On his blog, ownCloud founder Frank Karlitschek ponders the future of PHP. He doesn't regret choosing PHP for ownCloud, but does note that the language suffers from its mid-1990s roots, which he would like to see cleaned up and fixed at some point—in a fully compatible way. "I wish PHP would do something that makes it possible to evolve and improve the language significantly but still provides a smooth migration experience not like Perl and Python did with introducing completely new backward incompatible releases.
So a good solution would be if PHP 6 or 7 [would] introduce a new tag to start a php file. For example
<?PHPNEXT instead of <?PHP. Both modes are fully supported by the new PHP version and can be used in parallel in the same application or even in the same file. In the NEXT section the new and improved syntax is used." He goes on to list the changes he would like to see in the language.