The currently in development PHP 5.5 is all set to woo users with an array of enticing features, but one thing that most developers are looking forward to, is the introduction of Zend Optimizer +. Yes! In an official announcement made earlier this week, CTO of Zend Technologies, Zeev Suraski, declared that the yet-to-be-released version of PHP will come integrated with Zend Optimizer +. The code optimizer and opcode cache, which were earlier available as a part of the proprietary Zend server, have recently been open sourced. This Optimizer significantly enhances the performance of an application interpreter by optimizing the byte code that resident PHP source files generate. Moreover, it gives the gruesome process of reloading and recompiling byte code from hard disk a miss. Instead, it utilizes the shared memory to store a pre-compiled byte code.
As these features were open sourced, Suraski came up with the idea of integrating Zend Optimizer + into the core of PHP 5.5 and soon filed an RFC proposal for the same. And now this proposal is receiving an overwhelming response. In general, 66 out of 77 voters approved of the integration, while 44 out of 70 agreed that Zend Optimizer + should be integrated in Php 5.5 itself. The integration might cause a minor delay of a month or two in the release of upcoming version of PHP, but experts say its worth it.
Zend Optimizer +, however, is not the sole opcode cache available in the marketplace. For instance, Alternative PHP Cache has been a favored option for long and was all set to be integrated in PHP 6.0. However, due to some caching and memory issues, this opcode stayed in the beta version of PHP 5.4. RFC reports suggest that the introduction of Zend Optimizer + will be able to handle 5 to 20 per cent more requests as compared to APC. Moreover, it is also efficient in handling erroneous behavior of the cache.