First beta of PHP 5.5 with new accelerator
The PHP developers have released a first beta of version 5.5 of their scripting language. This means that no further new features will be added to the next PHP release. Among the last major features that were added are the array_column() function that simplifies the extraction of columns from multidimensional arrays, the integration of Zend Optimizer+, the support of non-scalar iterator keys via the foreach() loop, and the option to modify process titles in CLI/CLI server SAPIs. All new features are listed in the news document.
The developers only recently decided to include Zend Optimizer+. It enhances the performance of the bytecode that is generated by the interpreter from PHP source code and allows the loading of PHP applications. This way, the technology helps speed up PHP programs. With its addition, the component has been renamed "opcache". Other opcache technologies such as the alternative PHP Cache (APC), which used to be the designated default technology in this area, will probably fall behind now.
The developers plan to have a second beta ready on 4 April. With the release of the first beta and the announcement of a second, the PHP developers are ensuring that any delays that were expected because of the integration of Zend Optimizer+ will be minimised.