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How to build HHVM 3.22 master trunk on CentOS 7

HHVM 3.20, 3.21 and 3.22 are still faster than PHP 7.2 especially with many connections under load, however as of October 2017 there still are no official pre-compiled HHVM packages for CentOS 7.x so we need to revisit how to build it by hand, which is not too difficult, just takes most servers awhile to assemble

There are instructions on the HHVM wiki for CentOS7 but they are a year out of date now.

The process is straightforward, first we need to not only make sure we have all the libraries we need but also the development libraries and most recently a newer version of the GCC compiler, we will use GCC 6.3 found in the official SCL Devtoolset-6 for CentOS 7 (trusted because it is built by Redhat/CentOS)

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Nginx 1.9.5 brings built-in HTTP/2.0 support, replaces SPDY

Nginx 1.9.5 will ship this month shipped 9/22 with new HTTP/2.0 support:
http://nginx.org/en/docs/http/ngx_http_v2_module.html

It replaces the SPDY module since they cannot be both active at the same time. HTTP/2.0 spec was finalized May 14th 2015 so it can now be implemented and standardized.

HTTP/2.0 features only work over HTTPS (tls/ssl) connections in most browsers which is unfortunate since virtually all WordPress based websites could benefit from the speedup.

There is a catch in that your server must use OpenSSL 1.0.2 or newer (or be backported with ALPN support ala Redhat)

Nginx must be compiled with

./configure --with-http_v2_module (etc.)

and then in your Server {} block replace spdy with http2

server {
    listen 443 ssl http2;

This demo claims to demonstrate how HTTP/2.0 is faster for many small elements on a page:
http://www.http2demo.io/

Firefox 36+, Chrome 40+ and IE11 (on Windows 10) currently support HTTP/2.0 over TLS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP/2#Browser_support


Everyone can make their website HTTPS for free

In case you have not heard the amazing news, Mozilla, EFF, Automattic and a few other folks are banding together to help end the SSL certificate cartel by the end of 2015

https://letsencrypt.org/

This is huge. Everyone will be able to make their website HTTPS for free, without paying an annual fee and much easier than StartSSL

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CentOS 6.4 update finally supports IW10 for tcp/ip tuning

iw10Google and others have published several whitepapers showing benchmarks where tuning tcp/ip on servers can really help web browsing performance.

One of these important tweaks is known as IW10 which improves the tcp/ip congestion window by reducing ACKs (initally sending 10 packets instead of only 3) and is enabled by increasing initcwnd and initrwnd.

Unfortunately those on CentOS (one of the most popular linux production distributions) were not able to take advantage of this – until this weekend when CentOS 6.4 was shipped.

CentOS 6.3 could change initcwnd but NOT initrwnd (RWIN) which requires a kernel > 2.6.33

CentOS 6.4 is 2.6.32-358.0.1.el6 (Red Hat 4.4.7-3) so the feature has been backported

Here’s how to take advantage of IW10 on CentOS 6.4

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Nginx 1.2.7 released

A new version of Nginx stable branch has appeared today with a rather long changelog:

http://nginx.org/en/CHANGES-1.2

download: http://nginx.org/en/download.html

When building manually, remember to update pcre, currently at 8.32

ftp://ftp.csx.cam.ac.uk/pub/software/programming/pcre/


Google Chrome Browser launches

Go try it: http://www.google.com/chrome
http://cache.pack.google.com/chrome/install/149.27/chrome_installer.exe (direct download)

If anyone is interested in the 90 minute video presentation of it they did today, it’s over here, otherwise go read the comic book all about it.

It seems pretty good, fast but not very smooth on some dhtml actions I use on some pages.

However there is no plugin interface for it (like Firefox extensions) so that is going to limit adoption.


PngOptimizer makes smaller PNG than PngOut

Many designers/developers have discovered and used PNGOUT for awhile now to make smaller (sometimes significantly smaller) PNG files with better compression. I recently discovered another GPL program, PngOptimizer that makes even smaller files in many cases, especially for PNG8 files (256 colors with transparency, similar to GIF but better in some cases and IE supports it).

http://psydk.org/PngOptimizer.php
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