Major release was made on time. It has a lot of useful enhancements and improvements.

Here are some that may be interesting for you:

  • improvements of Heredoc and Nowdoc syntax
  • array_key_first() and array_key_last() functions added
  • json_encode() and json_decode() will throw exception in case corresponding flag exists
  • a new hrtime() function, which does not depend upon system time
  • regular expressions engine updated to PCRE2
  • is_countable() function added
  • using links in list()
  • array restructuring supports assignments of references with the help of [&$a, [$b, &$c]] = $d.
  • instanceof operator is now able to accept literals
  • a new exception has been added, CompileError

Deprecated features:

  • case insensitive constants; deprecation warning will be shown after padding true as the third argument to define()
  • to declare assert() function in a namespace
  • to pass a non-string needle to string search function
  • string.strip_tags stream filter and fgetss() functions
  • image2wbmp()
  • also, some mbereg_*() aliases