PHP 5.6 is now available with Linux shared hosting
From today, we offer PHP version 5.6 on our Linux shared hosting environment. This new PHP version is also PHP 5’s last major release.
As usual, the PHP development team provides a handy overview that includes information on what you must consider if you want to upgrade to version 5.6. The overview includes backward incompatible changes, new features, deprecated features, as well as changed functions.
The main new features are (among others):
- Constant expressions: before, you could only link “literal scalar values” to a constant. From now on, you can also use interpreted expressions involving numeric and string literals.
- Variadic functions: the possibility to implement a variable amount of function arguments in an elegant manner.
- Argument unpacking: the possibility to unpack and communicate function arguments as arrays.
- Exponentiation: the possibility to raise numbers to a certain power using an operator instead of a function.
- Namespace imports of functions and constants : until recently, you could only make namespace imports of classes. From version 5.6, this also applies to functions and constants.
- The __debugInfo() magic method: the __debugInfo() magic method allows you to change the behaviour of a var_dump for a class.
In addition, there are also backward incompatible changes, which are specific changes that make certain behaviours in PHP no longer compatible. This usually concerns features that were considered deprecated in earlier versions.
There are also features that are considered deprecated in PHP 5.6 and that will disappear in future versions. You will find a list in the same overview.
And, as usual, we have noticed that this new version of PHP is faster and more secure than earlier versions. Although from now on we offer PHP 5.6 with Linux shared hosting, the standard version for new packages is still version 5.5. Via your control panel, you can instantly upgrade to version 5.6 with just one click.
What will the future hold?
As previously mentioned, PHP 5.6 is the last major release of PHP 5. You would expect that PHP 6 would be the next version, but it is not the case. There will be no version 6 and version 7 will hopefully be released by the end of 2015.
Anyhow, we are looking forward to trying out this new version, but in the meantime, we recommend you to try out PHP 5.6.
We will offer the last PHP 5 release as an option for a few months via my.combell.com. After that, we will adopt it as the standard version when some maintenance releases will be released.