Software update: PHP 5.3.0

The PHP development team has finally released version 5.3.0 after three alphas, one beta and four release candidates. PHP, called a ‘hypertext preprocessor’ by its developers, is mainly used to generate dynamic content in the HTML markup language server side. The software is often used in combination with the database program MySQL, with which the dynamic content of websites and forums can be served. The abbreviated announcement of the new release is as follows:

PHP 5.3.0 Release Announcement

The PHP development team is proud to announce the immediate release of PHP 5.3.0. This release is a major improvement in the 5.X series, which includes a large number of new features and bug fixes.

The key features of PHP 5.3.0 include:

  • Support for namespaces
  • Late static binding
  • Lambda Functions and Closures
  • Syntax additions: NOWDOC, ternary short cut “?:” and jump label (limited goto), __callStatic()
  • Under the hood performance improvements
  • Optional garbage collection for cyclic references
  • Optional mysqlnd PHP native replacement for libmysql
  • Improved Windows support including VC9 and experimental X64 binaries as well as portability to other supported platforms
  • More consistent float rounding
  • Deprecation notices are now handled via E_DEPRECATED (part of E_ALL) instead of the E_STRICT error level
  • Several enhancements to enable more flexiblity in php.ini (and ini parsing in general)
  • New bundled extensions: ext/phar, ext/intl, ext/fileinfo, ext/sqlite3, ext/enchant
  • Over 140 bug fixes and improvements to PHP, in particular to: ext/openssl, ext/spl and ext/date

This release also drops several extensions and unifies the usage of internal APIs. Users should be aware of the following known backwards compatibility breaks:

  • Parameter parsing API unification will cause some functions to behave more or less strict when it comes to type juggling
  • Removed the following extensions: ext/mhash (see ext/hash), ext/msql, ext/pspell (see ext/enchant), ext/sybase (see ext/sybase_ct)
  • Moved the following extensions to PECL: ext/ming, ext/fbsql, ext/ncurses, ext/fdf
  • Removed zend.ze1_compatibility_mode

For users upgrading from PHP 5.2 there is a migration guide available here, detailing the changes between those releases and PHP 5.3.0.

For a full list of changes in PHP 5.3.0, see the ChangeLog.

Version number 5.3.0
Release status Final
Operating systems Windows 7, Windows 2000, Linux, BSD, Windows XP, macOS, Solaris, UNIX, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008
Website PHP
License type Conditions (GNU/BSD/etc.)