The PHP community is VERY excited to welcome this latest release. But that doesn t mean PHP has been stagnant all this time. On the contrary, minor releases of PHP 5 brought many exciting features to PHP, including support of Object-Oriented programming and many features associated with that.
So, first off, why 7 and not 6? Let s just say, unicode didn t go so well. As with many projects, requirements were not well defined and people couldn t agree on things, so the project ground to a halt. Besides unicode, for encoding special and international characters, almost all the features being discussed for PHP 6 were eventually implemented in PHP 5.3 and later, so we really didn t miss anything else. Through it all, many things were learned and a new process for feature requests was put in place. When the feature set for a major release was accepted, it was decided, to avoid confusion with a dead project, and to skip to version 7 for the latest release.