What’s next for PHP 6

As many of us know, PHP 6 was scrapped due to the developers trying to make the whole project Unicode compliant – and coming up against so many bugs (not to mention the memory usage) that it was abandoned. So, with lots of articles about what PHP 6 may be like next time, here are a few articles I like.

Unicode Support

http://philsturgeon.co.uk/blog/2013/01/php-6-pissing-in-the-wind

The first thing to do with PHP 6 is to implement Unicode in a way that is backwards compatible, and doesn’t create all the issues. Amongst other things, Phil Sturgen details a potential plan in this well written article. Why not have a special syntax to make a unicode string?

u"String"

Not only does this have the advantage that the entire system uses significantly less money, but also ensures that unicode is easy to use, when unicode is required. Granted, some fixes for input variables is needed $_GET and $_POST need to see if unicode is necessary, but all in all, this is a great fix.

Also like some of the other suggestions in here. A great round-up – and a great article.

Variable Accessors

https://wiki.php.net/rfc/propertygetsetsyntax-v1.2

With such a lot of problems with __set() and __get() functions of properties when trying to implement variable protection, this suggestion was a breath of fresh air. All these suggestions are well worth implementing, and would make PHP such a rich language.  It really is such a shame that this didn’t get the votes required to implement.

PHP HHVM (AKA Facebook HHVM)

http://www.hhvm.com/blog/

PHP-FPM was brilliant, it really produced a new way of accessing PHP which was incredibly fast. But now Facebook has developed a new core, with a JIT compiler. Working this in, rather than token parsing, then high level interpretation was bound to produce a faster core. Replacing the Zend core would not be a mean feat however – not just because Zend is PHP’s biggest contributor – but also because everyone is used to Zend – and probably uses a few Zend extensions too that would become incompatible by design. Granted APC (everyone’s favourite op-cacher) would be obsolete (HHVM is basically APC on speed), I’m pretty sure there’d be one or two things which wouldn’t work.

However, progress needs to happen. I’m all for this! Great ideas!

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So, the only question now – when is all this development going to start?

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