PHP 7 will be the latest version of php and will release very soon (projected release date of November 2015).
Time line for php 7: –
|1. Line up any remaining RFCs that target PHP 7.0.||Now – Mar 15 (4+ additional months)||We’re already well under way with doing that, with the PHPNG, AST, uniform variable syntax, etc.|
|2. Finalize implementation & testing of new features.||Mar 16 – Jun 15 (3 months)|
|3. Release Candidate (RC) cycles||Jun 16 – Oct 15 (3 months)||Subject to quality!|
|4. GA/Release||Mid October 2015||Subject to quality!|
Some very cool features of PHP 7 are: –
1. PHP SPACE SHIPS
PHP 7 will introduce a new operator <=> conveniently similar to a TIE fighter and dubbed the Spaceship Operator. It can be used for combined comparisons – mostly when dealing with sorting.
2. DECLARATIONS & SCALER TYPE HINTS
PHP 7 will allow developers to declare what kind of return type a function is expected to have – similar to argument Type Hints.
In addition, argument type hints and the new return-type declarations now support new scalar types, allowing developers to denote that they’re expecting strings, floats, ints or bools to be passed or returned.
3. PHP 7 PERFORMANCE
PHP 7 is based on the PHPNG project (PHP Next-Gen), that was led by Zend to speed up PHP applications. The performance gains realized from PHP 7 are huge! They vary between 25% and 70% on real-world apps, and all of that just from upgrading PHP, without having to change a single line of code!
4. PHP 7 IS 2X FASTER
Since PHPNG was open sourced and later merged into PHP 7, its performance more than doubled in many cases, and we’re continuing to improve it all the time.
To put things in perspective – when PHPNG was published, the WordPress homepage required approx. 9.4 billion CPU instructions to execute. As of now – it requires only 2.6 billion – that’s 72% less!