PHP 8.0 Released Major Updates and more features

29 Jun, 2022

PHP 8.0 is a major update of the PHP language.
It contains many new features and optimizations including named arguments, union types, attributes, constructor property promotion, match expression, nullsafe operator, JIT, and improvements in the type system, error handling, and consistency.

Named arguments

  • Specify only required parameters, skipping optional ones.
  • Arguments are order-independent and self-documented.


Instead of PHPDoc annotations, you can now use structured metadata with PHP's native syntax.

Constructor property promotion 

Less boilerplate code to define and initialize properties.

Union types 

Instead of PHPDoc annotations for a combination of types, you can use native union type declarations that are validated at runtime.

Match expression

The new match is similar to switch and has the following features:

  • Match is an expression, meaning its result can be stored in a variable or returned.
  • Match branches only support single-line expressions and do not need a break; statement.
  • Match does strict comparisons.

Nullsafe operator

Instead of null check conditions, you can now use a chain of calls with the new nullsafe operator. When the evaluation of one element in the chain fails, the execution of the entire chain aborts and the entire chain evaluates to null.

Saner string to number comparisons

When comparing to a numeric string, PHP 8 uses a number comparison. Otherwise, it converts the number to a string and uses a string comparison.

Consistent type errors for internal functions

Most of the internal functions now throw an Error exception if the validation of the parameters fails.

Type system and error handling improvements

  • Stricter type checks for arithmetic/bitwise operators 
  • Abstract trait method validation 
  • Correct signatures of magic methods 
  • Reclassified engine warnings 
  • Fatal error for incompatible method signatures 
  • The @ operator no longer silences fatal errors.
  • Inheritance with private methods 
  • Mixed type 
  • Static return type
  • Types for internal functions Email thread
  • Opaque objects instead of resources for Curl, Gd, Sockets, OpenSSL, XMLWriter, and XML extensions

Other syntax tweaks and improvements

  • Allow a trailing comma in parameter lists and closure use lists 
  • Non-capturing catches 
  • Variable Syntax Tweaks 
  • Treat namespaced names as single token 
  • Throw is now an expression 
  • Allow ::class on objects

New Classes, Interfaces, and Functions

  • Weak Map class
  • Stringable interface
  • str_contains(), str_starts_with(), str_ends_with()
  • fdiv()
  • get_debug_type()
  • get_resource_id()
  • token_get_all() object implementation
  • New DOM Traversal and Manipulation APIs

For source downloads of PHP 8 please visit the downloads page. Windows binaries can be found on the PHP for Windows site. The list of changes is recorded in the ChangeLog.

The migration guide is available in the PHP Manual. Please consult it for a detailed list of new features and backward-incompatible changes.


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