Top 8 New Features in PHP 8

PHP 8 New Features

  1. JIT Compiler (Just-In-Time Compiler): The JIT compiler translates PHP code into machine code, enhancing execution speed, particularly in computation-intensive applications.
  2. Union Types: Allows functions and methods to define parameters or return values with multiple types, e.g., function foo(int|float $value) {}, increasing code flexibility and readability.
  3. Named Arguments: Enables passing arguments to functions using parameter names, making the code clearer, especially when dealing with functions that have many parameters with default values.
  4. Attributes (Annotations): Introduces a new native syntax for adding metadata, which can replace traditional PHPDoc comments, e.g., #[MyAttribute].
  5. Constructor Property Promotion: Simplifies class constructors by allowing property declaration and initialization directly in the constructor parameters, e.g., public function __construct(private string $name, private int $age) {}.
  6. Match Expression: Provides a more concise way to replace switch statements, supporting return values and not requiring break statements, e.g.,
    $result = match($input) {
        1 => 'one',
        2 => 'two',
        default => 'unknown',
  7. Nullsafe Operator: Uses the ?-> operator to handle null objects safely, e.g., $country = $session?->user?->getAddress()?->country;.
  8. Enhanced Type System and Error Handling: Includes the new throw expression, allowing throw in conditions, consistent error handling mechanisms, and an improved type system, making the code more robust and secure.