PHP 5.6: What’s new features

PHP 5.6 has been released and is one of very important release. It brings the new features and many improvements and few backward incompatibility also.

Among the main features:

  • Constant scalar expressions

It is now possible to provide a scalar expression involving numeric and string literals and/or constants in contexts where PHP previously expected a static value, such as constant and property declarations and default function arguments.

const ONE = 1;

// Scalar Expression in constant
const TWO = ONE * 2;
class foo {
    // Scalar expression in class property   
    const THREE = TWO + 1;
    // Scalar expression in class methods
    public test($a = ONE + self::THREE) {
        return $a;
echo (new foo)->test()."\n";

  • Variadic Functions via “…”

Earlier we were using func_get_args() to get all the arguments available in a function call(where-ever argument length is variable), but with PHP 5.6, this can be removed as we can easily use … operator. We can also type-hint the parameter.

function f($req, ...$params) {
    // $params is an array containing the remaining arguments.
    echo $req . ' : ' .  count($params)

f(1, 2);
f(1, 2, 3);

Above output


  • Argument unpacking via …

Arrays and Traversable objects can be unpacked into argument lists when calling functions by using the … operator. This is also known as the splat operator in other languages, including Ruby.

function add($a, $b, $c) {
    return $a + $b + $c;

$operators = [2, 3];
echo add(1, ...$operators);

Above output

  • Exponentiation via **
    $a = 2 ** 3; // $a = 8, i.e. 2^3
    $b = 2 ** 3 ** 2; // $b is 512 because its parsed as 2 ** (3 ** 2)
  • Importing namespaced functions and constants

use function and use const. Earlier this operator was used with class only.

namespace Name\Space {
    const FOO = 42;
    function f() { echo __FUNCTION__."\n"; }

namespace {
    use const Name\Space\FOO;
    use function Name\Space\f;

    echo FOO."\n";

  • Large file uploads

Uploads of over 2GB are now accepted

  • php://input is reusable

This means you can read it several times now, and it always reads from the same data, which has resulted in a significant memory usage reduction.

  • Default character encoding

The default character encoding has been set to UTF-8

  • A new command line debugger called phpdbg

Check out what’s new in php 5.6

Backward Incompatible Changes:

  • Array keys won’t be overwritten when defining an array as a property of a class via an array literal.
  • json_decode() is more strict in JSON syntax parsing.
  • Stream wrappers now verify peer certificates and host names by default when using SSL/TLS.
  • GMP resources are now objects.
  • Mcrypt functions now require valid keys and IVs.

Check out changelog List of changes into function in PHP 5.6


How to Import/Export databases in MySQL from command-line

Recently i worked with MySQL import/export databases and i have found some useful commands below:


  • All databases into sql file using mysqldump tool
mysqldump -u [username] -p --all-databases &gt; /home/username/filename.sql

In case you want to compress at the same time, run below command

mysqldump -u [username] -p --all-databases | gzip &gt; /home/username/filename.sql.gz
  • Single database into sql file using mysqldump tool
mysqldump -u [username] -p [dbname] &gt; /home/username/filename.sql

In case you want to compress at the same time, run below command

mysqldump -u [username] -p [dbname] | gzip &gt; /home/username/filename.sql.gz
  • Single database table into sql file using mysqldump tool
mysqldump -u [username] -p [dbname] [table_name] &gt; /home/username/filename.sql

In case you want to compress at the same time, run below command

mysqldump -u [username] -p [dbname] [table_name] | gzip &gt; /home/username/filename.sql.gz


  • Database from sql dump
 mysql -u [username] -p [dbname] &lt; /home/username/filename.sql 


 mysql&gt; source /home/username/all_databases_export.sql 
  • Single database from the dump(if it contains multiple databases):
 mysql -u [username] -p --one-database [dbname] &lt; /home/username/all_databases_export.sql 


  • While importing some large database i experience below error something as
 ERROR 1153 (08S01) at line 96: Got a packet bigger than 'max_allowed_packet' bytes 

In this case i just increase the value of –max_allowed_packet(Default=16M) as below command

 mysql -u [username] -p --max_allowed_packet=256M [dbname] &lt; /home/username/filename.sql 
  • Better using absolute paths.

Some useful PHP related links

An easy-to-read, quick reference for PHP best practices, accepted coding standards, and links to authoritative PHP tutorials around the Web

 PHP Framework Interop Group

PHP Trends, libraries, and freameworks

Sample code to understand several PHP design pattern

A curated list of amazingly awesome PHP libraries, resources and shiny things.

The League of Extraordinary Packages

A (digital) square where digital companies broadcast the list of tools they are using to realize their products

How To Set Up Apache Virtual Host on Ubuntu

Apache web server is the most common and popular in web arena. It has an awesome feature of customization and running websites using virtualhosts.

In this article we will know how to setup virtualhost on apache on Ubuntu(14.04 currently i am using). We will setup “” which will actually point to “/home/<username>/sites/”

Before we start we assume you have root access, if necessary. <username> is basically your system user directory.

Step 1: First create a directory where you put all your source code under your home directory(most common place)

sudo mkdir /home/&lt;username&gt;/sites/

Add an index.html(with some content) file under
Step 2: Create a new virtualhost file copying existing file under directory “/etc/apache2/sites-available”

cd /etc/apache2/sites-available
cp 000-default.conf

Set at-least “ServerName” and “DocumentRoot” variable as below

 DocumentRoot /home/&lt;username&gt;/sites/

Step 3: Add a host entry into your host file locate under “/etc/hosts”


sudo vim /etc/hosts

add a line as below

Step 4: Now enable VitrualHost using below command and restart apache

 sudo a2ensite
sudo apachectl restart

Step 5: Open your web browser and hit the url

In case if you get message like “You don’t have permission to access / on this server. “, Please ensure that “” directory permission is set to 0777. Grant the required permission if necessary.