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Etsy Code as Craft Blog:
Experimenting with HHVM at Etsy
April 08, 2015 @ 08:49:20

On the Etsy "Code as Craft" blog they've posted an article about their experiences in experimenting with HHVM at Etsy and some of the differences it makes.

In 2014 Etsy's infrastructure group took on a big challenge: scale Etsy's API traffic capacity 20X. We launched many efforts simultaneously to meet the challenge, including a migration to HHVM after it showed a promising increase in throughput. Getting our code to run on HHVM was relatively easy, but we encountered many surprises as we gained confidence in the new architecture.

They start with a brief overview of what HHVM is for those that aren't sure and talk about where their focus was in these experiments. They list out some of the main reasons for trying out HHVM and the role of concurrency in their current application. They started with the "minimum viable product" and compared benchmarks between PHP 5.4 and HHVM on several endpoints. They also show how they "teed" incoming requests to both servers to ensure that the responses were the same across both. They also talk about using employee-only traffic and the overall statistics for when they released the HHVM version internally. They also talk about some of the undocumented features to keep an eye out for if you're thinking of switching: "warming up" the requests to align them in JIT memory, using perf(1) for profiling and the use of the HHVM interactive debugger (hphpd).

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HHVM Blog:
Wikipedia on HHVM
January 07, 2015 @ 11:47:20

In a new post to the HHVM blog, Brett Simmers looks at the recent announcement from Wikipedia and how they made the switch to HHVM and the impact it made.

If you've been watching our GitHub wiki, following us on Twitter, or reading the wikitech-l mailing list, you've probably known for a while that Wikipedia has been transitioning to HHVM. This has been a long process involving lots of work from many different people, and as of a few weeks ago, all non-cached API and web traffic is being served by HHVM. This blog post from the Wikimedia Foundation contains some details about the switch, as does their page about HHVM.

Brett spends the rest of the post talking about his time working with the Wikimedia foundation and some of the hurdles they had to tackle along the way. This included things outside of PHP too like an issue with their Lua extension and compile changes in the installed PCRE version (no JIT). He also shares some of the statistics (in graph form) of the results of the move to HHVM from normal PHP5 - an impressive drop of around 7 seconds, median save time. He also includes a graph showing the server loads and the resulting (very impressive) drop from the move.

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hhvm wikipedia statistics wikimedia switch php5


Anthony Ferrara:
PHP Install Statistics
December 31, 2014 @ 09:29:43

Anthony Ferrara has a new post to his site sharing the results of some PHP version statistics he's gathered and how it relates back to the security of applications.

After yesterday's post, I decided to do some math to see how many PHP installs had at least 1 known security vulnerability. So I went to grab statistics from W3Techs, and correlated that with known Linux Distribution supported numbers. I then whipped up a spreadsheet and got some interesting numbers out of it. So interesting, that I need to share...

He starts with the versions that currently have no known security issues and matches those up with the linux releases that currently include them. He then looks at the adoption rates for more recent versions and maps those against the security status as well...with some "grim results". He summarizes the totals of all of the version results and comes up with an interesting statistic: over 78 percent of PHP installations (and thus applications) are vulnerable to some kind of security vulnerabilities just because of what they're hosted on.

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install statistics security vulnerability issue percent


Jordi Boggiano:
My view of PHP version adoption
November 18, 2014 @ 09:28:12

Jordi Boggiano has a new post today sharing some of his own insights about PHP version adoption but, unlike some of the raw numbers shared before, his perspective comes from aggregating data from Packagist.

Pascal's number are interesting but I believe they have a bias towards older PHP versions. I would argue that people configuring their servers properly are also those that tend to keep up to date with newer versions, and part of the best practices is to avoid publishing the software versions you are using (i.e. disable expose_php in php.ini). If I am correct here that means early adopters are mis-represented in those numbers. In any case, I do have another biased dataset to present so here it comes! I looked in the logs of the last fifty days for GET /packages.json which represents a composer update done by someone.

He notes that the data is biased towards development machines (not always running the same version as their production counterparts) but that it shouldn't skew the numbers too much. He compares two different datasets, one from November 2013 and the other from November 2014, showing a major change in the overall numbers and moving the largest version used up from 5.3.10 to 5.5.9. He also shares some interesting statistics around the requirements developers are putting on Packagist packages...that have basically remained the same over the past year (sadly).

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jordiboggiano version adoption packagist statistics


Pascal Martin:
PHP Version Statistics - October 2014
October 28, 2014 @ 11:23:13

Pascal Martin's latest post (in French, but the English version is coming soon) shares some statistics he's gathered around the usage of various software around the web, more specifically those involved in web-based applications.

I've collected statistics about the use of different PHP versions several times. The first time was in September 2011 and the most recent was in November 2013. At this point, PHP 5.2 still accounted for 34.4% of all PHP installations with PHP 5.3 moving up to 48.7%. This new data was collected the weekend of October 19th, 2014. At this point, the current stable versions of PHP are 5.4.34, 5.5.18 and 5.6.2. PHP 5.3 is no longer maintained (since August 14th 2014) and PHP 5.2 hasn't been supported for 4 years now.

He's broken up the statistics into a few different sections:

  • Web server software
  • Usage of major versions of PHP
  • Usage of minor versions of PHP
  • Versions in use under each of the major version numbers

He includes both the raw numbers (percentages) and some graphs showing the results in a bit more consumable fashion. It's interesting to see that, despite it being quite an old version now, PHP 5.3.x still has the largest share in the usage results.

UPDATE: He's posted the English version now as well.

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usage statistics oct2014 version major minor webserver


Joshua Thijssen:
Internal PHP function usage revisited
August 06, 2014 @ 11:53:34

Joshua Thjissen has revisited some of his PHP internal function statistics, an update from this previous post with some results showing the most (and least) used internal PHP functions in several large projects from GitHub.

A lot of people are asking about functions like isset, empty, print, echo etc, as they are not present in the current result list. The thing is, is that these are not really functions, but language constructs. This means that PHP treats them a bit different than normal functions, and this results sometimes in seemingly "strange" behaviour when trying to use them like regular functions.

He's updated his results, though, to reflect the usage of these "functions" and shared the numbers. Not surprisingly, these constructs show up pretty highly in the new "top 22" list he's produced. With the inclusion of the constructs, the number one item on the list is now "isset" by a very large margin. The full results can be found in this gist.

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internal function usage statistics github revisit construct language


Joshua Thijssen:
Internal PHP function usage
July 28, 2014 @ 10:05:39

Curious about the usage of the various "internal" (built-in, not user defined) functions in use is a wide range of PHP applications, Joshua Thijssen did some research on GitHub and has shared the results on his site today.

How many internal PHP functions (things like count(), strpos(), array_merge() etc), does PHP have? Depending on which version you use, and how many extensions you have loaded, somewhere between 1000 and 2000 would be a good guess. But how many of these internal functions are you REALLY using?

He created a custom script to fetch the results of a custom query (one that found repos with over fifty stars), grabbed the source and parsed the results looking for these internal functions. He shares the results of his parsing from 967 repos in the remainder of the post, including: the top ten most called, some interesting facts found in the results and some of the "bad" ones in wide use (like "exec" and "mysql_connect").

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internal function usage statistics github parse query


Sameer Borate:
Calculating descriptive statistics in MySQL
April 08, 2014 @ 10:46:22

Sameer Borate has shared some examples of how to generate some meaningful statistics about the contents of your database in a new post to his site today.

Descriptive statistics can be quite useful for simple analysis of records in a database. For example, to calculate average numbers of sales or products for a particular duration, or the Variance of sales for a month etc. We can easily calculate standard descriptive statistic measures in MySQL such as MEAN, SUM, STANDARD DEVIATION, VARIANCE, MIN and MAX using built-in functions.

He includes both the SQL and a bit of PHP code showing how to get these statistics (based on a simple data set of student scores). The PHP is required to more correctly evaluate the median and mode values as it's easier to evaluate those in PHP.

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mysql database descriptive statistics mean sum mode median


SitePoint Programming Blog:
What is the Best Programming Language to Learn in 2014?
February 07, 2014 @ 10:44:59

On the SitePoint Programming blog today Craig Buckler has published a new post with some suggestions as to which programming language is the best to learn in 2014. The results come from a compilation of job postings and popularity, but it's interesting none the less.

It's been a year since I revealed the best languages to learn in 2013. Once again, I've examined the data produced by Jobs Tractor who analyzed more than 45,000 developer jobs advertised on Twitter during the past twelve months. [...] Take this survey with a large pinch of salt. Then add pepper, ketchup and numerous other condiments. I'm not convinced Twitter is a reliable source of job-related data and regional differences can skew results.

The results of surveys from other outside sources are also included, showing slight variations compared to Craig's numbers. Most of the languages are the same but their orders are pretty different depending on who you ask. Of course, he does make one major recommendation about all of these results: "Never use statistics as the sole basis for learning a language."

If you've mastered a language or two, the choice is far simpler: pick something that interests you (intellectually or financially). Programming skills are transferable and the learning curve will be shallower when learning a new language compared to when you first started.
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programming language learn statistics opinion


Adam Culp:
PHP usage statistics
May 24, 2013 @ 11:41:16

Adam Culp has posted his own look at some of the PHP usage statistics that are out there and how they can be interpreted.

Every once in awhile I stumble across someone who is trying to find their way and decide what they will do in their career. As the organizer of a PHP user group I see many new developers passing through. Of course I always speak of how strong PHP is in the web markets, and encourage new web developers to pursue PHP as a tool in their box of goodies. Because as a web developer it would be a career limiting move to not have any knowledge of PHP. Here is why...

He shares a few different sources including w3tech's overall and PHP-specific information (PHP5 specific here) and the current results of the TIOBE index showing language popularity. For each he talks some about what the results mean (and don't mean) and how, if you're a "professional developer" you should, at the least, know PHP - the most dominant language in the web space.

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usage statistics language w3techs tiobe popularity


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