Facebook is probably the largest website running on the PHP platform. This “old” language was created by Rasmus Lerdof as a scripting language to facilitate and to speed website realization in the “far” 1995. Main features were dynamic allocation of variable’s type, and the absence of compilation. To edit file and run the web page is enough.
Clearly, these features, if on one hand make developing more easy and more affordable for a larger community, on the other hand heavily affect performance. The Zend engine (the standard php runner) must detect in every variable usage, its type, and convert it in the right type, depending on the context. As a language can simulate the type absence, at the execution layers it’s not possible. Continue reading