Faster PHP is approaching. PHP 7.0.0, which has been promoted as a much quicker upgrade to the server-side scripting language, has just gone into a release candidate stage, bringing its general availability even closer to fruition.
Available today, the release candidate is the sixth pre-release of the PHP 7 major series, according to PHP.net. Once again, PHP proponents are advising that this latest release is not to be used in production, as it's just a development preview.
"PHP 7.0.0 RC 1 contains fixes for 27 reported bugs and altogether over 200 commits with various stability improvements for database, array, assert, streams, and other functionality," PHP.net said in its bulletin.
Featuring a new version of Zend Engine, version 7.0.0 is up to twice as fast as PHP 5.6, and it offers consistent 64-bit support. Also featured are return type and scalar type declarations and anonymous classes. Many fatal errors become exceptions in the upgrade and old, unsupported SAPIs and extensions are removed. In a recent presentation, PHP founder Rasmus Lerdorf emphasized that the upgrade would require fewer servers as well as offer performance gains for "real-world" applications.
PHP builders are asked to test the version and report incompatibilities in the project's bug tracking system. A second release candidate is planned for September 3, and the final version of PHP 7.0.0 is set for release on November 12.