Monday 8 September 2014

PHP 5.6- Better namespace support through built in debugger

PHP 5.6
Server -side Web development’s popular scripting language PHP, has been upgraded by a new debugger in point release has got lot of attention.

Phpdbg debugger featured PHP 5.6 was released last week and easily downloadable at website The debugger has been implemented as Server API (SAPI) Module. According to Andi Gutmans, the CEO of the Zend Technologies, builder of PHP tool and an active member in the language development in email, a language built with a debugger will make it easily accessible by any other developer irrespective of the fact whether they are IDE user or not. According to the reports, the debugger features a step through debugging process, easily accessible current execution codes, and remote debug support along with Java GUI.

Even though PHP 5.6 features are amazing, it is still considered as a minor release by Andi Gutmans,as he stated that this is being carried out annually. Enhancement has been the main aim for this release but it will also aim to reduce any major backward-compatibility breaks to ensure that it gets easily adopted by everyone. The community themselves are already working on more advanced version PHP 7, which is primarily based on PHPNG code and will help considerably improve the PHP applications performance. According to Andi they are hoping that the version 7 will be ready for release in the next one to one and half year. But still this will depend on the time.

In order to deal with the functions and methods variable argument lists, this PHP version 5.6 also includes variadic functions. As per Gutmans, this will help in improving the readability and also reduce the complex code that is required with the variable argument lists.

Apart from the above mentioned updates, other updates included are namespace support enhancement, allowing the import of constants and functions and also importing of constant scalar expressions. The PHP documentations clearly states that it will be possible to provide a scalar expression which involves numeric and string literals and constants in contexts wherein PHP initially expected to have a static value.

Apart from the features, the newer PHP 5.6 version’s compatibility has got affected due to the changes. Overwriting of Array keys will no longer happen when array is being defined as a property of class through an array literal. Also, in JSON syntax parsing, the JSON_de-code function is expected to be stricter in decoding a JSON string. During the use of SSL/TLS, host names and peer certificates are verified by Stream wrappers by default and GMP resources will be now objects.

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