What for PHP6?

Fabien Potencier

June 07, 2009

PHP 5.3 is just around the corner with a lot of great new features. However, even if I'm really excited about this new release, I won't make yet another PHP 5.3 feature list; I will rather look at the future of PHP. PHP core developers met at php|tek and discussed the future of PHP. And it is really great to see that they plan lots of wonderful features; let's set aside the Unicode stuff.

They published some notes from the meeting, and here is my personal list for things I find really interesting:

  • Add __cast() magic method that will be called for all casts. If the __toString() method is there it will get used for string types first.

  • Consider making a "callable" type.

  • Make ArrayObject and ArrayAccess accepted everywhere regular arrays are.

  • Add traits support.

  • Add type hinted return values, scalar type hints.

  • Make function call chaining possible (f()() if f() returns a function), and array dereferencing (f()[0]).

  • C#-style properties with getters/setters:

    class Foo
       public $bar
           getter { return $this->bar; }
           setter { $this->bar = strtolower($value); }