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Up to Speed with PHP 7
July 22, 2015
Week: 4 All time: 375
samshal.github.ioAlthough, we still await the major production ready release of the most hyped version of PHP since it’s first release in 1995, so far there have been 7 important pre-releases.
PHP 7 which Rasmus Lerdorf described as an “100%+ improvement over the predecessors of the php language” has finally come to stay. It is time we started checking out what it has got.
PHP 7 has come with a lot of improvements, new features and many syntax changes, huge performance boost, scalar type hinting and so many other, that it is worth having a material that will take us step by step over the changes and additions to the PHP language.
David Powers, authored “Up to Speed With PHP7”, a series of video tutorials that aim to take the intermediate and advanced users of the PHP language over the changes and improvements made in PHP 7.
As the title implies, it is a tutorial series that is not meant to be a lecture or a beginner’s tutorial. The chapters are laid out in a way that would make it very easy for the intermediate or advanced users of the PHP language to come “Up to speed” with the most recent, most improved and the most hyped version of this twenty years old language.
Apart from the audio/video quality which I found to be almost close to perfect, thanks to o’Reilly.
The conciseness with which the author explained each point, concepts and theory was what caught my attention.
Although “Up to Speed with 7” was planned with the intermediate users of PHP in mind, the author still did not assume that in most cases. He gave more vivid explanations to newer concepts and older ones alike. This makes it very easy to concentrate on what is being taught, instead of pausing to go check out what a term means.
The whole video series is laid out in eight distinct chapters. Below, I write a quick summary of what each chapter is all about.
The first half of the first chapter, “Getting Started” is more of an introduction to PHP 7, with David Powers telling us more about himself.
The other half focus on setting up an environment to begin scripting with PHP 7. Most people has never gotten any opportunity to install PHP manually or build it themselves.
This is because there are alternatives to use pre-built PHP distributions such as XAMPP, EasyPHP and numerous others. PHP 7 is still in active development. This means to use PHP 7 you have to install it manually or even build it yourself. This chapter was all about getting it up and running on a development machine.
The next chapter was an intensive one. This is where the author tells us all that has changed in PHP with the coming of PHP 7. He talks about all the internal changes that were made, changes to existing features and other removed features.
Chapter three is focused on all the newly introduced features, functions and operators in PHP 7. The author talks about the new spaceship operator and how it can be used, he also introduced the null coalesce operator and how they can be used to replace the unset values.
Most of the discussed concepts in this chapter are all new stuff that PHP 7 brings along, and the author did a very good job explaining them.
I think one of the most talked about feature of PHP 7 apart from its speed is the scalar type hinting feature that comes with it. Chapter four was concentrated on this feature. From declaring scalar return types to declaring scalar parameters and finally using scalar type hints with user inputs, the conciseness and vividness of this chapter could not be more emphasized.
The next chapter, chapter five was more about classes, generators, closures and event callbacks. The author explains the concepts of anonymous classes, generator return expressions, delegation of generators, closure bindings and declaration groupings in an easy to understand and a very subtle way.
The majority of the topics discussed in this chapter are actually improvements to PHP, but they are laid out and taught with no assumptions.
Error handling in PHP has been greatly improved upon. Chapter six focuses on what has changed in terms of exception handling, fatal errors, throwable interfaces and other error related features of PHP.
The author talks about the improvements made to E_STRICT errors in terms of reclassification. He also talks about the NEW keyword, which is now a reserved word in PHP 7, multiple default-cases in switch statements and a whole lot of other features related to error handling.
Chapter seven talks about other miscellaneous changes in PHP, such as the security-related changes, variable dereferencing, debugging with assertions and so on.
So far, PHP 7 is the best PHP version that was ever developed. PHP has now been described as a “Green Language” because of its efficiency in terms of memory management, magnanimously improved speed and better support for object orientation.
I would recommend this video series to every intermediate/advanced PHP developer out there. It is time to start getting acquainted with the syntax of PHP 7, “Up to speed with PHP7” is the best material, so far that can help you do that.
“Up to Speed With PHP 7” is a material that aims to make PHP 7, the first “Green Version” of PHP an easy one to migrate to, and I bet it achieved just that.
With a great video and audio quality, David Powers introduces the seventh version of PHP to the intermediate and advanced users of PHP in a very concise and progressively easy to comprehend way. It is a great material that deserves a place in your video libraries.
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