Updated July 4, 2023
Introduction to PHP Compilers
The programming languages are leveraged in order to develop various kinds of applications. When we run any of the applications, it lets us avail all the functionality that has been given to it by virtue of the code. When we run the application, there is a program sitting in the system that understands what the code wants to communicate and then it renders the application accordingly and this program is called a compiler or interpreter. The compiler may be defined as a special kind of program that converts the code written in the high or middle-level language to machine-understandable form so that the processor could understand it. For every programming language, there is a separate compiler. In this article, we are going to learn about the PHP compiler.
What is PHP Compiler?
It is a special kind of program that turns the PHP statements into the machine level language so that it could be understood by the system’s processor. The processor of any system understands only binary code, which means the compiler converts the high level language into the binary form so that it could be understood and processed by the processor. Any program is meaningless without a compiler. All of the IDEs that provides a complete platform to edit and run the program is comprised of the compiler that compiles the program written in it to the machine level language. In actual terms, the compiler is nothing but just a program that assists in turning anything written using the statements into the binary form.
The role of compiler is not just to turn the code into the machine level language but also to make sure that the statement written in the program are error-free. When it comes to error checking, the compiler ensures that the program is conforming to the syntax and have used the predefined keywords appropriately. When the compiler finds the error, it lets the developer know about it by providing the brief details about the error and such errors are known as compile time error. In the error, it shows the line number in which the issue is occuring together with the kind of error. The error has to be rectified in order to let the compiler turns the code into the binary code that could be understood by the processor.
Zend Engine PHP compiler
The Zend Engine PHP compiler is a special kind of compiler that provides a platform to compile the PHP program and also offers the runtime engine. It can also be considered as a special kind of program that is written in order to provide a complete solution to compile and render the code written in PHP programming language. This program was developed by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski who later founded the company named Zend Technologies. It works the same way as that of the compiler by offering something much more this. This program can be deployed in the server side to serve the execution of the PHP script which has to be sent to the client from here the script run request was originated.
The working of the Zend engine is very simple and has been defined below using the diagram. In normal terms, the PHP code is turned into the machine level language which is then processed by the processor. But when working with the Zend compiler, the PHP script is turned into the Zend Opcodes. The opcodes are then leveraged while the generation of the HTML page that is served to the client eventually. It works in a simple manner and provides additional features as compared to the normal compiler. The Zend Engine also offers the runtime engine that lets the user work with the program. Though the Zend engine provides the platform to compile, it has to load the PHP script into the memory before it could initiate the entire compiling process.
The reason for preferring the Zend engine over the other PHP compiler program is the additional functionalities that it offers. No compiler assists in the actual running of the program but the runtime engine provided by Zend engine helps us in running the application as well. In addition to that, it also provides assistance which is offered by Zend technologies. As shown in the above diagram, the HTML is generated using the Zend Opcodes, where the output generated using PHP is combined with HTML in order to serve the output to the user in a simple and understandable form. Eventually, the client or a web browser that has initiated the request to run the script is served with the output and it all happens using the Zend engine.
The compiler that we used in our local servers comes inbuilt in that. They just compile the code and let the processor handle the compiled file in order to render the application. All the programming languages have their own compiler that can understand the code written on that particular programming language. The time taken by the compilers to compile the program file depends on its size. If it’s a large file or the line of code are much more in that case the compiler will take more time comparatively and vice versa.
The PHP compiler is a program that set of statements written in PHP to compile. It is considered very essential to work with any of the programming language as without compiler the codes barely make sense to the system. It is helpful in terms of converting the codes to the binary data that the processor leverages to render the application or to bring the functionality to the application.
This is a guide to PHP Compiler. Here we discuss the introduction, what is PHP Compiler along with the working of Zend Engine in detail. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –