Troutgirl seems to have hit a hot button in her blog about Friendstar switching from JSP to PHP. This story has been picked up by a variety of bloggers. I originally saw it from Dynamically typed. Russell Beattie Notebook has some good discussion on the topic. Joe Grossberg talks about a redirection problems with the switch over and adds a link to Scott Andrew who talks about standards compliance of the new design. The consensus is that the new version is faster.
I hope that more information will come out about this. It would be nice to have another large scale case study alongside the Yahoo talks: Large Scale PHP, One year of PHP at Yahoo, and Making the case for PHP at Yahoo.
Another interesting case study is the Gaia Online discussion board. One of the largest forums on the net, on a recent check, it claims to have 70 million messages online with roughly 9,000 simultaneous users, and 750,000 registered users. The sitepoint post that brought this to my attention claims they are getting over 700,000 new posts per day. All of this running on a modified version of open source phpBB. Here is an interview with the board owner and founder.
The thread that talks about the modifications to phpBB to support Gaia Online’s volume is very interesting. It focuses mostly on query optimization. Not surprising in light of the previous discussion on PHP’s shared nothing architecture. If PHP encourages moving concurrency management to the database, then application scalability is going to become a matter of database scalability.
Switching from scalability to performance, John Lim talks about his experiences optimizing PHP code using xdebug. His article makes me want to check out xdebug, but I have too much on my plate right now to even risk getting near my PHP configuration. I am hoping that I will have time to do this before the upcoming WACT release.