[wp-hackers] Just a thought: Compiled WordPress

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Sun Oct 22 11:47:49 GMT 2006

___/ On Sun 22 Oct 2006 10:27:23 BST, [ Computer Guru ] wrote : \___

> Anyone that tried to visit my site a couple of days ago got a "Account
> Suspended" message from my host thanks to Neowin, OSNews, Slashdot, and
> Digg. They were accessing a WordPress post.

Yes, I witnessed this. The mirrors failed as well.

> I'm moving to a dedicated server, but I want complete optimization. I'm
> hacking wp-cache to work with IIS (yes, it's a Windows Server, and no,
> Windows Server 2003 is NOT bad), and was thinking about a PHP cache
> implementation as well - since I had wp-cache and a lot of other
> optimizations running on CentOS w/ Apache on my VPS earlier.
> I was thinking of eAccelerator as a php caching solution, then I started to
> wonder why I don't just run PHP as completely compiled code.

BlobPress?  I think it's a dangerous territory to  approach.
If  you were ever to encourage this type of thing, you would
soon  lose many of the benefits of Open Source. There  would
be  those who are tempted to choose a compiled version  over
one  that's  interpreted. Consequently, this  translates  to
less  hacking  (the benevolent connotation), which  empowers
WordPress  through  plug-ins  and  bug  fixes  (reports  and
patches).  And that's just one among many beneficial aspects
that you would lose.

> Has anyone run WordPress under RoadSend or Phalanger?
> RoadSend: http://www.roadsend.com/home/index.php?SMC=1
> Phalanger: http://php-compiler.net
> Benchmarks of Phalanger and some alongside RoadSend:
> http://www.php-compiler.net/Benchmarks.htm

Why  not create static pages (selectively, of course)? If  I
recall  correctly, there was a long thread about this in the
end  of April. I suspect that there are plugins that address
the issue of server spikes and heavy loads.

> Does anyone even know if WordPress will compile? Sometimes "quirky" code can
> create issues.

I'm  afraid  I can't offer an answer, but if it was over  to
become a downloadable edition, imagine the implications on:

* Security updates

* Plugins (hooks, modification, etc)

* Maintaining multiple distributions

* More stuff...

> Just food for thought :)

I  am not familiar with benchmarks that compare compiled PHP
with more conventional forms (with or without some caching).
However, based on my experience with MATLAB I can assure you
that  compiling  what was geared towards  interpretation  of
code   leads  to  very  small  (if  not  negligible)  gains.
Languages  as such are /already/ being heavily optimised  to
deliver  splendid  performance  without  compilation  (think
PostScript, for instance). Compilation is better as means of
preventing access to source code.

A  properly-constructed syntax is needed to build  something
that's translated into good binaries which take advantage of
decade-old  compilers.  PHP  is,  after  all,  not  a  naive
debugger. Also bear in mind the issue of mobility. Would you
like  to see WordPress cease to work when you move it  onto,
let  us  say, a SPARC-based Sun server? Would your  compiler
(maybe a pricey commercial one) be still of any value?

In summary, caching, multiple servers, or static pages might
be your best solution to spikes. YMMV.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz, Ph.D. Candidate in Medical Biophysics
http://Schestowitz.com  |  GNU/Linux  |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
http://othellomaster.com - GPL'd 3-D Othello
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