After many days of speculations all around the web about Facebook’s rewrite of PHP, today Haiping Zhao from the Facebook team has announced “HipHop for PHP”. The basic idea of HipHop for PHP is that it turns the code you write in PHP into C++ which then can be turned into machine code.
Even though there are others idea that have tried accomplishing the same goal as HipHop for PHP, I believe it is quite safe to assume that Facebook has a large enough user-base to produce code that is solid enough to run and can run well.
The announcement has been made on the Facebook blog earlier today, and tonight there is going to be the video tech talk that everybody can watch:
This evening we’re hosting a small group of developers to dive deeper into HipHop for PHP and will be streaming this tech talk live. Check back here around 7:30pm Pacific time if you’d like to watch.
A few questions come to mind even though we haven’t seen the code just yet. My main concern though is the one of buffer overflows and the security implications of turning PHP code into C++. As they say on the blog, it took nearly 18 months before having a relatively stable version and 3 developers. This is a very short lapse of time to develop a solution used by so many.
However I have noticed on their blog that Facebook has also developed HPHPi which seems to let you use HipHop but without having to actually compile your code before running it (The concept seems a bit like APC’s stat on and off switch from the few lines of description), which seems like a quite interesting idea for the development stages.
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