[wp-hackers] Just a thought: Compiled WordPress

Roy Schestowitz r at schestowitz.com
Sun Oct 22 12:29:42 GMT 2006

___/ On Sun 22 Oct 2006 12:59:12 BST, [ Computer Guru ] wrote : \___

> OK... maybe I'm lost.
> First, thanks for the reply Roy.. But I'm not seeing these issues.
> I thought "compiled PHP" means that you take the PHP files, put them through
> Phalanger/RoadSend, and then serve the compiled code instead.
> No one "makes these files available," rather every time I make a change to
> my site, add a plugin, modify a line of code or else update from SVN - I
> recompile it via the program.
> I think it's on-the-fly compilation, i.e. they serve the PHP files instead
> of the PHP CGI/SAPI extension....

"On-the-fly compilation" stands out as an oxymoron. *smile*

> It's nothing to do with the distribution, and the code doesn't change: I
> don't get C++ code out and then run the executable, rather every time I
> change the PHP code I have RoadSend re-compile and display the new
> content....

If you seek minor gains, then you could, in principle, run an  
optimiser through the code. It would strip off comments, shorten  
variable names, but made no syntactic changes. Then, if you wish to  
modify the source, go to the original branch, edit, and reduce the  
complexity of the code again. I wonder if benchmarks exist to show how  
this affects WordPress performance. This could get interesting,  
although it depends on a myriad of factors (e.g. server specs, tasks  
tested, optimisation type, cache/nocache).

>> <snip />
>> 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.
> I don't see that: I install WP on my server, add the plugins I want, then
> compile the whole enchilada.

This assumes that you know what you are doing. I thought that you  
proposed compiling WordPress and making available to Joe Bloggs.

>> 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.
> Too much hassle - this is a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing :) and it's
> always on just in case of an unexpected traffic spike.

With /. you're talking about orders of magnitude (at least for most of  
the WP-based Web sites out there). A marginal performance gain that's  
attributed to compilation is unlikely to {save the day}^tm, so to speak.

>> 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...
> Again, unless I'm reading it wrong, that's not the way compiled PHP goes.
> It's a per-user kind of thing, not a "fork" or something that I can put up
> on my site for other people to use. Am I wrong? Sorry... My first experience
> with compiled PHP.

I was wrongly assuming that you want this option to reach people who  
are not Computer Gurus.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz, Ph.D. Candidate in Medical Biophysics
http://Schestowitz.com  |  GNU/Linux  |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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