Essential elements of PHP 7 that you should know

Nov, 2015

Year 2015 has been phenomenal for PHP, because almost after 11 long years and its 5.0 release, we are expecting a see a new version in Nov 2015 called PHP 7. The newer version will bring language features and an impressive boost in performance as well.

But how will the new version will help you/ what are the updates that you should expect in PHP 7? Are they safe to upgrade? We will try to answer all these questions in this article.

This new version of PHP will mainly benefit web developers and website owners; basically all those who are running PHP enabled content management systems (CMS) such as Wordpress, Joomla, Magento and Drupal. The release that is expected will be a complete beta for the phase and contains a handful of features that will be discussed as we proceed.

You can download the latest beta from here.


Why PHP 7 and not PHP 6?


Not to the knowledge of many people but PHP 6 existed earlier but never reached the production phase, which is why after much debate the development team decided to run the new release with the name of 7 and phase out 6 altogether.


A new Zend Engine installed:


Right from the time of its first release in 1999, PHP has been powered by Zend engine. Zend is an open source execution engine that is created in C language that interprets PHP. The latest version will work on Zend Engine 2 that will add an extensive object model and performance enhancements to the language itself.


Enhanced speed:


The most prominent function of the new engine is the significant improvement in performance. The development team of PHP restructured the Zend Engine with optimized memory usage and incorporated Just in time (JIT) which allows compilation at the runtime only instead of prior execution.

With PHP 7, your codes will execute faster with some requirements of servers to serve the same amount of users.


Better error handling:


Handling fatal and catchable errors have never been easy for PHP coders. Thanks to the new engine exceptions that will replace these errors with exceptions but if the exception is not caught PHP 7 will also return the same fatal error as that of 5 series.

The new EngineExceptions do not extend the base class Exception ensuring backward compatibility and results in two kinds of exceptions in error handling; traditional and engine exceptions. PHP 7 has also introduced a new ‘Shared parent class’ with the name of BaseException.



set_error_handler(function ($code, $message) {

   echo "ERROR $code: " . $message . " ";


 function a(ArrayObject $b){

   return $b;



 echo "Hello World";



Support for 64 bit systems:


The native environment of PHP is Linux. The one running currently which is the 5.X series does not allows 64 bit integer or large file support but thanks to PHP 7 which will introduce consistent 64 bit support allowing support to both native 64 bit integer and large files on a 64 bit windows system in future.


Accurate type declarations, enabled:


PHP 7 will allow developers to improve the quality of their code with the help of return declarations with which they can prevent unintended return values by declaring the return type of a function.


Add anonymous classes and facilitates imports:


The latest version of PHP 7 allow developers to use anonymous classes which is a well known practice in other object oriented programming languages like java and C++. Anonymous classes are classes without any name. Their format is same as that of any other class in PHP only the name is missing. Anonymous classes have known to be effective in speeding up the coding. Anonymous classes are used when a class is required to be used only once and when it does not need to be documented.

Moreover, PHP 7 allows the import of classes from the same namespace. The new format/syntax will cut you short on the wordiness of your codes, makes them cleaner and saves you a lot of time that you waste in typing.


About the author:


Talha Manzoor is a business graduate who works as a brand manager at Amaxza Digital. A mobile application development company that specializes in building apps that are loved by clients, both on Android and iOS platforms. Talha has a fun and frolic personality and he writes about latest in technology and occasionally about nature and human behaviors.


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