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Features of PHP 5 Revive PHP Application Development

Maria Brean | 22:10 | 1comments

By now most of the PHP developers would have already started using PHP 5 or atleast learnt about it and how it aims to revitalize the world of PHP application development. The most used and a very famous feature of PHP is the API which allows PHP developers to effortlessly write new add-on extensions for PHP.    

Gradually dozens of PHP developers from around the world developed PHP extensions which ultimately proved to be a gateway for the PHP developers to various technologies. Access to various distinct technologies proved to be revolutionary in the PHP application development world as they provided the base to implement web applications from scratch and reduced the efforts required to launch an application as it simplified the iterative tasks to be performed each day related to application launch.

Just like other application development platforms PHP has tremendously evolved as a platform overcoming each time the limitations of the previous version. PHP 4 though had some of the best features fell short when it was about large PHP application development projects. When PHP community thought about this aspect of PHP development they thought of developing Zend Engine II an object oriented feature.

As expected Zend was able to help PHP developers to develop even better applications as here objects became handles i.e. when objects are passed, assigned or returned to and from functions they will point the same objects, something very much similar to the C++ pointers where objects can be accessed by identifying value and not as a native type.

Other features of Zend for PHP application development can be listed as below:

1)   Access modifiers for property and method such as protected, private and pubic

2) Assistance for de-referencing method returns values

3) Abstract classes and interfaces

4) Try/throw or catch exception handling

5) Inclusion of destructors

6) New "instanceof" operator and static methods and members

7) Allows strong integration with other object models such as COM and Java by overloading object-oriented syntax from extensions

Although you might find PHP 5 for PHP application development to be similar to Zend it would be worth to mention here that it is not a rewrite of Zend but strongly adapts features of the Zend Engine architecture. PHP 4 with Zend in itself is very strong and has proven this time and again over the last few years. PHP 5's support for XML technologies was noteworthy and lead to various new advancements.

XML extensions for PHP 5 were rewritten to support XSLT libraries and Gnome project's XML. Support for XSLT libraries was very useful for PHP application development as it increases stability, performance and standard compliance. It also boosted interoperability between the XML extensions. Another commendable feature of PHP 5 is the SimpleXML extension which allows the hire PHP developer to manipulate XML files without the knowledge of DOM or SAX standards. This would mean that if in case a PHP developer has to tweak the DOM functionality which cannot be accessed using a SimpleXML, a PHP developer can actually convert the SimpleXML object into a DOM tree and back in PHP 5.

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