Phalanger (compiler)

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Stable release / January 2013
Written in C#, C++/CIL
Operating system Cross-platform
Platform .NET Framework
License Apache License (Apache 2)

Phalanger is a project which was started at Charles University in Prague and was supported by Microsoft. It compiles source code written in the PHP scripting language into CIL byte-code. It handles the beginning of a compiling process which is completed by the JIT compiler component of the .NET Framework. It does not address native code generation nor optimization. Its purpose is to compile PHP scripts into .NET assemblies, logical units containing CIL code and meta-data.


Phalanger can run real-world PHP applications, many with minor to no modifications. Examples include WordPress,[1], phpMyAdmin and phpBB.[2]


One of the main goals of the project is to improve performance of PHP applications. The project web page claims considerable performance benefits over a 32-bit Windows version of PHP.[3]

There was a project[4] at Charles University to re-implement the Phalanger core using the Microsoft Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR), and to develop a Visual Studio integration tool to provide IntelliSense for the PHP language.

Though some features from DLR would slow down the performance of Phalanger[citation needed], they do claim performance gains by a factor of 6.[5] These features are being integrated into current Phalanger core.

Google Summer of Code[edit]

A project involving Phalanger was mentored by the Mono team during the Google Summer of Code program in 2008. During this period Phalanger was ported to the Silverlight 2.0 framework with the goal of making it work on Moonlight as well.[6]

Jadu sponsorship[edit]

Early in 2008, UK Content Management vendor Jadu partnered with the Prague-based team to improve communication between .NET and the Phalanger compiler. It is based on duck typing and provides a way for accessing objects from the dynamic PHP world that lack compile-time type information from a statically typed language in a .NET environment in a type-safe way.[7]

In December 2008, Jadu announced that it has made the compiler available to the developer community and in interviews with ITPRO[8] and VNUnet[9] said that the development would help close the skills gap between PHP and .NET.

Devsense support & development[edit]

Since 2009, DEVSENSE company leads the development of the project and offers commercial support.[10] DEVSENSE consists of core Phalanger developers and keeps this open-source project alive.

In addition to maintenance and growth of the project, Devsense is providing Visual Studio integration of Phalanger for the community.[11]

Since 2012, DEVSENSE provides support forum[12] for Phalanger (compiler) and related projects for the community.


External links[edit]