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Kinsta.com:
Real-World WordPress Benchmarks with PHP5.5 PHP5.6 PHP-NG and HHVM
July 30, 2014 @ 12:26:51

The Kinsta.com blog has a new post with the results of some benchmarking they've done around WordPress comparing PHP 5.5, PHP 5.6 (PHPNG) and HHVM in response time (well, time taken for the request).

If you remember we wrote an article a good couple of months ago when WordPress 3.9 came out that HHVM was fully supported beginning with that release, and we were all happy about it. The initial benchmark results showed HHVM to be far more superior than the Zend engine that's currently powering all PHP builds.

[...] Obviously you have to compromise based on your (or rather your sites') needs but is it worth it? How much of a performance gain can you expect by switching to HHVM? [...] Today I finally took the time to set up a test environment and do some tests to compare a couple of different builds with a fresh out of the box WordPress install and one that has a bunch of content added plus runs WooCommerce!

The testing was all done locally on virtual machines (using Vagrant setups) and two different kinds of test WordPress installations. They share the results in the post, showing the differences between the HHVM installations and the plain PHP ones. The results also show the differences between having the opcode cache on and off. Curious to see how it would perform outside of a local system, they also pushed the same configurations out to a DigitalOcean instance with some slightly different results.

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wordpress benchmark php55 php56 phpng hhvm compare results

Link: https://kinsta.com/blog/real-world-wordpress-benchmarks-with-php5-5-php5-6-php-ng-and-hhvm/

PHP.net:
PHP Next Generation
May 28, 2014 @ 09:14:05

On the main PHP.net site today there's an announcement posted about the working being done on the next generation of the PHP language based on some recent discussions (and actual development work). The PHPNG branch helps boost the performance of the language to new levels and cleans up some of the core APIs.

When we aren't looking for pictures of kittens on the internet, internals developers are nearly always looking for ways to improve PHP, a few developers have a focus on performance. Over the last year, some research into the possibility of introducing JIT compilation capabilities to PHP has been conducted. During this research, the realization was made that in order to achieve optimal performance from PHP, some internal API's should be changed. This necessitated the birth of the phpng branch, initially authored by Dmitry Stogov, Xinchen Hui, and Nikita Popov.

The post talks about the performance increase of these changes (an average of 20%) and the current progress made on the internal project. This is "only the start" of the work on this new functionality, so keep an eye on the PHP.net site for more upcoming details.

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phpng next generation branch project performance

Link: http://www.php.net/archive/2014.php#id2014-05-27-1

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Fights HHVM and Zephir with PHPNG
May 27, 2014 @ 10:14:23

In a new post to the SitePoint PHP blog Bruno Skvorc talks about a "fight" that has broken out between various technologies vying to come out as the top PHP performance platform...more specifically the recent PHPNG patch to the PHP language itself.

Chaos in the old world! First HipHop, years ago, and no one bats an eye. Then suddenly, HHVM happens, introduces Hack, and all hell breaks loose - Facebook made a new PHP and broke/fixed everything (depending on who you ask). Furthermore, Zephir spawns and threatens with C-level compilation of all your PHP code, with full support for current PHP extensions. It's mushroom growth time for alternative PHP runtimes, and HippyVM appears as well. Amid the sea of changes, another splash was heard: PHPNG.

He covers some of the basics of the PHPNG patch, who has been working on it and some of the main pros and cons about the refactor. While it does provide a speed boost and native extension support, not all extensions are supported and the internal developers are divided on its adoption.

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hhvm zephir performance phpng introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-fights-hhvm-zephir-phpng/

PHPClasses.org:
PHPNG Dramatic Speedup Features Coming in PHP 6 Release
May 12, 2014 @ 12:43:14

The PHPClasses.org blog has a new post today looking at a recently introduced proposal for updates to the core PHP functionality that could lead to significant speed and overall performance gains. In this latest article they talk about PHPNG.

Not a very long after Facebook announced the Hack language, Dmitry Stogov of Zend announced a somewhat secret development branch of PHP called PHPNG that brings a JIT engine, significant speed and memory management improvements eventually to PHP 6. [...] This branch was added somewhat secretly by Zend developers to the PHP development repository in April 16 but it was openly described only in May 5 when Sebastian Bergmann of the PHPUnit fame asked in the PHP internals about it. Dmitry Stogov of Zend presented a more or less detailed description of the PHPNG branch. He explained that he has been experimenting using a JIT engine (Just In Time compilation to native machine code) using LLVM.

The post talks about the availability of the branch and some of the changes (like updates to extensions) that would need to be made for it to work correctly. There's also a mention about the "plot to kill mod_php" in the future and how the discussion around it reminds the author of the deprecation of the MySQL extension a few years back. The rest of the post compares the PHPNG branch's features with that of one of the other high-performance PHP tools out there, HHVM.

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phpng speed performance release hhvm branch

Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/234-PHPNG-Dramatic-Speedup-Features-Coming-in-PHP-6-Release.html


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