InfoWorld: What other PHP frameworks are there besides Zend Framework?
Gutmans: There's Symfony, there's CakePHP, and even more than that.
InfoWorld: What about the concern over PHP being slower to execute than languages like C?
Gutmans: I'm a C developer by heart. Absolutely any dynamic language -- including Java and .Net -- is slower than C. C as a language is very close to the bare metal. PHP is one of the fastest dynamic languages. There's a lot of optimization that's gone into it, including work we've done with Intel and other vendors. It's actually very, very fast.
The one thing to remember, though, is the language runtime is one aspect of performance. The reality is a lot of the performance bottlenecks in Web applications are actually I/O. It's network access, database access, file system access, and no matter how fast your runtime is, if that is your bottleneck, it's going to be your bottleneck. You can write it in Assembly, and that's what is going to happen.
Now, the long-term prospect of Web application performance in some cases actually is becoming increasingly challenged because you're building these cloud apps. No matter what language you're using, you're consuming different Web services. Well, Web services by definition are slow. We're going to see increased challenges around application performance as we build these cloud native applications.
InfoWorld: What was the most recent release of PHP?
Gutmans: The most recent was PHP 5.4. That was a very important release because it was a significant step up in performance. We also had a functionality called Traits, which is another object-oriented feature. We had a nicer way to create arrays in PHP 5.4, which is just easier to use. A big change in the Zend Engine [within PHP] was the fact that we reduced memory consumption and increased performance. That was a big step up. We also added support for multibyte languages out of the box.
This story, "Zend CEO: PHP is fit for the enterprise" was originally published by InfoWorld.