By Kevin Waterson

Today marks the release of the much awaited 5.3.0 version of PHP. The release contains many of the features that the development community have been requesting for some time, along with a plethora of bug fixes and optimizations to boost reliablity and performance.

Possibly the greatest request has been for namespaces, and the PHP development team have been through a great deal to get them included in this release. Other features include late static binding, closures, optional garbage collection for cyclic references, a phar extention and the much needed fileinfo extention.

Some nice upgrades in the latest 3.6.15 version of SQLite and a move to the 7.9 release of PCRE for all the regex fans.

Other addition in PHP 5.3.0 are lambda function and closures, a new jump label tha provides a limitted GOTO, a much needed __DIR_ constant, and the addition of new error modes E_USER_DEPRECATED and E_DEPRECATED, which speak for themselves.

A list of over 140 bug fixes is too long to print here, but needless to say, with the fixes in place and the improved PHP runtime speed and memory usage optimizations, this release puts PHP in a greater position as the choice of develpment tools than other languages.