PHP 8.1 reached Feature-Freeze
PHP 8.1 is planned to be released at the end of this year, and today, 20th of July, marks the feature-freeze of the PHP 8.1 branch.
All major changes to the PHP language are discussed, commented on, and voted by PHP contributors. At the the first half of this year, several RFCs were proposed, discussed, and some of them were accepted and implemented for PHP 8.1.
The feature-freeze of a major PHP version means that there will be no more major changes and RFCs made to that PHP version. It does not mean that the software is ready and finalized at all, but rather, it is the cut-off date for the PHP contributors to finish existing proposals, and target the next PHP version after the feature-freeze date.
A feature-freeze does not mean that the ABI (Application Binary Interface) is frozen for PHP 8.1. PHP extensions might still need to watch out for potential changes to the ABI in coming weeks.
Release managers appointed for each major PHP version has the final say on when the releases are made, and to decide whether last-minute proposals are allowed.
For PHP 8.1, the elected release managers are Joe Watkins, Ben Ramsey, and Patrick Allaert. At the moment, there is a discussion in the PHP mailing list about the Pure Intersection RFC, and its nullable use cases. The release managers have allowed a near-future RFC to take a vote whether the Intersection Types should allow the nullable type syntax.
Prior to the feature-freeze, there were three alpha releases, with the first alpha release on 10th of June.
The first beta release of PHP 8.1 will be tagged on 22nd of July this year.
Currently, the first generally-available version is scheduled to be released on 25th of November.