An article popped up today claiming that Facebook is investigating compiling PHP to run on the JVM. Until now, Facebook has been using a PHP-to-C++ cross compiler. But the addition of invoke dynamic to Java seems to have opened up a new possibility for Facebook.
These are exciting times. Soon I expect interpretors and interpreted langauges to be confined to DSLs and all general-purpose coding to be running in a JIT environment or as up-front compilation. That will be good for companies, good for performance and good for the planet.
Either way, it’s good to see another of the major companies taking the JVM seriously. It could certainly take a long time for Facebook to get to a stage where they can have their code running on a VM unless they leverage the Quercus or Project Zero implementations.
Unknown is whether this is actually happening, but it brings up an interesting debate. If you had a Facebook-size codebase written in PHP, would you take this approach? Node.js would certainly be a more fashionable alternative.