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The next major version of PHP is going to be PHP 7.
This may seem strange as the current major version of PHP is 5. To explain why they are jumping from 5 to 7 we need to go back to 2010. In 2010 the PHP core developers started development of PHP 6 but it was never released to the public because of various technical problems. You can read much more on this debate in the “PHP RFC: Name of the Next Release of PHP” document.
The first major feature announced for PHP 7 was a large performance bump. Infact in some early benchmarks PHP 7 can be seen beating HHVM.
The core team are also looking at implementing a number of interesting language features including Return Type Declarations, Combined Comparison Operator, Uniform Variable Syntax and Scalar Type Hints.
One of the most impactful changes will be the removal of functionality that has been deprecated during the 5.x development cycle. This includes the removal of the mysql extension which was been superseded by the mysqli and PDO extensions. In fact the mysql extension has been in maintain-only status and as a result has received no new functionality since PHP 4.3.1!
However not everyone is happy with the removal of some deprecated features: Tony Marston wrote an article titled ‘Please do not break our language' in which he discusses the removal of PHP 4 style constructors. It is well worth a read to get an alternative viewpoint on the removal and addition of PHP language features.
The current release date for PHP 7.0 is October 2015. This is not written in stone and not all features might make the 7 release. It is exciting to see the PHP core developers add big language features while also focusing on increased performance. Hopefully they can make the target 2015 release date. 
Read this for using composer in your  project.


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