Discover the Latest Features in PHP 8.3

php plush elephant on a macbook pro with php storm running on it 1

As of November 2023, PHP 8.3 will be the latest version of the web development programming language. With various enhancements for programmers (such as union types, read-only properties, and improved error messages), taking advantage of them means that you must upgrade.

Here’s a look at PHP’s new features, with some steps on how to implement them, using practical examples.

1. Union Types and Intersection Types

In PHP 8.3, a notable upgrade entails implementing intersection types and union types. Such types enable coders to specify parameters and return types as a blend of various kinds, increasing the code’s versatility and durability.


Using the pipe symbol (|), union types enable the specification of a parameter or return value with multiple types. To illustrate, suppose you have a function that may accept a string or integer input; you could define its parameter in the following manner:

 function foo(int|string $param) {  

On the other hand, with intersection types, you can define a return value or parameter as a combination of two or more types. Therefore, the return value or parameter must meet all the types in the intersection. Let’s take a look at an instance:

 function bar(ArrayAccess&Countable $param): int {  

In this example, the argument must be an object implementing both the ArrayAccess and Countable interfaces, and the function must return an integer.

A union type is defined with the pipe symbol (|) and allows you to specify multiple types that a parameter or return value can have.

Intersection types, on the other hand, let you define a parameter or return value as an intersection of two or more types. This means that the parameters or return values ​​must satisfy all types of intersections.

2. Read-Only Properties

The addition of read-only attributes in PHP 8.3 is another helpful aspect. You may declare properties as read-only using this property, which prevents further changes to their value and only permits initialization once.

You may use this functionality to increase the security and dependability of your code by preventing unintentional alteration of crucial data.

This PHP 8.3 example shows how to define a read-only property.

 Class MyClass
Public read_only string $name;
Public function__construct(string $title)
{$this->title = $title;

In the example mentioned above, the function Object() { [native code] } initializes the $name property just once. It can only be specified as a read-only function.

3. Enhanced Error Messages

When a fatal error occurs in a PHP script, the Enhanced Error Messages attribute in PHP 8.3 provides more in-depth and useful error messages. Developers can quickly identify and address code issues with this feature.

When accessing an undefined array index, Enhanced Error Messages are in action. In past releases of PHP, you would get an error message like this:

 Notice: Undefined offset: 4 in /path/to/file.php on line 3 

This error message doesn’t say much about where the problem came from. However, with PHP 8.3’s Enhanced Error Messages, you would receive the following more in-depth error message:

 Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Cannot use string offset as an array in /path/to/file.php:3 Stack trace:  

This error message provides a stack trace to assist you in determining the problem’s origin and informs you that you are attempting to use a string offset as an array (one of many useful text manipulation functions in PHP). Additionally, it informs you that you are attempting to access a null value from an array offset.

Get Ready for PHP 8.3

Moving up to PHP 8.3 is pivotal for designers in light of its most recent highlights and enhancements. Introducing union and intersection types in PHP 8.3 makes it easier for programmers to deal with complex data types.

By preventing unintentional changes to important data, read-only properties also increase code reliability. In general, upgrading to PHP 8.3 gives developers access to more powerful and adaptable tools to create high-performance web applications with frameworks like Laravel.


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