This is today’s newsletter editorial discussion, copied here for the sake of easier discussion
The scalar type hints would remain optional, with a strict mode available for those who desire it, and it has been explained in detail quite well by Pascal Martin - a post you should definitely read.
What resonated more through the PHP community, however, was the rift prompted by the vote for this feature. With alarming accuracy, most of the old guard of the PHP internals team (the ones responsible for the language’s first iterations) have voted “No”, some stating that PHP has always been a weakly typed language and should remain one, and others blatantly misunderstanding what the RFC proposes to accomplish. On the other cliff of the rift, however, the views seemed similarly extremist at times.
Naturally, there were those who logically argued for either approach and those discussions should be taken into account when deciding on the vote, but the amount of hostile bickering surprised and frightened me - a divide between the two core contributor groups of an entire programming language is hardly what I would call a productive environment for anyone, and I fear stagnation as all future votes stand deadlocked in personal bias.
Personally, I want to see this happen. I wasn’t around in PHP’s <5 days, so upgrading the language with such optional perks is definitely the way to go from where I’m looking. I can understand the hesitance of the original devs and quite frankly, we already do have Hack to give us the “new PHP” we all wanted, but this would add not only a more professional (optional) layer on top of our favorite language, it would also foster compatibility with the rapidly evolving Hack.
How do you feel about scalar type hints? (please read the RFC and Pascal’s post to get a full picture before answering)