Zend Engine Debuts in PHP 4

The PHP Association this week
released PHP 4.0.0.

PHP is a server-side scripting language for developing dynamic Web pages and Web-enabled applications. One of PHP’s greatest advantages is its cross-platform support of many Unix variants, Linux and Windows. PHP can run
as an Apache module or as a native ISAPI extension for IIS and Zeus.

This latest version of PHP is built around Zend Engine, developed by Andi
Gutmans and Zeev Suraski, co-founders of Zend Technologies, Ltd. The Zend
Engine restructures how PHP processes code and provides backward
compatibility with PHP 3.

The Zend Engine speeds the performance of PHP 4.0.0, making it many times
faster than PHP 3. This performance benefit was accomplished by changing the
execution paradigm from an execute-while-parsing mode to a
compile-then-execute mode.

PHP is one of the most popular solutions currently available for
developing dynamic Web sites. It offers connectivity to most common database
interfaces (including Oracle, Informix, Sybase, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and
ODBC). PHP also offers integration with various external libraries with
utilities for everything from generating PDF documents to parsing XML.

“PHP is very widely used, both for Web development and for
database-driven applications,” Suraski noted in a statement released by

New features in PHP 4.0.0 include: an extended API module, automatic
resource de-allocation, support for the Boolean type, a much smarter and
generalized build process, the use of an automake/libtool-based build
system, and COM/DCOM support (on Windows only). A complete list of what is
new in PHP 4.0.0 can be found on Zend Technologies’

Zend Technologies develops and markets
Internet infrastructure software programs. In addition to offering
proprietary and revenue-generating products, Zend remains committed to the
advancement and proliferation of PHP as a freeware, open-source scripting

Zend also recently released Zend Optimizer, the first in a series of
products for PHP developers. The Zend Optimizer works in conjunction with
PHP 4.0.0 and uses multipass code optimizations to double the running speed
of PHP 4.0 applications. This is done by running several optimization passes
on the code created by the runtime compiler before the code is executed.

PHP 4.0.0 is available for download from the PHP Association’s site.

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