Book Image

PHP 8 Programming Tips, Tricks and Best Practices

By : Doug Bierer
Book Image

PHP 8 Programming Tips, Tricks and Best Practices

By: Doug Bierer

Overview of this book

Thanks to its ease of use, PHP is a highly popular programming language used on over 78% of all web servers connected to the Internet. PHP 8 Programming Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices will help you to get up-to-speed with PHP 8 quickly. The book is intended for any PHP developer who wants to become familiar with the cool new features available in PHP 8, and covers areas where developers might experience backward compatibility issues with their existing code after a PHP 8 update. The book thoroughly explores best practices, and highlights ways in which PHP 8 enforces these practices in a much more rigorous fashion than its earlier versions. You'll start by exploring new PHP 8 features in the area of object-oriented programming (OOP), followed by enhancements at the procedural level. You'll then learn about potential backward compatible breaks and discover best practices for improving performance. The last chapter of the book gives you insights into PHP async, a revolutionary new way of programming, by providing detailed coverage and examples of asynchronous programming using the Swoole extension and Fibers. By the end of this PHP book, you'll not only have mastered the new features, but you'll also know exactly what to watch out for when migrating older PHP applications to PHP 8.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Section 1: PHP 8 Tips
Section 2: PHP 8 Tricks
Section 3: PHP 8 Best Practices

Using weak references to improve efficiency

As PHP continues to grow and mature, more and more developers are turning to PHP frameworks to facilitate rapid application development. A necessary by-product of this practice, however, is ever larger and more complex objects occupying memory. Large objects that contain many properties, other objects, or sizeable arrays are often referred to as expensive objects.

Compounding the potential memory issues caused by this trend is the fact that all PHP object assignments are automatically made by reference. Without references, the use of third-party frameworks would become cumbersome in the extreme. When you assign an object by reference, however, the object must remain in memory, in its entirety, until all references are destroyed. Only then, after unsetting or overwriting the object, is it entirely destroyed.

In PHP 7.4, a potential solution to this problem was introduced in the form of weak reference support. PHP 8 expanded upon this...