Compiling PHP - Bringing down walls and breaking through language barriers


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Nice mix of the business motivations for doing this and the technical details behind it. Presentation style could have done with a bit more enthusiasm as it dragged a bit in places, which was challenging to follow on a Sunday morning. Still, interesting stuff and I'm going to have to look into it a bit more.

Compiling PHP into .net seems a concept to crazy to implement in the real world but Richard did a great job of outlining how and why they've used it at Jadu, along with the capabilities Phalanger gives. Pragmatic advice was given and the limitations clearly outlined. Richard also dealt well with some frankly naive lines of questioning - "Why don't you just re-educate your customers?". I think the talk would benefit to getting down to details a little earlier - the first ten minutes were spent outlining the why, which seemed a little long.

I thought that the why in this talk was just as important as the how, after all why would you compile PHP down to .Net? Having the background reasoning for this was very needed. It could however have been glossed through a bit quicker. The enthusiasm did seem to be a bit lacking, which did make the first part seem a bit slow, but I think this was more to do with the speaker being a bit nervous about giving the talk.

I hope that they stick with it though because developers need to not be blinded into one technology due to personal preference.

Despite the content of the talk not being relevant to me I enjoyed hearing about how you overcame a problem and the complications along the way. A great effort for your fist talk as well!

Anonymous at 10:37 on 22 Oct 2011

The talk wasn't really what I expected - I was hoping for a technical insight into compiling PHP to the CLR that dealt with writing a compiler. What we got was a case study in Richard's company's use of Phalanger to do that job. No one at that company actually seems to understand the compilation step.

As a case study, it was interesting, if a bit crazy, but I wish Richard had gone back to the goals at the end and reviewed them. Those goals were: not hiring .Net devs, not learning .Net and not modifying the PHP code base. Did I miss something or did they fail on all three of these? Further, the company is now dependent on a 3rd party and deploying solutions which it has very little understanding of.

A few others and I questioned the reasons for the approach taken, and I think in light of it being a case study and being presented as if it were a success this is entirely valid. Elliot - please, the very first thing an engineer should be doing is educating the customer. That wasn't my question but I think a lot of people in the room were thinking it. I wonder what people were thinking about the code samples as well? I've worked with PHP and .Net professionally and I wouldn't want to go anywhere near it.

So I enjoyed the talk but wish it were more technical, or as a case study more self-critical. Cheers.