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FASTER, BETTER, CHEAPER: Pick all 3 with PHP 7.4

  • Post published:November 13, 2020

With the official proclamation of PHP 7.4; the update has brought some startling new features and developments that you have been asking for long. We say that the PHP 7.4 features & improvements have done a whole 180 and the whole thing has been running real smooth.

PHP 7.4 features considerably increase code performance and readability; let’s dive deeper into the other features that make this release so unique.

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PHP 7.4: Too hot to handle

PHP 7.4 in good conscience is the biggest PHP release since 7.0. The coders can get plenteous of help in writing more succinct code with this newest version. Let’s check the top new PHP 7.4 features, including:

  1. Type Declaration
  2. Arrow Functions
  3. Null Coalescing Assignment Operator
  4. Preloading
  5. FFI: Foreign Function Interface
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1- Jam-Packed with Type Declaration

This is the very first feature that we would like to cover. Taking about the older PHP versions, they were never a typed language (loosely typed) and this simply means that it is not likely to define the type of each variable during compilation. C, Java, Pascal are a few of those programming languages that are strongly typed that have been widely used in the deployment of critical software applications.

With this current PHP 7.4 publication, you can declare the data types by choice. Type declaration is a necessity for the reason that it can support you to define what should occur so that you get the anticipated results. In fact, even for you, it will make the code easier to comprehend.

(Here we demonstrate how to use this function as an example)

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2- Arrow Functions: Your Ultimate Support System

This is the second most adored feature by the PHP community, and some even say that it took inspiration from the JavaScript language. . So, what function does it perform?

Well, there is only one function that it performs, and ‘it’s making the function syntax less wordy.’ We mean, don’t you prefer concise programming? It’s better, right?

Hence, taking about PHP 7.4 features and improvements, arrow functions agree to the usage of ‘short closures’ for writing one-line functions.

Before PHP 7.4, we had to use array_map as follows.

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But now…

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It’s just one line.

3- Null Coalescing Assignment Operator: A Short-hand Way to Write

Too fancy, right? Honestly, it’s just this (??=) a shorthand to allocate a value to a variable it hasn’t been set previously.

Null Coalescing Assignment operator in PHP 7 made a huge difference in PHP development because we could write the following code:

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It’s now just..

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4- Preloading in PHP 7.4

The support for preloading was added as a feature to enhance the performance of your code. In a nutshell, let’s see how this works.

Write a script that you want to add it on your Preloading and add it to opcache.preload directive in php.ini

PHP file will be executed when you (re)start the server and this can be used to preload additional PHP files, all preloading files will be saved in the memory and server will execute those files from memory, If needed to update, you have to restart the server.

For example you have to filter all your $_POST(s) on a certain criteria you should write the criteria in a PHP file and add it to your opcache.preload in this way you can easily filter all $_POST coming from different Forms.

5- FFI: Foreign Function Interface

FFI is a PHP extension that allows you to include with ease some externals libraries into your PHP code. That means it’s possible to use C, Go, Rust, etc. shared library directly in PHP without writing a PHP Extension in C.

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So, we bring an end to our talk on PHP 7.4 features & improvements. As the situation stands, there are numerous other features obtainable as well. If you have any inquiries concerning the above features, feel permitted to ask them further down in the comment section.

Also, we would like to bring to your attention that if you’re still using the old version, you must upgrade it to PHP 7.4 to take the benefit of plentiful improvements.

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