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Laravel News Podcast:
Episode #13 - Chrome Extension for Tests, Jigsaw, Fixing MySQL Memory & More
Apr 08, 2016 @ 10:52:03

The Laravel News Podcast has released their latest episode, Episode #13 hosted by PHP and Laravel community member Eric L. Barnes.

In this episode, we talk about Laravel Exception Reporter, Chrome Bandwidth limiter, Chrome extension to generate Laravel tests, Jigsaw, Helpspot Vault, Fixing MySql Memory, Sparkwatch, and Taxes.

You can listen to this latest episode either using the in-page audio player or by subscribing either through iTunes or their RSS feed.

tagged: laravelnews podcast ep13 chrome tests jigsaw vault mysql memory ericbarnes

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/04/laravel-news-podcast-13/

Zeev Suraski:
PHP 7 Is Gaining Momentum
Apr 04, 2016 @ 11:56:17

In his new post to his site Zeev Suraski talks about the momentum growing behind PHP 7 and some of the recent articles about companies making the move and the overall impression of the new version.

We’re now a few months since PHP 7 came out, and if you’ve been following what’s going on in the PHP world, things are looking pretty exciting! [...] First, InfoWorld gave PHP 7 the 2016 Technology of the Year Award, which is quite remarkable. Remarkable is also how InfoWorld chose to describe the performance gains that are promised by PHP 7 – and I absolutely agree.

[...] As more and more people are trying PHP 7 out, we’re seeing more and more evidence that the promise of 2x performance is being realized, big time. Most recently, Badoo published an article detailing their experience migrating for PHP 5.6 to 7.0

He gets into a bit more detail about the numbers that Badoo published and gives a quick "thank you" to Dmitry Stogov for helping to spearhead the effort to get PHP 7 out the door from Zend. Finally, he points out that there's a Zend Server version that already runs on PHP 7 if you'd like to try it out.

tagged: php7 momentum infoworld award badoo performance memory zendserver

Link: http://zsuraski.blogspot.com/2016/03/php-7-is-gaining-momentum.html

Symfony Finland:
Symfony Benchmarks: PHP 5.6, HHVM 3.11 and PHP 7.0.1
Dec 29, 2015 @ 10:53:46

The Symfony Finland has shared some benchmarks of the latest versions of the Symfony framework (simple applications) on three current environments to see the differences: PHP 5.6, HHVM 3.11 and PHP 7.0.1.

Since the first functional versions of PHP 7.0.0 were made available, there have been a number of benchmarks comparing PHP 5.6, HHVM and PHP 7. [...] The recently released eZ Platform is a CMS built on the Symfony framework. It's a good representation of a modern PHP application with complex functionalities and no legacy code from the 2000's. Thus making a good candidate benchmarks for testing an application built with the Symfony Framework (version 2.7.8).

So let's see how an application built with the Symfony2 framework fares on PHP 5.6, HHVM 3.11 and PHP 7.0.1.

He starts by describing the test setup including the default installation of the eZ platform and how it was configured/set up. He then shares the results, showing memory usage and response times for each of the three different platforms. There's even results from different parts of the application: the front page and the "Top Stories" and "Projects" pages. The results also include the findings for the number of requests per second both with and without the Symfony Proxy included in the platform.

tagged: symfony benchmarks php56 hhvm php7 requestspersecond memory consumption graph

Link: https://www.symfony.fi/entry/symfony-benchmarks-php-56-hhvm-and-php-7

Julien Pauli:
Huge Page usage in PHP 7
Oct 30, 2015 @ 12:16:48

In this post to his site Julien Pauli looks at the concept of "huge pages" and how it relates to some of the behind the scenes work done in PHP 7 to improve memory usage.

Memory paging is a way Operating Systems manage userland process memory. Each process memory access is virtual, and the OS together with the hardware MMU must translate that address into a physical address used to access the data in main memory (RAM).

Paging memory is dividing memory in chunks of fixed size, called pages. [...] Why use huge pages? The concept is easy. If we make the OS Kernel use bigger page sizes, that means that more data can be accessed into one single page. That also means that we'll suffer from less TLB miss, once the page translation is stored into the TLB, because one translation will now be valid for more data.

He briefly covers how some updated memory handling and opcode restructuring helps PHP 7 perform even better, especially when it comes to the OPCache handling. He talks about the changes made in the extension specifically to support the "huge pages" idea, complete with code examples (in C) of how this was accomplished.

tagged: huge page php7 memory improvement performance opcache

Link: http://jpauli.github.io/2015/10/28/huge-page.html

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Memory Performance Boosts with Generators and Nikic/Iter
Oct 20, 2015 @ 09:31:24

On the SitePoint PHP blog there's a tutorial posted showing you how to get some performance gains in your PHP applications using the "Iter" library from Nikita Popov.

First came arrays. Then we gained the ability to define our own array-like things (called iterators). But since PHP 5.5, we can rapidly create iterator-like structures called generators. These appear as functions, but we can use them as iterators. They give us a simple syntax for what are essentially interruptible, repeatable functions. They’re wonderful!

And we’re going to look at a few areas in which we can use them. We’re also going to discover a few problems to be aware of when using them. Finally, we’ll study a brilliant library, created by the talented Nikita Popov.

They start with a common problem: loading information line-by-line from a CSV file. They do some filtering and merging of the values but point our a major flaw - large files. These would drag down performance quite a bit and generators might just make for a good solution. He shows a simple "read CSV" generator to get the lines in the file while also reducing the memory needed. Unfortunately the array_map/array_filter methods he was using for sorting don't work with generators. The nikic/iter helps fix this. Code examples are included showing it in use performing the same operations as before. He ends the post with a few other "fun things" including array flattening, slicing and rewinding generators.

tagged: memory performance boost generator nikic iter library tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/memory-performance-boosts-with-generators-and-nikiciter/

Evert Pot:
Save memory by switching to generators
Aug 11, 2015 @ 09:45:51

Evert Pot has a post to his site showing you to conserve memory with generators in your PHP scripts. Generators are a language feature that allows you to generate/manipulate data like an iterator without needing to pre-generate the array beforehand.

Since the release of PHP 5.5, we now have access to generators. Generators are a pretty cool language feature, and can allow you to save quite a bit of memory if they are used in the right places. [...] It's not uncommon in complex applications for the result of a function like our [example] to be passed to multiple functions that mangle or modify the data further. Each of these functions tend to have a (foreach) loop and will grow in memory usage as the amount of data goes up.

He uses a common example of fetching a set of articles from a database to show how memory consumption could get huge when a large number of articles are involved. He rewrites the example using generators instead, making use of the yield functionality to only fetch one record at a time and map it to the object structure. He also includes a few things to watch out for when using generators including the different return value of the method (iterator, not an array). He also points out an issue where the array_* functions will no work on iterators so you'd need to convert it back to an array before use.

tagged: memory generator switch example records yield

Link: http://evertpot.com/switching-to-generators/

Bigcommerce Engineering Blog:
PHP Memory Optimization
May 22, 2015 @ 08:18:12

On the Bigcommerce Engineering blog there's a new post sharing a few tips for memory optimization in your PHP applications. This includes tips you can implement at a code level without too many changes to the server or the need for external services.

Lately, I’ve been working on optimizing the memory of some of our backend PHP applications and wanted to share some of the tricks that I have come across, especially dealing with large set of data using PHP.

Each of their tips includes code to illustrate the technique:

  • Always cap your internal in-memory caching
  • Use layered caching
  • (Freeing) DB Resources
  • Free large blocks of memory

Some of the examples include output from the scripts showing the reduction (or non-growth) of the peak memory usage of the script.

tagged: memory optimization tips caching resources free

Link: http://bigeng.io/post/119546277718/php-memory-optimization

Nikita Popov:
Internal value representation in PHP 7 - Part 1
May 06, 2015 @ 08:12:27

Nikita Popov has a new post, the first part of a series, talking about the internal handling of variables in PHP7 and how it has changed from the current/past methods.

My last article described the improvements to the hashtable implementation that were introduced in PHP 7. This followup will take a look at the new representation of PHP values in general. Due to the amount of material to cover, the article is split in two parts: This part will describe how the zval (Zend value) implementation differs between PHP 5 and PHP 7, and also discuss the implementation of references. The second part will investigate the realization of individual types like strings or objects in more detail.

He starts with an introduction to the "zval" struct type and how it relates to the "zvalue" union. He goes on to talk about reference counting on zvals and some of the reasoning/desire to change how these are handled. Finally, he gets to the zval handling coming in PHP7 and the fundamental change in zval handling - they're no longer "individually heap-allocated and no longer store a refcount themselves". This change has several advantages and including improved refcount handling and less pointers involved in determining the actual value. He includes an example of how this new zval structure is defined in PHP7 compare to the previous version too. The remainder of the post looks at other related issues including memory management, supported types and a major change to how variable references are handled.

tagged: internal value variable representation php7 zval zvalue memory reference

Link: http://nikic.github.io/2015/05/05/Internal-value-representation-in-PHP-7-part-1.html

BitExpert Blog:
Processing CSV files in a memory efficient way
Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:50:59

In their latest post Florian Horn shares some of his experience in using the PHPExcel tool to parse CSV files and the performance issues he ran into. Fortunately, he found a solution...in the form of another library.

A little while ago I had to dive deeper into the performance optimized usage of PHPExcel. Our users are uploading files like Excel or CSV with a lot data to process. Initially we used the PHPEXcel instance without any tuning of the default configuration which lead to heavy memory issues on relativly small files. So I had to avoid reading all file content at ones to the buffer (like file_get_contents does).

In my research mainly optimizing the usage of PHPExcel I came across a tiny library I am grown really fond of. It is called Goodby/CSV. Both tools have a very well grounded documentation to read in and understand the basics and the usage.

He describes some of the main differences between the two tools and includes some basic benchmark results comparing memory consumption and overall speed.

tagged: phpexcel csv file goodbycsv process performance memory benchmark

Link: https://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/processing-csv-files-in-a-memory-efficient-way/

Julien Pauli:
Zoom on PHP objects and classes
Mar 26, 2015 @ 12:50:49

Julien Pauli has a recent post to his site that "zooms in" on objects and classes with a look behind the scenes at how they're handled in the PHP source (at the C level) with plenty of code examples and explanations as to how they work.

Everybody uses objects nowadays. Something that was not that easy to bet on when PHP5 got released 10 years ago (2005). I still remember this day, I wasn't involved in internals code yet, so I didn't know much things about how all this big machine could work. But I had to note at this time, when using this new release of the language, that jumps had been made compared to old PHP4. The major point advanced for PHP5 adoption was : "it has a new very powerful object model". That wasn't lies. [...] Here, I will show you as usual how all this stuff works internally. The goal is always the same : you understand and master what happens in the low level, to make a better usage of the language everyday.

The article does a great (if lengthy) job of covering everything that happens with PHP's objects and class system, including stats about memory consumption. He includes both the PHP code and the C code to illustrate what's happening with classes, interfaces, traits and object methods/attributes (including object references). He also talks about what "$this" is and how class destructors are handled.

tagged: object class behindthescenes detail c code memory usage

Link: http://jpauli.github.io/2015/03/24/zoom-on-php-objects.html