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PHP 8: What's new? | Php 8 features


 PHP 8: What's new? | Php 8 features

On November 26, 2020, the PHP 8 release date so the PHP developer the community celebrated the launch of one of the most anticipated versions of the programming language in recent years: PHP 8. So in this article, I will discuss PHP 8 and give the answer to these questions PHP 8 new features, What changed in PHP 8? Is PHP 8.0 stable? and What is new in the latest version of PHP? and this article is a complete PHP 8 review that will give you information about all you need to know about PHP 8. So let's discuss the topic PHP 8 what is new PHP 8 features.  

Php 8 what is new
Php 8 what is new

PHP 8 - Released

It is an important update according to php.net, because it contains "new resources and optimizations that include named arguments, union types, attributes, promotion of constructive properties, match expressions, the nullsafe operator," the much desired JIT compiler, "improvements in the type system, error handling ”, etc, etc ...

The truth is that these new resources excite me, and you? Are you still thinking that PHP is dead, or thinking about the future it has as a programming language?

Let's look at 8 of these new PHP 8 resources together, we will compare how you had to program certain functionality in PHP 7 and how you will do it now in PHP 8.

1. The Nullsafe Operator ( RFC )

One of the problems with the null-merge operator is that it doesn't work on method calls. You need, for example, intermediate checks and if in PHP 7 you had to check for null conditions, which could be infinite and sometimes absurd, now you can use a chain of calls with nullsafe,   and have a behavior similar to null fusion in the methods. If the "evaluation of an element fails, the execution of the entire string is addressed, and the string is evaluated as null".  

Note to self: if this doesn't excite you, you don't need to read on. But look at the example from php.net:

PHP 8 whats new?

Checking for null conditions in PHP 7

PHP 8 what is new

Nullsafe operator in PHP 8


2. Named arguments ( RFC )

Named arguments allow you to pass values ​​to a function, specifying the name of the value. This way you can forget about the order and omit optional parameters. Furthermore, the arguments are automatically documented. Look at the example:

PHP 8 what,s new

Mandatory parameters in PHP 7

Php 8 what's new

Optional parameters with named arguments in PHP 8

PHP 8: What's new?

Another example of optional parameters with named arguments in PHP 8

3. Attributes ( RFC )

Attributes in PHP are what in other languages, or frameworks, are known as annotations . PHP 8 and allows you to add structured metadata with native PHP syntax to classes, instead of PHPDoc annotations. What do you think?

PHP 8: What's new?

Annotations in PHP 7

PHP 8 what is new

Attributes in PHP 8


4 match expressions ( RFC )

Match expressions can be seen as the brother or sister of the switch expression , since they are similar expressions. Match expressions can be stored as variables or returned (they can return values), they don't need interrupt- break trades, they can combine conditions, they do strict type comparisons, and they don't do any kind of coercion. Look at this example:

Php 8 what's new

Switch expression in PHP 7

PHP 8 what's new

Match expression in PHP 8


5. Promotion of constructive properties ( RFC )

The "promotion of constructive properties" adds "syntactic sugar" to create valuables or data transfer objects. Now you can combine class properties and a constructor for them all in one. As you can see in the example below, we are talking about less boilerplate code "to define and initiate a property". How about?

PHP 8 what's new

Properties and constructor in PHP 7

PHP 8 What's new

Properties and constructor in PHP 8


6. JIT compiler (dynamic translations)

The JIT compiler - just in time - promises great improvements at the performance level. But you should know that not always within the context of web requests. With PHP 8 you have 2 JIT compilation engines: Function JIT and Transit JIT , with Transit JIT the one with the best performance, 3 times better in synthetic benchmarks in some types of applications.

Look at the following comparison:

PHP 8 what is new

Comparison of PHP 8 without JIT, with Tracing JIT and with Function JIT


7. Types of union ( RFC )

Union types can be useful in many cases, due to the dynamic type nature of PHP. Union types are a collection of two or more types indicating that either of the two can be used. Instead of combining types in annotations in PHPDoc , you can use a native binding declaration type and this is valid at the time of execution.

PHP 8 Whats new?

Types in annotations in PHPDoc of PHP 7

PHP 8 whats new

Native union type declaration in PHP 8

Note that void can never be part of a union type, as it indicates "no return value".


8. Smart comparisons between strings and numbers ( RFC )

This RFC solves the case where in PHP 0 == “foo” is true. Now when you compare to a numeric string, PHP 8 uses a numeric comparison. If not, convert the number to string and use string comparison.

PHP 8 what is new

Confusing comparison in PHP 7

Php 8 what is new

Smart comparison in PHP 8

The resources discussed in this article are just some of the improvements that PHP 8 brings. There are many others that are worth taking into account, such as:

  • Consistent error types for internal functions
  • Improvements in the type system and error handling
  • Tighter type checks for bitwise / arithmetic operators
  • Validation of the abstract trait method
  • Correct signatures of magic methods
  • Reclassified Engine Warnings
  • Opaque objects instead of resources for Curl, Gd, Sockets, OpenSSL, XMLWriter and XML

I encourage you to review the release notes for PHP 8 on the official PHP site if you want to know in-depth about these new resources.


What do you think of these innovations? The truth is that they seem very interesting and important to me for the future of PHP. Also, I have the feeling that that feeling - forgive the redundancy - of writing a lot of code for simple functionality tends to disappear. What do you think? I hope you understand better about these concepts 8 what is new PHP 8 features,  what is new in PHP 8 all you need to know about PHP 8, PHP 8 release date,  What changed in PHP 8? attribute review. 

However, if you are thinking of using these new resources in your current project, remember that we are talking about a new major version, and you would have to change your code first and adapt it to be able to work in PHP 8. Symfony and Drupal are already working on it, and you? Comment below!


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