I have a love/hate relationship with PHP; while I have [talked in great length about all the badness](http://www.thomaskeller.biz/blog/2010/03/23/fuck-php/) 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](http://www.symfony-project.org) and, to a smaller degree, recently also with a relatively unknown framework called [Pluf](http://www.pluf.org), which is the main building block for [Indefero](http://www.indefero.net), 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**](http://www.photon-project.com). 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](http://www.photon-project.com), read the docs and grab the pre-release while its hot!