PHP 7.4 is out! – What’s New? Why it is Worth to Upgrade?

By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
8 mins
php web development

The PHP language has had a huge evolution in recent years. In version 7, PHP was 2-3 times faster than the previous version. Likewise, PHP 7.4 Update is faster than its previous ones. In addition, Numerous features have been added to the language core. Also worth mentioning is the maturity of the PHP ecosystem made up of numerous libraries, frameworks and tools. That is, PHP as a platform is increasingly mature and robust. And as this evolution continues, the next version of PHP will be full of new features long awaited by developers such as typed properties, and arrow functions, etc.

PHP 7.4 New Features

Before you know what the new features of the next version of PHP are, it is important to know which version, and when it will be available to the public. The PHP language released version 7.4 of the language in November 2019. The advanced features of PHP 7.4 are –

Typed Properties – The typed properties or typed properties is one of the unexpected features of PHP 7.4. It allows typing properties of a class and represents an improvement on the PHP language type system.

Arrow Functions – The arrow functions are another much-anticipated feature in PHP Application Development. It allows you to represent a closure - an anonymous function that is aware of the outer scope - in a small way. This functionality will help make the code more expressive, especially in situations where regular use of anonymous functions is made. Also, remember that only one line is allowed in an arrow function. With the new PHP Application Migration syntax of functions arrow is possible to reduce the boilerplate for creating a closure and the outer scope is known automatically by the function (without the need use).

Spread Operator in Arrays – PHP has supported argument unpacking since version 5.6 of the language. Functionality allows "unpacking" an array into an argument list using the spread operator. However, the use of the spread operator was not allowed to define arrays from another array. When trying to use this approach, PHP will catch a syntax error. This functionality for Custom PHP Development will help make the code more expressive and is another great addition to the language.

Null Coalescing Assignment Operator – PHP has supported null coalesce operator since version 7.0 of the language. Functionality allows you to check if a variable has been defined and not null. If so, use the value of the variable for an assignment and, if not, use a default value. With the introduction of the operator, it is much easier to deal with this problem. The code is much clearer, and readable and less error-prone.

Other Features – Many other important features have been added to PHP Development. These are: foreign function interface (n short, lets you call the C code from the user land. This means that PHP extensions can be written in pure PHP and loaded via composer), preloading, numeric literal separator, covariant returns and contravariant parameters, weak references, and a few others have become obsolete.

Pre-loading – Another lower-level feature is preloading. It's an amazing addition to the core of PHP, which can result in some significant performance improvements. If you are using a framework, your files must be uploaded and linked to each request. But, it comes at a cost: if the source of preloaded files changes, the server must be restarted.

Changes and depreciation – In addition to new features, there are also many language changes. Most of these changes are non-breaking, although some may affect your codebases. Note that the discontinuation notices are not by definition "breaking", but merely a warning to the developer that functionality will be removed, or changed in the future. It would be good not to ignore the deprecation warnings, and correct them immediately. Because it will ease the upgrade path to Custom PHP Development 8.0 in 2021.

What Should You Check When Updating PHP?

It is important to know how the PHP language platform, and ecosystem evolves. This allows you as a professional to be in alignment with the future of language as well as being a competitive differentiator.

Did you receive error messages? – You get PHP messages starting with "Communication" and "Warning", but does your site work well despite these messages? It’s time to get the upgrade.

Is there any content missing or are there blank pages? – If there is missing content on your site or if only one blank page is displayed, please enable error messages for PHP. Within 20 minutes, an error message explaining the problem should appear on your site.

Update your CMS system to the latest version – If you have Word Press, Joomla or another content management system (CMS) installed on your web space, please make sure you update them to the latest version.

If you want to know more, kindly consult with the Best PHP Development Company.

Is It Worth to Upgrade?

If you have PHP version 7.1, it is almost 4 years ago from the last security update available. This is really a long time for malicious people to exploit known flaws of these versions in order to gain improper access to your code. Such a situation can even cause the loss of sensitive business data. If you currently use a version of PHP lower than version 7, it is best to upgrade to PHP Web Development 7.4 to take advantage of performance and security gains right now. Several industry-leading CMS such as Word Press, Joomla and Drupal, and ecommerce platforms like Magento, PrestaShop and Open cart already support the latest versions of PHP by simply upgrading to a more current version.

When a stable release is released, 2 years of active support for bug fixes and security issues are provided. After that, there's another year of support for critical security updates only, without adding or enhancing features. After three years of release, the version goes into EOL, meaning it is no longer supported. During this time, users should consider upgrading as soon as possible. Otherwise, your code may be exposed to critical security vulnerabilities. Upgrade your PHP version before performing any Custom PHP Web Development process.

Skynet Technologies USA LLC is widely known for delivering Expert PHP Solutions to fit your specific business need while meeting highest coding standards and guidelines. We have a crew of professional PHP developers, PHP designers and quality assurance team to deliver robust and feature-rich PHP web application based on exact needs of our clients. We also provide PHP Web Application Maintenance services to keep your web application up-to-date with modern web trends and technology.