I have a love/hate relationship with PHP; while I have talked in great length about all the badness that comes with it, I still find myself quite often writing and / or contributing to PHP applications. Most of this work was done with Symfony and, to a smaller degree, recently also with a relatively unknown framework called Pluf, which is the main building block for Indefero, the project and source code management tool I’m contributing to.
The author of Pluf, Loic d’Anterroches, has released a new framework to the wild today and its called Photon. It got its name from the particle, so naturally the tag line is “…because nothing is faster than a photon”.
So you are by now probably asking “Ok, but why should I care about that? There are dozens if not hundreds of PHP frameworks out there, they all claim to be fast, so this is probably just a complete waste of time…”
Well, Photon is very different, because it achieves its performance with a break of the traditionally known request-response model: Much like a real application server you know from other languages you can process requests asynchronously now in pure PHP, i.e. start and stop processes on request and delegate long-running work for later execution!
PHP developers did all kinds of bad tricks to emulate this stuff in the past. Most of these tricks employ a cache table and a cron entry that regularily executes some PHP script. This is buggy, doesn’t scale well and is of course plain ugly.
I won’t go into more details – just hop over to www.photon-project.com, read the docs and grab the pre-release while its hot!