast cesspool of data stored in libraries for accessing in order to advance their own work and projects.
Some of the most popular CMS plugins, WordPress, Joomla, and Magento amongst others make use of PHP for their mainstay. To put it in layman’s terms it is a server-side programming language that can be accessed from any computer or device. There was a lot of buzz around a version 6.0 that was being developed by the developer community as the successor to version 5.6. However, delays in development caused the version to fall in disrepute amongst the development community and that was the reason why they jumped straight away to creating version 7.0. And that has not been in vain. A recent report on the ‘Usage statistics and market share of PHP for websites’ plugs that 82.1% of all websites use PHP as the server side programming language. This was a major driver for creating version 7. In places with unreliable 3G connections, speed of webpage loading is of primary importance for the user. One of the key advantages that PHP 7.0 offers over version 5.6 is speed. A 100% leap in performance improvement has ensured that the new version has been met with much cheer in the developers’ community. Better scripting languages have been the reasons behind the reduction of costs and power consumption. Version 7.0 has reduced the demand on servers making them more energy efficient and cost effective.
As mentioned before the main change that has come in, is the improved performance. Almost two times faster than the older version, it can compete easily with the lines of the Hip Hop Virtual Machine (HHVM). It also helps improve the performance output for Drupal users and also for users of WordPress it executes requests twice as fast compared to the erstwhile version. Some more changes that have come into the new version include error handling which has been replaced by object oriented exceptions. This helps to fix bugs in the code. Syntaxes for variable dereferencing and for each statement have been changed too. There are more consistent conversions between integers and floating point numbers. The system of marking comments in INI files has been removed too.
The numbers for websites using PHP is over 82.1%. However, those using the new version are less than 1% as of early 2016. But the performance advantages of the new version are sure to overtake the predecessor in the coming days. Given that major players like WordPress have been preparing in advance for months for the new version to go to show, just how much faith the development community puts in it. There is no doubt that the upgrade from version 5.6 to version 7 will only prove worthwhile in the coming days. In fact the extended speed allows the users to offer better services to the clients. As of now upgrading to version 7.0 from versions 5.5 or 5.6 is straightforward. The code that is used to write the programs can be easily upgraded to version number 7.0. An issue does arise if the upgrade is from version 4.0 to 7.0. The syntax changes have to be kept in mind for the upgradation whenever it is done. The best way to ensure that is, if the code runs integration tests and unit tests, for they would work towards catching any untoward bugs in the environment.
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