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Allan MacGregor:
Exploring Hack Building a MicroFramework
August 11, 2014 @ 09:09:13

Allan MacGregor has started a new series of posts to his site where he creates a microframework in Hack, the language created by Facebook to compliment their HHVM (Hip-Hip Virtual Machine) project. He sees it as a "learn by doing" kind of thing and wanted to share his results.

I honestly believe the best way to learn something is to get your hands dirty and make mistakes; so instead of writing dozens of post on the many new features of Hack and why they are awesome (in theory) let's build something useful. So to get started I've decided to build a micro-framework using HACK and HHVM, building a simple microframework should be a challenging enough task to illustrate some of the more interesting features of the language and at the same time it has an achievable goal so we don't end on a never ending development cycle.

His framework, one he calls "Slash", will mostly be about creating RESTful applications but it could, in theory, be for any kind of web application. He also mentions some of the other great microframeworks out there already that are well-developed and have good communities behind them (including Slim and Silex. This is just the first part of the series and introduces some of the "why" around his goal. In the next part of the series he'll get into the structure and routing with some actual framework code.

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hack microframework facebook hhvm language slash

Link: http://coderoncode.com/2014/08/06/exploring-hack-part1.html

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/

HHVM Blog:
HHVM 3.1.0
May 30, 2014 @ 11:56:54

On the HHVM blog today they've announce the release of the latest version of the popular project, version 3.1.0. This version fixes a few issues (including a segfault) and crossed into their semi-annual "lockdown" to work directly on the project.

If you remember last time we focused on framework unit tests, performance, and growing beards. This time, our frameworks were in good shape thanks to Fred and our Open Academy students, but our github story was not as pretty. At the start of lockdown we had 60 pull requests and nearly 450 issues. So our focus this time was github health and of course as always, perf.

In the end they closed out 251GitHub issues and made things 16% more efficient in the process. They list out some of the updates in this release including:

You can grab this latest release from the pre-build packages page on the GitHub project account.

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hiphop vm hhvm release version github issues

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/5195/hhvm-3-1-0

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/

HHVM Blog:
Hack Community Roundup
May 19, 2014 @ 12:45:12

For those interested in what's going on in the world of Hack (the Facebook-created language based on PHP) check out this "community roundup" with information about and links to some of the latest happenings.

In the weeks since the Hack open source launch and the Hack developer day, there has been a lot of information, code, blog posts, etc coming from our nascent community. To us on the team, it's been incredible and encouraging to see the community reception to Hack. Here are some of the highlights of the things we've seen come out of our community. (And we almost certainly haven't seen everything, so please let us know in the comments what we've missed!

They share several related GitHub projects (including the Hack/HHVM support on Heroku), a few presentations about installation and experience with the tools and a few blog posts wrapping up their Hack dev day and an article from FastCompany about Hack and its motivation

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hhvm hack roundup github project blog presentations

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/4811/hack-community-roundup

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

SitePoint PHP Blog:
HHVM and Hack on Heroku
April 30, 2014 @ 12:38:23

In a recent announcement Heroku, a popular platform as a service provider, announced that they now fully support native HHVM support to their platform offerings. In this new post to the SitePoint PHP blog Bruno Skvorc shares some of his own thoughts on the announcement.

In a move that surprised most but displeased none, Heroku, the Cloud Application Platform, has added native HHVM support to their cloud. PHP has long been a viable solution for high traffic production apps, and has had one of the best package managers for a while, not to mention the fact that it's evolved significantly since the days of "simple hacks for small projects". The PHP "development model" has been anything but "hackish" in the professional circles for a while now. The unfortunate ignorance of Adam Gross aside, this really is some big news.

Heroku apparently saw an opportunity to engage a whole new area with the integration of HHVM (and Hack) support on their PHP instance offerings. They even offer a method for switching between the normal PHP instances and an HHVM one to make the transition as easy as possible.

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hhvm heroku support release instance paas

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/hhvm-hack-heroku/

Stephan Hochdörfer:
Silex running on HHVM
April 09, 2014 @ 09:14:12

Stephan Hochdörfer has a quick new post to his site today showing how he was able to setup a Silex-based application to run on the HHVM (HipHopVM) from Facebook.

First of all I assume you already got HHVM running with nginx. If this is not the case feel free to follow these steps to get everything up and running. To install Silex we will use Composer, so let`s install all the needed requirements and Composer itself.

He includes all the commands you'll need to get the Composer dependencies installed (curl, git, unzip) and to pull it down and move it to the right location post-install. He adds a line to his ".bashrc" to enable it for HHVM and creates the sample "composer.json" for the Silex install. Finally, he includes the updates to make to the nginx configuration to handle the needed redirects to the Silex front controller.

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hhvm silex install configure nginx tutorial framework

Link: http://blog.bitexpert.de/blog/silex-running-on-hhvm/

Pádraic Brady:
Is Facebook's HHVM Building PHP's Coffin?
April 01, 2014 @ 09:31:52

In a new post to his site, Pádraic Brady poses a question about the HHVM project from Facebook - is it going to "be the coffin" that will replace the Zend Engine in PHP completely and change the way we know it?

With HHVM 3.0 now released, it's probably time to start talking about HHVM and the new Hack Language. It's becoming hard to ignore some of the fantastical notions spreading on the grapevine about HHVM. There is talk of significant performance improvements, a multitude of new features courtesy of Hack, that PHP Internals is actually now outnumbered by HHVM contributors. There is even treasonous talk of PHP's Zend Engine being put out to pasture.

He talks about how it was inevitable, really, that there'd be another implementation come up through the ranks (much like the variations of Ruby). He also mentions some other, less popular options in replacing the main implementation (Zephir, HippyVM, etc). He then poses an interesting question - "what is PHP?" He talks about language specifications, the PHP internals group and the delay that sometimes happens introducing new language features into the core (some of which HHVM already has).

PHP, as we know it, is starting to smell. It has gone from being the only PHP in town, to being the slowest, with the least number of features, and the one that's subject to dysfunctional governance. The new PHP is called Hack, a new language with only the briefest of documentation since you can learn the other 99.9% of this language over on the PHP manual.
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hhvm hack facebook opinion future language

Link: http://blog.astrumfutura.com/2014/03/is-facebooks-hhvm-building-phps-coffin

HHVM Blog:
HHVM 3.0.0
March 31, 2014 @ 10:15:00

The HHVM blog has an exciting new post for those using the HHVM and Hack language - they've officially released version 3.0.0 with complete Hack support.

At our last major version bump (2.0.0), we basically became a whole new project. We switched from a "PHP -> C++" translator to a virtual machine. This version bump (3.0.0) is a much less dramatic code shift (we're still a VM, don't worry), but this time the big announcement is that we support a new language, Hack.

They take a step back in time and look at the changes since 2.0.0 in organization, technology and community involvement. From there, they get into "the business" of what's in this new release including:

  • The old webserver is gone. If you get something like Uncaught exception: no factory for server type "libevent", you need to switch to fastcgi.
  • We are moving from .hdf config files to .ini.
  • Our most requested extension, mysqli is now in. (there's currently a bug, but the fix will be in 3.0.1).

You can find out more about the HHVM on the project's main website.

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hhvm release hack support v3 project facebook

Link: http://hhvm.com/blog/4349/hhvm-3-0-0


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