|Initial release||July 18, 2016.:|
PeachPie is an open-source PHP language compiler and runtime for .NET and .NET Core frameworks. It is built on top of the Microsoft Roslyn compiler platform and is based on the first-generation Phalanger project. PeachPie compiles source code written in PHP to CIL byte-code. Like Phalanger, PeachPie takes advantage of the JIT compiler component of the .NET Framework in order to handle the beginning of the compilation process. Its purpose, however, is not to generate or optimize native code, but rather to compile PHP scripts into .NET assemblies containing CIL code and meta-data. In July 2017, the project became a member of the .NET Foundation.
PeachPie's architecture is based on the Phalanger project, which was originally the result of coursework at the Charles University in Prague, Czechia. Since 2009, the Czech company DEVSENSE had maintained and supported the project. In 2016, however, making use of the recently introduced Microsoft .NET compiler platform – codenamed Roslyn – the compiler's architecture has been redesigned and rewritten for it to be implemented on top of the Roslyn API. Since then, the Czech company iolevel has been leading the development of this newly created second-generation compiler called PeachPie.
PeachPie has several advantages over Phalanger, both as a result of the Roslyn API and the reworked architecture of the compiler. While Phalanger was only able to target the full .NET Framework, which only ran on Windows, and cross-platform capabilities were achieved by targeting Mono, PeachPie also allows for a compilation to .NET Core, thus being cross-platform by default. The benchmarks published to date point to performance improvements of PeachPie compared to its predecessor. Additionally, PeachPie contains an advanced semantic analysis, which allows the compiler to generate C#-like symbols for enhanced interoperability features.
The project receives considerable support from Microsoft, having been invited to present at the virtual conference .NET Conf  and featured on Microsoft's "On .NET", as well as the .NET Rocks podcast. Since July 2017, PeachPie has been a member of the .NET Foundation. In December 2018, iolevel received the European Innovation Council's Horizon2020 grant to pursue their work on PeachPie compiler.
- Performance: since the PHP code is compiled to CIL and subsequently executed, rather than interpreted, theoretically this should lead to performance improvements. The micro-benchmarks performed by the authors suggest an increased performance over standard PHP in isolated cases and tests have shown that the project is able to run PHP code about twice as fast on Azure. Using the independent TechEmpower plaintext benchmark, it was measured that WordPress running on PeachPie was able to serve 305,612 requests per second, whereas standard PHP served 45,616 requests per second. PeachPie is also part of the frequently published TechEmpower benchmarking rounds, where, as of 2019, PeachPie is faster than any other PHP framework appearing in the benchmark. Phalanger also offered considerable performance benefits over a 32-bit Windows version of PHP 5.4.
- Interoperability: the project allows users to interoperate between the PHP and .NET languages. As a result, unusual operations, such as injecting C# lambdas into a PHP Context or inheriting PHP classes in C#, are possible. Therefore, users can utilize PHP libraries in their .NET projects and vice versa.
- Security: The compilation and analysis process in PeachPie can handle otherwise dangerous constructs, such as when a PHP application performs a Require on a file that had originally not been compiled. As a result, PeachPie claims to increase the security of compiled PHP applications. Since PeachPie compiles all the source code into one DLL file, the original sources do not need to be distributed along with the compiled application.
- Cross-platformity: Since PeachPie can target .NET Core, which is compatible with the regular .NET Framework, Xamarin and Mono, and runs on Windows, MacOS and Linux, PHP applications can be developed for all platforms, devices and operating systems.
The PeachPie project enables entire PHP applications and frameworks to be compiled to the standard .NET DLL format and distributed, for example, as NuGet packages. As of 2018, officially tested and supported applications include WordPress, MediaWiki, the software that runs the Wikipedia page, and CodeIgniter.
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