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PHP is a free application that is used by professional programmers in building websites. PHP 5.3.0 comes with long-awaited features such as namespaces, late static binding, closures and many others.

Features of PHP 5.5:

- Support for namespaces
- Late static binding
- Lambda Functions and Closures
- Syntax additions: NOWDOC, ternary short cut "?:" and jump label (limited goto), __callStatic()
- Under the hood performance improvements
- Optional garbage collection for cyclic references
- Optional mysqlnd PHP native replacement for libmysql
- Improved Windows support including VC9 and experimental X64 binaries as well as portability to other supported platforms
- More consistent float rounding
- Deprecation notices are now handled via E_DEPRECATED (part of E_ALL) instead of the E_STRICT error level
- Several enhancements to enable more flexiblity in php.ini (and ini parsing in general)
- New bundled extensions: ext/phar, ext/intl, ext/fileinfo, ext/sqlite3, ext/enchant
- Over 140 bug fixes and improvements to PHP, in particular to: ext/openssl, ext/spl and ext/date

This release also drops several extensions and unifies the usage of internal APIs. Users should be aware of the following known backwards compatibility breaks:
- Parameter parsing API unification will cause some functions to behave more or less strict when it comes to type juggling
- Removed the following extensions: ext/mhash (see ext/hash), ext/msql, ext/pspell (see ext/enchant), ext/sybase (see ext/sybase_ct)
- Moved the following extensions to PECL: ext/ming, ext/fbsql, ext/ncurses, ext/fdf
- Removed zend.ze1_compatibility_mode
What's New in PHP 5.5.0 Final:

- Upgraded bundled sqlite to version 3.6.23.1. (Ilia)
- Upgraded bundled PCRE to version 8.02. (Ilia)
- Added support for JSON_NUMERIC_CHECK option in json_encode() that converts numeric strings to integers. (Ilia)
- Added stream_set_read_buffer, allows to set the buffer for read operation. (Pierre)
- Added stream filter support to mcrypt extension (ported from mcrypt_filter). (Stas)
- Added full_special_chars filter to ext/filter. (Rasmus)
- Added backlog socket context option for stream_socket_server(). (Mike)
- Added fifth parameter to openssl_encrypt()/openssl_decrypt() (string $iv) to use non-NULL IV.
- Made implicit use of NULL IV a warning. (Sara)
- Added openssl_cipher_iv_length(). (Sara)
- Added FastCGI Process Manager (FPM) SAPI. (Tony)
- Added recent Windows versions to php_uname and fix undefined windows version support. (Pierre)


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