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An early look at whats coming in PHP V6

May 06, 2009, 21:01 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Deepak Vohra)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"The main feature of PHP V6 is improved support for Unicode. Currently, PHP is essentially a binary preprocessor. PHP V5 does not provide native Unicode support; it assumes that all characters are 1 byte long, which is a problem when handling non-Latin characters. You can do conversions to Unicode, but it requires the mbstring extension, which is not enabled by default or an external tool like iconv.

"PHP V5 does not always render text correctly, or readable, according to its associated character encoding. Unicode is an industry standard developed by the Unicode Consortium to represent every character no matter what the language, no matter the program, no matter the platform. Unicode, widely supported by standards and industry, makes international multilingual applications feasible. Unicode can be represented by different character encodings, the most common being UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32.

"PHP V6, which supports Unicode (UTF-8) natively, has Unicode support in the engine, in the extensions and in the API. PHP V6 handles all strings as Unicode, though support has been added to handle binary strings as a different type. In PHP V6, string literals are Unicode, Unicode identifiers are allowed, and functions understand Unicode text. PHP V6 has built-in support for converting between Unicode strings and other encodings when required, and supports reading from and writing to a UTF-8 file."

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