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Essex Web Devs meet Derick Rethans about PHP 7.4

We were treated to a great talk at local web-dev >programming group taken online. Guest speaker Derick Rethans, 17-year veteran of Quality control and introspection via PHP xDebug and various other widely used libraries presented changes in the new PHP runtime 7.4 and 7.8, odd language bugs and future efforts to fix them.

We got a bit "energetic" as lockdown tends to make people, but it was a good turn-out with people remote attending from elsewhere around the world, including Germany.

Funny PHP questions

What does the following output in PHP? (No cheating by checking)

1. Ternaries

$a = 3;
echo $a == 1 ? 'one' : $a == 2 ? 'two' : $a == 3 ? 'three' : $a == 4 ? 'four' : 'other'; 

2. Numeric Base Conversion

echo base_convert('hello world', 16, 10);

3. Concatenation with addition

echo 'answer: ' . 4 + 5;

The answers are off the wall disturbing; and do not match other languages with these same features. The PHP team are fixing them.

I'm really glad that a local group managed to get such an experienced speaker, who shared so much in such a short space of time, and has undoubtedly helped millions to express themselves, introspect their ideas and even earn a living.

I found after some deprecation warnings Derick offered that I'll have until to patch support, or drop features in some very old work that connects to a FoxPro database file. Perhaps I'll just compile the extension from PECL, as they are not preventing people from optionally using code, just moving it out of the core language.