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

HipHop Virtual Machine Blog:
Nightly Packages
January 23, 2014 @ 09:19:10

On the HipHop Virtual Machine blog today they're announcing a new option for those that "just can't wait" to get the latest and greatest HHVM version - nightly packages.

If you just can't wait to get your hands on the latest HHVM code, but you don't want to spend the time to compile it, we have a present for you. Every midnight, we run a script that pulls whatever is in master, compiles it, does a sanity check, builds a package and sends it off to the repo. You can then use it by adding the HHVM repo normally and then installing the "hhvm-nightly" package instead of the "hhvm" package. The nightly package should work identically to the current 8 week release cycle package; it will just have all the most recent commits with much less of the testing and hardening (so beware).

The post also includes three examples of the commands to grab this nightly release (via dl.hhvm.com) and install the "hhvm-nightly" package.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/3203/nightly-packages

HHVM Blog:
We are the 98.5% (and the 16%)
December 24, 2013 @ 10:25:21

On the Facebook HHVM (HipHop VM) blog there's a recent post sharing some of their progress towards parity with the PHP language inside the tool (and the results of their "three week lockdown").

On November 4th, the HHVM team went on a 3-week performance and parity lockdown. The lockdown officially ended on November 22th. Overall, this lockdown was a qualified success. [...] Going into lockdown, the team knew that awesome performance alone would not suffice in making HHVM a viable PHP runtime to be used out in the wild. It actually had to run real, existing PHP code reliably.

In the post they include some numbers from their testing, the pass/fail status of the unit test suites for several major PHP projects including Composer, Joomla, Laravel, Slim and phpMyAdmin (with an overall parity of 98.58%). They share the raw numbers of the results and describe some of the testing environment, including some "assumptions and caveats" about the process. They also contributed back fixes as a part of the work, putting pull requests out there for several projects. They finish the post with some of the performance numbers, noting that they passed their goal and made it to 16% for an instance of facebook.com.

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Link: http://www.hhvm.com/blog/2813/we-are-the-98-5-and-the-16

Alex Bilbie:
Using Vagrant and Ansible for distributing educational course virtual machines
December 20, 2013 @ 11:23:40

in his latest post Alex Bilbie shares a guide for the steps he follows to create virtual machines for an educational course using Vagrant and Ansible with a PHP+Apache environment set up and ready to go.

In "Cursory Thoughts on Virtual Machines in Distance Education Courses" Tony discuses using virtual machines in courses to help distribute software and operating systems to students who increasingly more and more are bringing in very different devices. [...] At the very end of the article Tony mentions using Vagrant which is a small piece of software to help "create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments". [...] A better option [for managing VM deployment] would be to use another devops tool called Ansible which "is a powerful automation engine that makes systems and apps simple to deploy".

He includes both a sample Vagrantfile for configuring Vagrant and a YAML configuration for Ansible that sets up the VM, opens the needed ports and installs and configures the needed software.

Together the playbooks and the Vagrantfile can be distributed to the students and assuming they've installed Vagrant and Virtualbox for their OS they can be up and running with identical environments in just a few minutes.
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Link: http://alexbilbie.com/2013/12/vagrant-ansible-courses/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Build Virtual Machines Easily With PuPHPet
December 19, 2013 @ 11:42:32

On the SitePoint PHP blog today Matthew Setter introduces you to a tool that can help make the setup and configuration of your Vagrant/Puppet development environments a lot easier - PuPHPet.

I can't speak for you, but one of my pet peeves about software development is environments. Whether it's creating and maintaining them for different projects with different needs; ensuring environment parity across a development team, (especially when they're remote); or between environments such as development, testing, and production. Across all of these, it can be a laborious task, especially when done manually. [...] In pursuit of ending this pain and making the entire process as efficient as possible, I set about the task of learning Vagrant & Puppet. [...] However, like most people in the modern world, I'm impatient. Like you, I have a lot going on, plus I was not seeking to become a guru. I felt there must be a way to come up to speed quickly but without becoming an aficionado.

This "better way" cam in the form of PuPHPet, a GUI tool (web-based) that lets you specify the options you want included in the configuration and generates the needed configuration files for you. This tool (created by Juan Treminio) makes it a lot simpler to get up and running quickly. Matthew walks you through a sample configuration and, with screenshots, and show you how to specify options for things like the web server, server software to install and PHP extensions to include.

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puphpet virtual machine vm puppet vagrant development environment

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/build-virtual-machines-easily-puphpet/

Engine Yard Blog:
Alternative PHP Implementations
December 17, 2013 @ 11:45:09

On the Engine Yard blog they've posted a guest article from PHP community member Chris Hartjes about some of the alternative PHP implementations that are out and available to the community.

Many PHP developers have a very vague understanding of what is meant by a "runtime". It's a concept that is more common in other languages languages. At it's most basic level, it is the idea that you can have a specification for the behaviour of the language, and then you can write your own implementation of it. [...] A shocking fact: programming languages have bugs and are sometimes missing features that people desire. Alternative implementations are a great way for people to try and create a version of a language that meets their needs while hopefully remaining as backwards compatible as possible.

He talks about one of the major players in the "alternate PHP" realm right now - the HipHop Virtual Machine (or HHVM) from Facebook. The project looks to make PHP perform even better than it already does by compiling it down. Chris shares two reasons he thing they started the project - one being their own need for performance and the other being that it gives them the option of adding new features to the language they might need.

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Link: https://blog.engineyard.com/2013/alternative-php-implementations

Liip Blog:
HHVM with Symfony 2 looks amazing
October 29, 2013 @ 10:13:47

On the Liip blog today Christian Stocker shares some of the interesting results he's found when working with Symfony2 on the HipHop VM (based on Facebook's work around the HipHop version of optimized PHP). The project recently announced better framework support, so Christian thought he'd give it a try.

We're currently building a Symfony2 based application, which has pretty high performance requirements (but we can mostly achieve them with varnish), so I went and did some performance tests on that real-life app. [...] In short, the numbers were amazing. I also compared PHP 5.3 with APC against 5.5 with opcache, that alone gave some pretty decent improvements.

He talks about the configuration (hardware and software) he used for the testing and the Apache Bench tool to make the requests. He includes a few tables of the request/response result times comparing the HHVM, PHP 5.3 and PHP 5.5 for:

  • Requests per second, small response
  • Requests per second, middle response
  • Requests per second, large response
  • Median response time in ms, short response
  • Median response time in ms, middle response
  • Median response time in ms, large response

Each also comes with an accompanying graph for those wanting a quick glance version of the results.

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hiphop virtualmachine vm hhvm symfony2 benchmark results

Link: http://blog.liip.ch/archive/2013/10/29/hhvm-and-symfony2.html

JavaWorld.com:
Facebook invents a PHP virtual machine
August 08, 2013 @ 10:20:54

On JavaWorld.com there's a new article posted about an update Facebook has made to their HipHop virtual machine (HHVM) version that is supposed to execute PHP nine times faster than its normal rate.

Social networking giant Facebook has taken another step at making the PHP Web programming language run more quickly. The company has developed a PHP Virtual Machine that it says can execute the language as much as nine times as quickly as running PHP natively on large systems.

An engineering manager for Facebook pointed out the goal of the update - "to make PHp run really, really quickly." The HHVM compiles down the PHP code into C and executes it directly, removing the need for the PHP interpreter.

HHVM is the next step for Facebook. Under development for about three years, HHVM actually works on the same principle as the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). HHVM has a JIT (just-in-time) compiler that converts the human readable source code into machine-readable byte code when it is needed. (The previous HipHop, renamed HPHPc, has now been retired within Facebook.)

You can find out more about the HipHop virtual machine over on Facebook.

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Link: http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-07-2013/130726-facebook-invents-php-virtual-machine.html

Allan MacGregor:
First steps on HHVM
July 29, 2013 @ 13:16:09

In his previous post Allan MacGregor introduced the HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM) and some of the functionality it offers. In this second part of the series sharing some "first steps" towards getting it running.

On a previous post "Introduction to HHVM" has no title attribute. we went over HHVM its history and the potential of running our PHP applications on top of it. Currently a few applications are fully supported like wordpress and drupal; more complex applications like Magento are still not 100% with HHVM due to bugs in the HHVM implementation. The first thing that we need to in order to start developing with HHVM is to setup a proper environment, for this case we are going to use a Vagrant Box.

He shows the steps to follow to get Vagrant up and working on your system (assuming you already have VirtualBox installed) and a base Ubuntu instance installed. Once its created and configured, then you can ssh into it and use apt-get to install all needed packages. There's a little bit of work you'll need to do to get ready for compiling the HHVM, but then you can clone the repository and run the build.

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hiphip virtualmachine vm tutorial series part2 install configure vagrant

Link: http://coderoncode.com/2013/07/27/first-steps-on-hhvm.html

Reddit.com:
How do you manage many PHP projects? Lots of VMs?
February 22, 2013 @ 12:57:11

On Reddit.com there's a discussion that centers around the management of VMs and PHP projects in a multiple-checkout environments.

I have been using a Linux install for a couple years now and it has development checkouts (and matching databases + live data) for dozens of sites. Since I create a new virtual host for each site there hasn't been any problems piling more and more projects into this system. However, this computer won't last forever. [...] Should I setup a new VM + debian install for each project (seems like a lot of work). Should I just move everything to an external drive and point the MySQL data, MongoDB data, Nginx web folders to the attached drive? How do others handle this?

There's several suggestions made in the comments including things like:

  • Using Ansible for configuration management
  • Bundling the current linux install into one portable VM
  • Using Vagrant for VM management
  • Using source control that can be accessed from any device/VM

Have a VM management method you've found useful in your development? Share some about it here.

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