PHP 8.0 has support for JIT and union types

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Version 8.0 of PHP has been released. The new version of the popular web programming language brings some improvements, such as support for JIT and union types.

A summary of all the changes in the new PHP version can be found on PHP’s website, and GitHub provides a complete overview of all release notes.

Just-in-time compilation

A significant new feature in PHP 8.0 is the support for Just-in-time compilation. This means that the PHP code is only compiled while the program is running, and not in advance. This should result in significant speed improvements in certain applications. According to the developers of PHP, it can result up to a 3x speed gain at its best, and its worst is as fast as PHP 7.4.

Union types, attributes, and other improvements

Also improved in PHP 8.0 is the support for union types. This allows developers to store multiple types of variables as a single value. With the addition of attributes, developers can add metadata to functions. Other new features include support for named arguments, constructor property promotion, match expressions and nullsafe operators.

Availability and implementation

PHP 8.0 is now available and can be downloaded from the PHP download page. Although Microsoft will not add support for PHP 8.0 to Windows, Windows binaries for PHP 8.0 are available. A migration guide is also available.