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PHP 5.5 to Include Open Source Zend Optimizer+ ?

PHP 5.5 is now in its development cycle, currently at the Alpha 4 release. According to the initial release roadmap for PHP 5.5, this is the point where the feature freeze was supposed to happen, but that's not necessarily going to happen, as at least one key feature may yet still land.

Zend co-founder Zeev Suraski has proposed that the Zend Optimizer+ Opscode cache be phpdirectly integrated into PHP 5.5. The TL;dr version is that the Opscode cache makes PHP run faster.

The idea of a PHP Opscode cache isn't a new one, Zend Optimizer has been around since 1998 (and I've personally been using it since then), and other options like APC are widely deployed on many live production sites.

Suraski argues that Optimizer+ has a consistent performance edge over APC. The general idea is that by including Optimozer+ by default as something that is fully integrated with the core of PHP, PHP as a whole will be faster by default.

As part of the push to include Optimizer+ into PHP 5.5, Zend has now also fully open sourced the code under the PHP license and publicly posted the project on github.

The impact of including Zend Optimizer+ in PHP 5.5 could be a two month delay in the final release. PHP 5.5 is currently roughly scheduled for general available in the first quarter of 2013.

"It should be noted that if we don’t integrate it in 5.5.0, based on the current timelines and versioning rules, the integration won’t happen before late 2014," Suraski warned.

Personally, I think this is a great idea…BUT it has to be implemented in a modular way (which of course it would right?) such that if a user still wanted to use another Opscode cache, they could.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.