PHP 5.3 alpha 1 released

I’m admittedly a bit late (a month) to the news , but PHP 5.3 alpha 1 has been released. I’m lucky to have stumbled on the news, because I haven’t followed PHP’s release schedule at all lately, but the 5.3 release is particularly exciting – PHP finally has support for proper lambda closures – now it’s a real language ;)

New features below, and release notes here:

  1. Namespaces (documentation maybe out dated)
  2. Late static binding and __callStatic
  3. Lambda functions and closures  [Ed. – finally!]
  4. Addition of the intlphar (phar is scheduled for some more work a head of alpha2), fileinfo and sqlite3 extensions
  5. Optional cyclic garbage collection
  6. Optional support for the MySQLnd replacement driver for libmysql
  7. Windows older than Windows 2000 (Windows 98, NT4, etc.) are not supported anymore (details)
  8. New syntax features like NOWDOC, limited GOTO, ternary short cut “?:”

Also exciting: significantly better internationalization support, and a PHP archive format – the .phar. The combo of namespaces and the addition of .phar support should allow for much better organization of libraries and applications. I’d love to upgrade WordPress by uploading a single .phar file instead of the hoopla you have to go through now.

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