Thank you, Nikita!
PHP powers over 75% of the web, and its success is attributed to thousands of PHP contributors, framework authors, PHP tooling developers, IDE and other tooling developers, and the rest of the PHP community. One of the most impactful contributors to PHP is Nikita Popov. Over the 25 years of PHP's history, there has never been more acceleration in new features, language clean-up, and up-keep than the past few years, and Nikita was behind most of the important changes in PHP.
Rasmus Lerdorf, Dmitry Stogov, Derick Rethans, Zeev Suraki, Anatol Belski, Stanislav Malyshev, Sara Golemon, Anthony Ferrara, Nikita Popov, and over 800 people have contributed to PHP over the years, and the PHP we have today is the efforts of all of them. Some of the PHP contributors have moved to different paths, some started their own ventures, and some continue to contribute their time and efforts in shaping PHP.
Nikita's first commit to PHP source dates back to February 2012, and during his decade with PHP, he contributed several improvements and fixes to PHP. For the past three years, he worked JetBrains, and he was the major contributor to PHP 7.4, PHP 8.0, and [PHP 8.1]](/versions/7.4), to be released in just two days!
Some of his most notable improvements to PHP includes:
- Generators and coroutins in PHP 5.5
- Variadic functions in PHP 5.6
- Abstract Syntax Tree (AST) in PHP 7.0
- Use of Exceptions in the PHP engine in PHP 7.0
- Arrow functions in PHP 7.4
- Typed Properties in PHP 7.4
- Named Parameters in PHP 8.0
- Constructor Properties in PHP 8.0
- WeakMap in PHP 8.0
- Union Types in PHP 8.0
- Readonly properties in PHP 8.1
Nikita also did a fantastic work in cleaning up PHP with old paradigms. In fact, over 5,700 commits he has made to the PHP source repository consists of more deletions than additions.
Nikita also maintains Fast Route, one of the fastest and most used routing libraries available on PHP.
Nikita recently announced that he will be changing his current job JetBrains, and will not be able to work on PHP on a professional capacity anymore. It goes without saying that this will leave a major void in the PHP not just in the maintenance of PHP source code, but an awesome human being that enthusiastically talks, contributes, and collaborates with the rest of the PHP community.
Although we might not get to see him as often in PHP mailing lists, meetups, and everything else PHP related, his massive positive impact on PHP lives on, and has improved and built lives on millions of people around the globe.
Further, today, November 23rd is his birthday! Happy birthday Nikita!.
All of your friends at PHP community are grateful for all the RFCs that shaped PHP, hundreds of PRs, dozens on podcasts and talks, and countless good memories we made.
Thank you, Nikita!