PHP 8.1 Alpha Releases Get Underway With Enums, Fsync, Fibers, More Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Programming on 1 July 2021 at 10:24 AM EDT. 8 Comments
The PHP 8.1 alpha releases got underway in June in working towards the next annual feature release for the PHP scripting language.

PHP 8.1 is another big release after last year's PHP 8.0 evolution. Among the changes that have been worked on in recent months for PHP 8.1 include:

- Enums (Enumerations) for PHP are finally in place.

- PHP 8.1 supports an fsync() function to help ensure the operating system has written out data/metadata changes to the underlying storage. Similarly is an fsyncdata() function for just ensuring the data but not necessarily the metadata has been synced.

- Support for Fibers to improve asynchronous support in PHP. PHP Fibers allow PHP functions to now be interruptible without polluting the call stack and for supporting transparent non-blocking I/O implementations of existing interfaces.

- Transitioning of more PHP resources into objects.

- PHP-FPM now supports process renaming on macOS.

- Support for MurmurHash V3 and xxHash with the PHP hashing interface.

- PHP Sodium now supports the XChaCha20 stream cipher functions and Ristretto255 functions.

- PHP's OPcache now has an inheritance cache.

- Continued performance optimizations.

Last week marked the PHP 8.1 Alpha 2 release a short time after Alpha 1 while their RSS feed was down to spot the new releases in a more timely manner. Those wanting to help in testing of the PHP 8.1 Alpha releases can find them at

PHP 8.1 Alpha 3 is expected next week followed by the feature freeze later in July. After that freeze will be three betas getting us through mid-August while the many release candidates kick off at the start of September. PHP 8.1 is aiming for release by the end of November.
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