Simon Willison’s Weblog


The evolution of PHP

30th November 2002

Via ReadingEd, an interesting article on the Object Oriented Evolution of PHP by Zeev Suraski (the Ze in Zend). As well as a history of PHP’s OO support, the article provides some tasty snippets of information as to improvement to look forward to in PHP 5. Personally I can’t wait for the objects to default to passing by reference, but the exception handling is going to be very nice as well:

Finally, the Zend Engine 2 also adds exception handling to PHP. To date, the sad reality is that most developers write code that does not handle error situations gracefully. It’s not uncommon to see sites that spit out cryptic database errors to your browser, rather than displaying a more user-friendly “An error has occurred” message. A key reason for this is that handling error situations with the versions of PHP was a daunting task—you actually had to check the return value of each and every function. Adding a set_error_handler() function made managing errors slightly easier,—but still left a lot to be desired. Adding exception handling to PHP lets developers achieve fine-grained error recovery, but more importantly, it facilitates graceful application-wide error recovery.

This is The evolution of PHP by Simon Willison, posted on 30th November 2002.

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