PHP in 2018


June 4th, 2018

PHP in 2018

PHP in 2018 is a talk by PHP creator Rasmus Lerdorf, which focuses on new features in PHP 7.2 and 7.3. We have some exciting low-level performance wins coming to PHP 7.3, which should be out late 2018. It’s highly encouraging that PHP’s focus is mainly on performance in the PHP 7.x releases.

For many in the PHP community 2016 and 2017 was all about getting onto PHP 7. The drastic performance improvements and overall efficiency have resulted in PHP 7 adoption rates well beyond past PHP versions. If you are not on PHP 7 yet, you will learn why you should be, but the talk will focus more on new features in PHP 7.2 and 7.3 along with optimization and static analysis.

For the full slides accompanying this talk, visit

Rasmus gives a brief history of PHP, which is now close to a 25-year-old codebase; how it started as a templating tool; and how PHP eventually evolved into a full-featured language.

The brief history sets the stage for Rasmus’ coverage of the significant improvements in performance between PHP 5 and PHP 7, and he goes into in-depth details about performance in PHP.

I found it interesting that leading up to the PHP 7 release we are benefiting from today, the PHP team got help from Intel compiler team (at 7:27) to improve L2 caches and low-level memory.

One of my favorite parts of his talk—which I am sure some will take as a jab at PHP—is that PHP is very beginner-friendly and forgiving, which will only help adoption rates of PHP and Laravel:

PHP runs crappy code really really well. It runs it fast and it works and that’s why PHP has become so popular because you try something and it just works. And heck, is even fast. Very few other languages can say that. It’s not always great, but it really helps people get started with it, and it doesn’t prevent people from writing better code in the future.

The fact that PHP is easy to get started with, coupled with the language’s efforts to improve performance, it bright for the future of PHP developers. At the same time, PHP is a mature programming language that allows beginners to write better code as they grow.

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Paul Redmond

Full stack web developer. Author of Lumen Programming Guide and Docker for PHP Developers.