PHP 5.4 also includes other changes that were originally slated for PHP 6. One new project is called Traits, which will allow a developer to use a specific piece of functionality in multiple parts of an application. "In each class where you wanted to support logging, you could just use the logging Trait," Suraski said. Suraski likened Traits to Java's multiple inheritance.
Also, many of the features that have been deprecated from PHP and were set to be removed in version 6.0 are now being removed in 5.4 instead. One example of this is PHP's Safe Mode, a mode of operation designed for running PHP in multisite implementations. Safe Mode has been both notoriously buggy and gave users a "false sense of security," Suraski said.
Around 500 people contribute to PHP, Suraski said. About a dozen people contribute to the core PHP engine, and dozens of others maintain specific extensions, and more than 100 people work on the documentation. Several months ago, the PHP maintainers changed the way the approval process of how new features get added, a process that would allow other maintainers to vote on whether new features get added.