Feeds

Facebook plans PHP changes

Hardware saver?

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?