MediaWiki, GitHub and PHP Conference in Brno

Date 04-08-2014

A quick update from HippyVM to say that project is doing well and what's cool (or rather hot) for us.


Maciej Fijałkowski our technical lead, and "know all the things" guy, will be talking at Brno PHP Conference 2014, so if you want to know what HippyVM is and how we develop it, grab a ticket. A few other people from HippyVM team might be there as well. Also please let us know if we should send Maciej elsewhere.

Project Roadmap

We're still in our beta phase, and under heavy development. Our most recent priorities stands for few things:

Well known PHP projects: Full (or nearly full) functionality for these popular PHP projects, which we've put a lot of effort/focus on: MediaWiki, and WordPress.

Performance: We're doing very well here. In some areas we are even a bit ahead of both HHVM and PHP. Still there's lots of room for improvements - and we are on it!

Completeness: Here HippyVM is still behind PHP, we are missing a few functions/classes here and there. Since we are really small team, it'll take a while, but we're working hard to get there!


After hearing a lot of calls to move the project to Github as an open source, we decided to do it. HippyVM is running inside it's own organization, where you'll find all things related to the project and HippyVM's source. We've also decided to switch from BuildBot to Travis-CI. Several extensions will stay proprietary for the time being, including a FastCGI server. We're looking into a business models of selling a commercial version of HippyVM


This one is related to all above. Since HippyVM from now on is open-sourced, and a small team like us needs as much help as we can get, you are more than welcome to join. Have a look inside our code base, it doesn't look that scary. ;-) Please visit us on IRC, ask a question, open Github issue, or just simply send us an email at

Have a productive Monday,
Sebastian Pawluś and HippyVM team.

Introducing HippyVM

Date 24-03-2014

We're pleased to introduce a pre-release of our new implementation of the PHP language, HippyVM. This website is dedicated to the ongoing effort of building a high-performance virtual machine based on the technology built for a fast Python virtual machine, the PyPy project.

What's HippyVM?

HippyVM is a reimplementation of the PHP language using PyPy technology. It started off as a research project done for facebook by Maciej Fijałkowski, and was later expanded. Right now it contains a fast and reasonably complete implementation of the core PHP language. It also includes implementations of many PHP built-in modules, but far from all of them. As of now it does not include web server integration, so it is not yet suitable for use in production.

How fast is it?

We have gathered a set of small benchmarks to test the performance of our virtual machine. We're in the process of gathering more application-size benchmarks like mediawiki or wordpress. We'll post them as soon as possible.

Current status can be seen in the performance section of our website, which currently contains only small-to-medium size microbenchmarks that we could find or reasonably implement. Right now, HippyVM is 7.3x faster than stock PHP and 2x faster than HHVM, using a geometric mean. Please note that these benchmarks might not be representative, and consult specific benchmarks as they vary widely.

Is this Open Source?

The pre-release is open source, but we plan to sell a commercial version in the future. We will have a model where the core language as well as core JIT technologies remain Open Source, while some extension modules as well as the web server integration are proprietary.

The pre-release is MIT-licensed.

What's included and what's not included in the pre-release?

The pre-release includes only the Open Source part of HippyVM. We will make a commercial pre-release which includes extension modules and web server integration some time in the next few months.

What are the plans for the future?

We have a good implementation of the PHP language, but we're missing many crucial modules. We aim to finish this part later this year. We're also planning to have a novel bridge which would let you leverage the Python ecosystem from PHP. Additionally, we're investing ongoing effort into making our JIT technology even better and making both PyPy and Hippy a lot faster.

Maciej Fijałkowski and the entire HippyVM team.