Facebook says that it has dramatically improved the performance of its open source PHP-optimization tool HipHop. According to the company, the new HipHop VM makes real-world PHP development up to 60 percent faster than the original HipHop. It dynamically translates PHP code into native machine code, making it a better fit for PHP than the older static compiler.
“For perspective on why this matters, consider that many Facebook engineers spend their days developing PHP code in an endless edit-reload-debug cycle,” blogged Facebook’s Jason Evans. “The difference between 8-second and 5-second reloads due to switching from hphpi to the hhvm interpreter makes a big difference to productivity, and this improvement will be even more dramatic once we enable the translator.”