PHP 7.4 Alpha Released With FFI Extension, Preloading Opcache For Better Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Programming on 13 June 2019 at 08:36 AM EDT. 6 Comments
The first alpha release of PHP 7.4 is now available ahead of its feature freeze next month and after a period of betas and release candidates will culminate with the official PHP 7.4.0 release around the end of November.

While we are looking forward to PHP 8.0 with its JIT and more as the eventual successor to 7.4, the PHP 7.4 release is bringing many notable additions to make for an exciting release. Among the work in PHP 7.4 at this point includes:

- The preload feature that can significantly improve the performance of PHP on web servers by preloading functions/classes that will survive as long as the web server is active to avoid recompilation or checking to see if the source file(s) were modified. This can yield 30~50% speed-ups in initial tests.

- Other PHP performance improvements outside of the preloading scope.

- The PHP FFI extension for a Foreign Function Interface to let PHP code call native functions / variables / data structures defined in the C programming language, after it didn't end up making it for last year's PHP 7.3. The PHP FFI extension is set to go for PHP 7.4 to open up new possibilities for the PHP programming language.

- The PHP FPM systemd service has been hardened.

- The PHP Hash extension is now an integral part of PHP and can no longer be disabled.

- TLS 1.3 support within the PHP OpenSSL streams support.

- Various fixes throughout.

PHP 7.4 Alpha 1 can be downloaded from
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