In this evolutionary world, everything keeps evolving, be it us humans, or, the programming languages that define the virtual realm of the Internet. Here, the adage, “Ride with the tide” fits aptly. If a particular technology or programming language does not get updated, it will be flushed out of the system. Everyone knows what happened to Nokia. Yes, this is the survival of the “techiest!”
Last year was a landmark year for web development, with many big releases like, Magento 2, WordPress 4.4, and most importantly PHP 7. Last year, another topic of discussion was the migration of WordPress to Node.JS. Whatever happens, PHP will still rule the roost as more than four-fifth of the internet runs on PHP. So, what awaits us in the near future?
The first question: How will Node.JS impact PHP?
Node.JS is growing at a decent rate and as per the experts, it is a decent challenge to the presence of PHP, which helps 80% of the web world run. We at QL Tech think that the simplicity and popularity of PHP will help it hold its ground. Even though the event-based architectural arrangement of Node.js can prove to be a huge competition to PHP, the threat is minimal owing to the fact that both these programming elements are operating in different markets.
What are the major developments we can expect in the features of PHP?
We at QL-Tech think that PHP7 would improve on the following features:
- PHP would become leaner and faster.
- Security: This year, more extensive security measures would be the biggest focus of the digital world as far as PHP is concerned. With so much happening in the virtual realm, including numerous instances of hacking and laundering, enhancing the levels of security is one of key monitoring parameters. Any development on that front will be keenly awaited and followed.
- More middleware based frameworks: Some of the Content Management Systems (CMS) out there like, Laravel and Symfony are offering interoperability between frameworks, which is essentially expected to become a trend with PHP frameworks in the near future.
- Rise in asynchronous programming: Asynchronous programming is a style of programming where an action is induced in a particular functionality when a call is made to some other functionality, where both the functionalities can be processed in parallel. The main advantages of this is that it offers several performance benefits like, better multi-tasking, higher speed, etc.
- Improvement in PSR-7: The standard of HTTP messaging is expected to gain major upgrades this year. It will ease out a lot of complexity with regards to the use of middle-ware patterns. Example of the same would be Zend Expressive. It is presently helping to do away with monolithic frameworks and proving smaller and simpler solutions.
- There would be updated versions of various tools.
- PHP7 will become more accepted among developers
- Frameworks will become less relevant for PHP developers, they will move towards standardized packages.
Are we missing something?
- Shift to module based programming
- Shift towards real hardware level Internet of Things (IOT). With the aid of asynchronous programming, it will be possible to write PHP applications where input can be accepted from general I/O based hardware on Intel Edison, Raspberry Pi and other Internet of Thing (IOT) devices.
- There will be more life to the entire ecosystem, ranging from internals to package libraries. The size of libraries are also slated to be much smaller.
What are the various problems that we might face when implementing these changes?
The major challenge that we will face would be the lack of updated tutorials. Usually it takes a while to procure the updated tutorials, and that would be a challenge to the developers. Also, we have a mindset built within us, after working with certain versions, that any change in a major programming language would leave all of us with certain discomfort. But, we have to accept the change and adapt to it as well.
We think PHP7 is here to stay even though newer developments like Node.JS would certainly pose a challenge. But, platforms like Magento, WordPress, Laravel would help PHP retain its relevance. The fact that all the major companies, like Google, IBM and Microsoft are accepting PHP, it confirms the essence of PHP and acts as a testament to its versatility. In fact, more than 80% of all web applications still run on PHP. That, kind of summarizes it all, doesn’t it? Then, what are you thinking about? Go ahead and “be a part of the change you want to see”.