Facebook rewrites PHP runtime

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You Web AddiCT has long been a fan of PHP. Now that most of my wwwork involves SEO, PHP hasn’t been a topic that has been given as much attention as it deserves on this blog. Anyhow, for the PHP fans. Word on the tweet is that Facebook are about to announce a rewrite of the PHP runtime and are going to make it open source as it should be.

Facebook has rewritten the PHP runtime from scratch. This coming Tuesday, they will make a big announcement around this project, and will make it available as open source software. I’m not really sure of any of the details of the project, but I do know that Facebook hired someone two years ago to do this, and I’m relatively sure this was a one-man project during that entire time.

So, why has Facebook rewritten the PHP runtime? Because PHP is obviously too slow for their tastes. A few years ago, I had a coffee meeting with some of the folks from Zend. When they asked what I had been hearing about PHP in the market from my sources, I hemmed and hawed, then told them that I had heard people complaining about how slow PHP was. Now, I don’t personally consider PHP slow: it is simply not a language designed for the sorts of workloads that Java and .NET are.

But that still doesn’t change the fact that PHP can be a tad pokey on the server. Well, when I said this to the Zend folks, their immediate reaction was similar to that of a gestapo officer looking for a spy: “What? Who said that? Tell us their name!”

Read more over at SD Times.

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