Feeds

Facebook plans PHP changes

Hardware saver?

High performance access to file storage

On Tuesday, Facebook is expected to unveil changes to PHP, the language that helped make the social networking site a success - along with millions of other web sites.

SD Times has outed the planned change here. Facebook wouldn't provide details when contacted by The Reg but said it would make more details available Tuesday morning, Pacific time.

The changes have been described as either a re-write of the PHP runtime or a compiler for PHP.

A change to PHP would be Facebook's latest donation to the language, which has also had contributions from Microsoft and the former Sun Microsystems over the years.

PHP co-founder Andi Gutmans said that his company Zend Technologies was aware that Facebook has been planning a change, and told The Reg he thinks it will be "significant." But he wouldn't elaborate further.

"We have to see what come out," Gutmans said. "Generally speaking... I think there's been some good innovation at Facebook. I imagine some of it could help community PHP."

When it comes to run-times, there have been projects such as Caucho's Quercus - a Java implementation of the PHP language - and the Project Zero PHP runtime, but these have generally failed to get-traction. Gutmans said this was because open-source PHP has remained the industry's de-facto standard.

He's also not overly worried that what Facebook unveiled could lead to a fork of PHP, noting the community is not as political as, for example, the former Sun's MySQL community. He expects whatever Facebook announces to be under a community-friendly license, and said if it is innovative then he'd be happy to see it find its way into PHP.

He said developers would continue to get their PHP source from the community.

Gutmans noted Facebook might be introducing changes because of the scale of its operations and that changes in the language might help it cut the number of servers it needs.

"We've got to remember Facebook is a very different user - a very atypical user compared to the majority of users. The performance requirements at the scale they run is very different from even heavily loaded web sites that have tens or hundreds of servers. Saving 10 per cent can be thousands of servers," he said. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.