Is PHP 6 or PHP 7 Next?

phpFrom the ‘open-source nomenclature’ files:

Debate is currently raging in the open-source PHP community over what the number will be for the version of PHP that will succeed the current PHP 5.x series.

While it might seem obvious that PHP 6, should be the next major branch, the PHP community is actually debating whether or not the successor to PHP 5.x should be called PHP 6 or PHP 7.

Personally, I’ve been writing about PHP 6 since 2005, when the plan was for PHP 6 to become generally available in 2006. That didn’t happen and in 2009, I was wondering out loud when and if PHP 6 would ever become reality. What ended up happening is that many of the features that had once been planned for the never released PHP 6 ended up landing inside the PHP 5.x branch.

“Apart from language-integrated Unicode support, most features added for that version were integrated either in PHP 5.3 or PHP 5.4,” the PHP naming RFC states. “This previous attempt at a new major version was also developed under the name of PHP 6 and as such there are various resources referring to it, including a number of books. There is concern that there might be confusion between the abandoned previous attempt and the work that is currently happening.”

So, the PHP community is now debating whether the next version will be called PHP 6 or 7.

Regardless of what number the new version of PHP will have, some of the new features that will be included are now known, since it will draw from the current phpng effort. According to phpng developers, phpng’s key benefits are around performance and memory utilization.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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