Earlier this month the PHP development team released an alpha version of the PHP platform (Read the Official Announcement). Of course there are many bug fixes, improvements, and new features. Here is a quick breakdown of the new features I am most excited for:
- Namespaces – Finally! No longer do you have to worry about variable, function, or class names in the global scope interfering with other code libraries you may be using. A namespace essentially gives you your own personal global namespace, which you get to define. This means if you create a class called ‘user’, you can use someone else’s codebase even if they have a ‘user’ class as well. Other languages such as C++ have had this feature for years, so its great to finally have it available to PHP. This may convince some that PHP is a viable solution in more huge, enterprise level codebases.
- Late Static Binding – this is for those hardcore OOP coders. What this allows you to do, is reference an objects type (class name) from a function that is only available via inheritance. Its a confusing concept, but can prove useful in some situations. For a better example, see the Late Static Bindings Manual (procedural programmers need not apply).
These are all very welcome additions, and I can’t wait till the stable version is out. The current roadmap estimates a stable version will be available by mid-October. Kudos, PHP Development team, keep up the good work!