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Sunday, January 29, 2006

The php zend engine

The Zend Engine is the internal compiler and runtime engine used by PHP4. Developed by Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, the Zend Engine is an abbreviation of their names. In the early days of PHP4, it worked as follows:



The PHP script was loaded by the Zend Engine and compiled into Zend opcode. Opcodes, short for operation codes, are low level binary instructions. Then the opcode was executed and the HTML generated sent to the client. The opcode was flushed from memory after execution.

Today, there are a multitude of products and techniques to help you speed up this process. In the following diagram, we show the how modern PHP scripts work; all the shaded boxes are optional.



PHP Scripts are loaded into memory and compiled into Zend opcodes.

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