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Short Bytes: The PHP development team has released PHP 7.0.0, marking the new major PHP 7 series. This new version comes with new improvements and a new version of Zend Engine.

To make the websites faster and bring better web services to the users, PHP development team has announced the release of PHP 7.0. Notably, PHP powers about 81.7 percent of public websites employing the language on the server side and is one of the popular programming languages around.

PHP 7.0 marks the biggest update in PHP’s history since 2004 when PHP 5.0 was released. The version 7.0 marks the start of a new PHP cycle that promises a faster response time and low memory usage for the performance boost.

PHP 7.0 is released with a new Zend engine that brings along tons of improvement to benefit the websites. Zend is a Rogue Wave company that has been using PHP from the beginning. “With this release, we essentially started from scratch. We knew we had to do something big with PHP,” said Zeev Suraski, co-founder of Zend and CTO of Rogue Wave.

Take a look at this long list of improvements:

  • Improved performance: PHP 7 is up to twice as fast as PHP 5.6
  • Significantly reduced memory usage
  • Abstract Syntax Tree
  • Consistent 64-bit support
  • Improved Exception hierarchy
  • Many fatal errors converted to Exceptions
  • Secure random number generator
  • Removed old and unsupported SAPIs and extensions
  • The null coalescing operator (??)
  • Return and Scalar Type Declarations
  • Anonymous Classes
  • Zero cost asserts

Rasmus Lerdorf, founder of the widely popular server-side scripting language, said that these changes will bring about 100 percent speedup. Theoretically, “you could turn off half the servers in your data center [after the upgrade and still have the same performance as was experienced prior to moving to version 7.0.0].”

Even though PHP 7 is now released, it’ll take some years before it’ll be adopted by a considerable number of websites and services.

You can find the PHP 7 source download on PHP 7.0 download page. Here’s the migration guide in the PHP Manual.

Also read: Top Programming Languages That Generate Most Software Security Bugs