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HipHop for PHP, Facebook unveils it’s magic

Posted by David in APC, Facebook, HipHopPHP, LLVM, PHP, RoadsendPHP, community, echolibre, industry, innovation, performance, phc, security
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 18:38

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.

Another interest of mine related to this release is how does it compete with the likes of phc or roadsend php. If it does at all.

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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Comments (13 Responses)

HPHPi reminds me of JSP in JVM. However debugging in JSP is rather hard. Wonder how it works in HPHPi

Well I assume they will have the actual PHP working before converting to C++ and if the conversion thing works how it should then it’s going to make the same thing only faster.

Though I haven’t kept track of their progress, I was aware of the phc and Roadsend projects prior to the release of HipHop, so I too wonder how they compare in terms of current project state, features offered, intentions and motivations, etc.

As admitted by the Facebook post, HPIPi is intended for development, so I’m also curious as to what their processes and recommend best practices will be regading deployment.

I saw a presentation at a previous conference by one of their engineers on their use of PHP to deploy code using SVN and update it in APC with a write-through cache implementation where apc.stat was disabled. Will be interesting to see how that compares to this.

Good post and good questions. I look forward to seeing what the answers are. :)

@elazar Yeah same here, I’ve been aware and secretly following phc for a while now, and even though very academic, phc has some very interesting ideas.

My main concern about HPHPi is the xdebug compatibility. I really hope the team at facebook made this so seamlessly integrated that we wont’ notice a difference in our development process :)

There is no XDebug support in HPHP at all currently. This was brought up but not delved into at the Facebook summit last month. I don’t know forward plans.

[...] echolibre blog » Blog Archive » HipHop for PHP, Facebook unveils … [...]

@chris thanks a bunch. I’ll be looking forward to trying out HPHP and putting my notes up here.

HipHop for PHP, Facebook unveils it’s magic | echolibre blog…

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++ whi…

[...] Echolibre blog Christian Stocker Brandon Savage Philip Olson Ilia Alshanetsky Marco Tabini Chris Jones (Oracle) [...]

HipHop for PHP – the buzz summary you should really read…

HipHop for PHP from Facebook hit the streets several days ago resulting in dozens of posts about the technology. Let’s see what the PHP community says:

Marco Tabini enlists the HipHop features and encourages using it
the echolibre blog talks abo…

[...] safe to assume that Facebook has a large enough user-base to produce code that is solid … [more] window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({appId: “148560961837629″, status: true, cookie: true, [...]

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