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Rob Allen:
Building and testing the upcoming PHP7
March 30, 2015 @ 10:14:08

Rob Allen has posted a guide to building and testing PHP 7, the next upcoming major build of the PHP language (released sometime later this year).

The GoPHP7-ext project aims to ensure that all the known PHP extensions out there work with the upcoming PHP 7. This is non-trivial as some significant changes have occurred in the core PHP engine (related to performance) that mean that extensions need to be updated. In order to help out (and prepare my own PHP code for PHP 7!), I needed the latest version of PHP7 working in a vagrant VM. Fortunately Rasmus has created a such a VM called php7dev, so let's start there.

He walks you through the process of grabbing the latest version of the virtual machine and set it up as a Vagrant VM instance. He talks about the different PHP versions contained in the VM and how to update PHP 7 to the latest pre-release version. Finally he talks about building an extension on the VM (he uses the apfd extension) and how to configure the VM to be able to test your own code too.

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php7 test vm extension rasmuslerdorf vagrant tutorial

Link: http://akrabat.com/building-and-testing-php7/

Zend:
5 Things You Must Know about PHP 7
March 27, 2015 @ 11:07:39

There's been a lot of talk in the community about PHP 7 and what features will be included but there's been a *lot* of it. To help distill it down a bit Zend has posted this infographic of the Top 5 features that will be coming in this next major version.

Their top five list includes both the main points and a quick summary for:

  • When it comes out (hint: this year)
  • The spaceship operator
  • Return type declarations and scalar type hints
  • Performance improvements

...and #5, even more performance improvements. There's also some links to other information about some of the topics to provide even more detail for those wanting to dive in.

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php7 infographic top5 list release spaceship returntype scalartypehint performance

Link: https://pages.zend.com/TY-Infographic.html

Remi Collet:
PHP 7.0 as Software Collection
March 26, 2015 @ 10:15:48

Remi Collet has a new post today talking about the next major release of the PHP language - PHP 7 - and how it, in its current state, can be installed now as an RPM from the "remi" repository as a software collection.

RPM of upcoming major version of PHP 7.0, are available in remi repository for Fedora 20, 21, 22 and Enterprise Linux 6, 7 (RHEL, CentOS, ...) in a fresh new Software Collection (php70) allowing its installation beside the system version. As I strongly believe in SCL potential to provide a simple way to allow installation of various versions simultaneously, and as I think it is useful to offer this feature to allow developers to test their applications, to allow sysadmin to prepare a migration or simply to use this version for some specific application, I decide to create this new SCL.

Instructions for the installation (via yum) are included and a list of some things "to be noticed" about the setup are also included.

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php7 software collection fedora enterprise linux rpm yum install remi repository

Link: http://blog.famillecollet.com/post/2015/03/25/PHP-7.0-as-Software-Collection

Medium.com:
PHP7 More strict! (but only if you want it to be)
March 18, 2015 @ 10:48:38

In this new article Er Galvao Abbott talks about the struggle (and finally, inclusion) of type hinting in PHP, more specifically coming in PHP7, and how strict they can be.

It wasn't easy (we knew it wouldn't be) and certainly wasn't pretty (we sort of knew that as well), but it's finally official: PHP7 will come with Scalar Type Hints (STH) and an optional "strict mode". [...] This is basically a step towards a more strict way of coding in PHP. Will we see more steps in that direction in the future? We don't know and we're OK with that for now. What's brilliant about the body of work represented by these RFCs is that by implementing their concepts and specially making the "strict mode" optional the choice of being more strict remains with the programmer.

He talks some about the background of the want and need for strict typing in PHP and mentions three RFCs that will influence the type hints and handling in PHP7:

He summarizes each RFC and what it contributes to the language. He ends the post by dispelling one thing about all of this new typing functionality - PHP will remain loosely typed, this new functionality is in a "strict mode" only used when specified.

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php7 strict type hint mode rfc introduction feature

Link: https://medium.com/@galvao/php7-more-strict-but-only-if-you-want-it-to-be-78d6690f2090

Phil Sturgeon:
PHP 7 Feature Freeze
March 16, 2015 @ 09:04:44

Phil Sturgeon has a new post to his site looking at the PHP7 feature freeze for this upcoming major PHP release (implemented as of yesterday, the 15th). In it he provides a list of features, their related RFCs and how likely they are to make it into PHP7.

Today was the feature freeze for PHP 7. That means no new votes can be started for a feature that is aimed at PHP 7.0, and would instead have to go into PHP 7.1. Instead of heading out to St Patric's Day with a bunch of New Yorkers making dubious claims about their tenuous connection to Irish ancestry as an excuse to drink, I thought it would be a good time to review some of the more recent RFCs that made it in, and those that didn't.

His list includes:

  • Remove PHP 4 Constructors
  • Spaceship Operator
  • Replacing current json extension with jsond
  • Skipping Optional Parameters for Functions
  • Constructor behaviour of internal classes
  • Reclassify E_STRICT notices

Each one has a link to the current version of the RFC, the current status and Phil's own opinion of the feature (usually just one word).

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php7 feature freeze rfc list status opinion

Link: https://philsturgeon.uk/php/2015/03/15/php-7-feature-freeze/

Freek Lijten:
Testing and improving PHP extensions for PHP 7
March 13, 2015 @ 10:02:47

In his latest post Freek Lijten talks about PHP extensions, the upcoming PHP version - well, PHP7 - and the things that can be (and are being) done to help improve and prepare the extension ecosystem. In his post he walks you through the process of getting a PHP7 install set up, a sample extension set up and writing some tests to help improve it.

PHP7 is coming. And it is coming to a neighbourhood near you :) A couple of people started an initiative to ensure extensions will be running out of the box once PHP7 hits the shelves. The fun part: You can help too! No C knowledge is necessary (although it is fun to dive into PHP's internals!). This piece is a short intro to help you help PHP! Help triaging extensions, write tests, add documentation and who knows when you'll be diving into C code.

He's encouraging this work as a part of the recently launched GoPHP7 - Extensions initiative launched a while back. He starts by helping you get PHP7 installed (from source, compiled). Once that's installed and working, he helps you get an extension up and running, in this case the enchant extension. He shows you how to run the tests for the extension and how to write some tests to contribute back to the project. He includes instructions for generating code coverage reports, walks you through some sample code and a link to a page with more information if you get stuck.

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testing improving extension php7 version phpt unittest coverage gophp7

Link: http://www.freeklijten.nl/home/2015/03/12/Testing-and-improving-PHP-extensions-for-PHP-7

SitePoint Web Blog:
On Our Radar PHP 7 Controversy and Dependency Injection
February 17, 2015 @ 09:08:39

The SitePoint Web blog has a recent post with two things that are on the radar when it comes to PHP - the upcoming PHP version and the practice of dependency injection.

To change things up a bit, we're going to start bringing to you items and information from those discussions that have caught our attention. Sometimes these discussions will be useful and interesting, and sometimes they may be challenging or insightful. Either way, they're likely to bring new information to light that you haven't come across before, and will help to provide insight and perspective on topics you're interested in.

He starts with an overview of the controversy surrounding PHP 7 including its name, feature removal and links to some responses to the proposed changes. The second topic, dependency injection, how it might be evil and some of the opinions that have been expressed around it.

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php7 controversy dependency injection di version

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/radar-php-7-controversy-dependency-injection-troubles/

Pascal Martin:
In favor of RFC "Scalar Type Hints"
February 09, 2015 @ 09:40:18

Pascal Martin has a new post today sharing some of his thoughts around one of the currently proposed PHP RFCs for < href="http://blog.pascal-martin.fr/post/in-favor-of-rfc-scalar-type-hints.html">scalar type hinting. PHP has had type hints for custom objects and some things like arrays but this proposal would add in additional ones for things like "string", "int" and "float".

The Scalar Type Hints RFC for PHP 7 has first been initialized in December 2014. It went on with version 0.2 at the middle of January 2015, after changing several major ideas, and is now in version 0.3, integrating return types, as RFC Return Type Declarations has been accepted a few days ago. [...] I've been following this RFC (and the previous ones) with some interest, and, as I've taken some time to play with it a bit last week, building PHP from the sources of the corresponding Git branch, I'll try summarizing here why I think it is interesting. Please note this is my personal opinion.

He starts with a look at what the proposal entails around these new scalar type hints and why he thinks they're a good idea. He looks at some of the things that PHP's current weak typing allows and how it has made the language very flexible as a result. He also shows how the proposal suggests the use of the "declare" function to define a strict typing constant to essentially turn on the checking only where needed. He provides a few code snippet example including object/method handling, setting a custom error handler and which of the calls work in which typing method. He finishes the post looking at the "per-file" idea of enabling the strict typing checks and some of his confusion around the point. He also talks about return types, the directives that are proposed to enable the feature and the current status of the RFC.

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scalar type hint rfc summary proposal php7 opinion overview

Link: http://blog.pascal-martin.fr/post/in-favor-of-rfc-scalar-type-hints.html

thePHP.cc:
PHP breaks backwards compatibility
January 28, 2015 @ 10:41:22

In this new post on thePHP.cc blog Stefan Priebsch talks about some of the backwards compatibility breaks that will be coming with PHP's next major version, PHP7.

According to the PHP project's current time line, PHP 7 is scheduled to be released later this year. The version number 6 will be skipped for good reasons. As is expected of a new major release, there will be some breaks in backwards compatibility. Such breaks are always a double-edged sword: some have been eagerly awaiting the removal of legacy features, others expect that existing software keeps working without modifications. The PHP project is notorious for keeping some sins of the past dating back to PHP 3 in an effort to ensure backwards compatibility. Now, with the release of PHP 7, the decision has been made to remove some features that have been marked as "deprecated" in PHP 5.

He talks about how PHP will be "re-engineered" for this major release including a uniform variable syntax and some of the things this could break (like Magento 1). He also mentions the removal of the mysql (not mysqli) extension and a major issue - that PEAR has stopped working in recent versions of PHP7 (built from the current codebase) because of how it calls non-static methods statically.

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php7 break backwards compatibility deprecated

Link: http://thephp.cc/news/2015/01/php-breaks-backwards-compatibility

Reddit.com:
What changes would you like to see in PHP 7?
January 20, 2015 @ 12:51:08

In the /r/php subreddit on Reddit.com a question was posed to the community: What changes would you like to see in PHP 7?. So far there's 80+ answers with a wide variety of responses.

As well as massive performance improvements, PHP 7's change / feature list is already looking great. You can find most of the features that have been accepted or are under discussion on the PHP Dev Wiki: RFCs section. But what changes would make a difference to you? What would you really like to see make it in (already suggested or a new suggestion)?

Here's just a few of the suggestions made by fellow Reddit users:

  • fixing inconsistencies in naming
  • sandboxed eval
  • a complete rework of the standard library
  • the introduction of generics
  • adding enum functionality
  • type aliasing
  • stack traces for fatal errors

Check out the full post for more ideas and feedback from other members of the community too. It's an interesting list of suggestions, some that are even already in the works.

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php7 changes reddit opinion community language feature improvement

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2sx5x3/what_changes_would_you_like_to_see_in_php_7/


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