On HHVM and Hack

Sebastian BergmannArne BlankertsStefan Priebsch |

Facebook officially announced the new Hack programming language last week. Since we paid close attention to Facebook's alternative PHP runtimes since the original "HipHop for PHP" and had the chance to work with Hack since last fall, the German PHP magazine asked us for a statement on Hack's release:

"Facebook has created a programming language based on PHP that may become a serious alternative to PHP thanks to its many additional features. Hack's extended and stricter type concept makes it possible to find many programming mistakes before executing the code. This is especially important for large and complex code bases."

— Stefan Priebsch

"PHP has only limited support for the static analysis of code with the data provided by its Tokenizer extension. HHVM supports the analysis and transformation of Hack and PHP programs using an abstract syntax tree (AST) through its Code Model API. This AST holds more information when Hack syntax is used."

— Sebastian Bergmann

"We have to wait and see whether Hack will be adopted – and how quickly. I think that this is a chicken-and-egg problem for many PHP users as Hack requires the HHVM runtime and migrating to HHVM is neither trivial nor without risk for a company at the moment. A key factor for the success of Hack will be the support for HHVM by the major hosting providers."

— Arne Blankerts

HHVM and Hack at IPC Spring 2014

There will be an afternoon at the International PHP Conference – Spring Edition that is dedicated to HHVM and Hack:

HHVM: The New PHP?

Facebook has scaled their service to over a billion users, which is very impressive. At some point, however, PHP became their bottleneck. Turns out that rewriting over a million lines of code, even in another language, is not a viable option. So if you cannot change the application, why not change the platform? That is exactly what Facebook did when they created HipHop. HipHop was great, but ultimately failed. Now, the new kid on the block is HHVM, an alternative runtime for PHP. Will HHVM replace PHP? Should you care? Sketching out the history of the project, and its potential future, we will look not only from a technical point of view, but also analyze the business impact.

Attend the session "HHVM: The New PHP?" by Stefan Priebsch to get an evaluation of HHVM and Hack from a business perspective.

HHVM: The Alternative PHP Runtime

The PHP language is almost 20 years old, as is its reference implementation that can be downloaded from PHP.net. In the last decade, alternative runtimes for PHP came and went. The HipHop VM (HHVM) that is developed – and used in production – by Facebook, however, is probably not only here to stay but very likely going to influence the future of PHP considerably. High time to have an in-depth look at what HHVM is and how it works.

Attend the session "HHVM: The Alternative PHP Runtime" by Sebastian Bergmann to understand the technologies of HHVM as well as the concepts behind Hack.

Goodbye LAMP Stack?

The LAMP stack has been the tried and true backbone of the web for almost two decades. Lately though, more and more websites replace Apache HTTPD with nginx and move from plain (My)SQL to No(t only)SQL. And now it's time to get ready for a new heart: HHVM is a powerful new runtime for the PHP language and this session will show you how to get your application to run on it.

Attend the session "Goodbye LAMP Stack?" by Arne Blankerts to experience the installation and configuration of HHVM as well as the deployment of Hack and PHP applications on HHVM.