After nearly three years since the release of PHP 5.3, PHP 5.4 is finally released. Although PHP 6.0 was meant to be the next PHP release, several issues, in particular issues with unicode, postponed the release. Instead, work on PHP 5.4 begun, and in this week, we have seen the culmination of that effort.
Some features available in PHP 5.4
- Built-in web-server
- Session uploads
- Addition of binary number format
- Function array dereferencing
- Some reports exist in the wild of users getting over 25% speed increases
- A new version of the Zend framwork
- Default character set is now UTF-8
Built in web-server
Honestly, I am quite happy with Apache, but I still have to evaluate whether I will use the built in web-server. Although it is VERY early days, I am currently not finding any innovators or early adopters of this in commercial hosting setting, hence I am a bit skeptical to jump on the bandwagon regarding this feature, although I may explore this feature shortly. If so, I will post an article about it.
Shortened array syntax
For me, this means nothing, really. I wonder if this holds a performance penalty for using this syntax. Stay tuned for a little benchmark test on this in the near future.
As far as my initial investigation of PHP 5.4 indicates, most current PHP code should still work, but there are some possible pitfalls, such as:
- New keywords that were added that may cause undesirable effects if used on older code
- No more safemode, register_globals and magic quotes
- PHP 5.4 is also the last PHP version that will support Windows XP and Windows server 2003