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There is little indication that Facebook isn't painful to deal with compared to a functionally identical version of Facebook built in another language/platform. Because someone did it and is profiting from it does not mean they could not have done it better.

Considering Facebook uses Haskell to automate changes to their PHP codebase, I'd imagine PHP isn't doing them any favors.

I heard about that tool. Can you tell us more about what it does?

It is called lex-pass [1], it does syntax aware transformations of PHP. Like sed, but specifically for PHP. There is a video that mentions it briefly at 2:00 min [2].

[1] https://github.com/facebook/lex-pass [2] http://www.vimeo.com/6699769

I thought most of Facebook's php is written in a subset of PHP that can HipHop can compile for them. I doubt their PHP is all that similar to eg. Wordpress's PHP.

I thought FB's troubles were with mysql not PHP. Turns out mysql has some limiting factors.

Turns out * has some limiting factors [when serving 1 trillion page views a month]. Replace "*" with any piece of technology on the web stack.

There's not a single other company in the world (sans probably Google) that has to deal with performance problems on that level of scale. At that point, I can't imagine anything surviving out-of-the-box. Something has to give, even the language they're using (they're using a subset of PHP that they can run through a custom compiler to C++ machine code, to squeeze every possible CPU cycle out of the servers they have).

You can build a Tinker-Toy computer that plays Tic-Tac-Toe, but just because you can doesn't mean you should.


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