If you are looking for a method that enables you to build a dynamic web application, PHP is a benchmark among other options you might have. PHP is probably the most popular and cherished server-side scripting language on the web. As it was announced in June, the newest version named PHP 7.4 will be released in November 2019. So if you are working as a PHP developer, it is very important to know what will change in the future and more importantly, prepare yourself for that.

What is new in PHP 7.4

In this article, we try to introduce some of the new features which are in PHP 7.4. Below, you can find a list of everything that is new and will be changed in by the time when PHP 8 came out.

Arrow function

Arrow functions (also called short closures) are largely used to convert very complicated functions into the shorter ones. Short closures can only contain one expression. Unfortunately, they do not have a “Return” keyword. In contrast with the javascript which has powerful short closures, they barely offer a quick solution for some simple scenarios like this. This is how an Arrow function changes the code:

Arrow function

Now we can write it as below:

Update arrow in PHP

Arrow functions work by creating the expression in the parent scope. Therefore, they can be a great help when it comes to making your code more clean and readable.

Typed property in PHP 7.4

PHP first introduced type hinting in the 5.0 version and the improvement has been continuing so far. Many people believe that the most important feature in PHP 7.4 is going to be typed properties. If you are familiar with PHP language, you definitely know that there are different types of parameters for returning values. In this new version, typed class properties have also been added and provide a significant enhancement to PHP type properties. By using typed properties, you will be able to declare type hints to class variables and properties.

Typed property in PHP 7.4

The considerable part of this feature is the elimination of unnecessary boilerplate code and make it very clean. The way it manages this problem is making sure the developer does not have to use the getter and setter methods to enforce type contracts. Additionally, this ensures that developers assigned the correct type of property to a specific data type.

Pre-loading for improved performance

Performance and speed are different in terms of meaning. Achieving the ideal performance often requires trade-offs between speed, perfection, and scalability. All programmers are constantly trying to achieve better performance in their code. So, having a tool which can help in this way would be very precious for them.

OPcache is one of the implements that improves PHP performance by using shared memory to the pre-compiled script bytecode. In PHP 7.4 you can use OPcache to compile your code first and afterward, save them into the shared memory. Consequently, instead of compiling the code every time you receive a request, you will be able to freely access those files.

improvement in PHP

Having better performance can offer lots of benefits. For instance, users will have a better experience and your website will be working more efficiently by the time you apply changes. You can also rank in a better position in search engines like Google.

Related Post: How Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Changing?


If you have any experience in PHP, you might know that objects are not saved in the variables they are assigned to. as a substitute, the variable stores a reference to that object. In this way, so many variables are able to point to the same object at the same time. WeakReferences enables the programmer to retain a reference to an object without completely destroying the object. This method will provide us a way to use all space in cache efficiently without having memory issues. WeakRefrences are vastly used for implementing cache like structures.

WeakReference in PHP 7.4

Deprecations in Preparation for PHP 8.0

If you come to the term which says “this method has been deprecated.” it means some specific function/method, a practice software feature should not be used anymore. Because there is (or there will be) a better alternative in that software is preferred to use. Talking about PHP 7.4 there are a couple of deprecations that are preparing programmers before PHP 8 will be released in December 2020.

The first deprecation is related to the Ternary operator or nesting of the Ternary operators. Take a look at the code below:
Nested Ternary operator in PHP
This is a problem that many other programming languages might face when it comes to nesting expressions. The same problem has been an old bug in PHP. So what happened is in PHP 7.4 the programmer will see a deprecation warning. So you have to use parentheses to show your intention clearly, this warning will be turning to hard compile error in PHP 8. A similar procedure will be there for the concatenation ambiguity as well.
Additionally, exceptions could not be thrown in __toString. Because this makes it dangerous to call arbitrary code and could lead to a fatal error. However, it has been decided to change the behavior and let exceptions to be thrown from  __toString. So it will behave as usual.

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