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I was thinking of implementing real time chat using a PHP backend, but I ran across this comment on a site discussing comet:

My understanding is that PHP is a terrible language for Comet, because Comet requires you to keep a persistent connection open to each browser client. Using mod_php this means tying up an Apache child full-time for each client which doesn’t scale at all. The people I know doing Comet stuff are mostly using Twisted Python which is designed to handle hundreds or thousands of simultaneous connections.

Is this true? Or is it something that can be configured around?



Agreeing/expanding what has already been said, I don't think FastCGI will solve the problem.


Each request into Apache will use one worker thread until the request completes, which may be a long time for COMET requests.

This article on Ajaxian mentions using COMET on Apache, and that it is difficult. The problem isn't specific to PHP, and applies to any back-end CGI module you may want to use on Apache.

The suggested solution was to use the 'event' MPM module which changes the way requests are dispatched to worker threads.

This MPM tries to fix the 'keep alive problem' in HTTP. After a client completes the first request, the client can keep the connection open, and send further requests using the same socket. This can save signifigant overhead in creating TCP connections. However, Apache traditionally keeps an entire child process/thread waiting for data from the client, which brings its own disadvantages. To solve this problem, this MPM uses a dedicated thread to handle both the Listening sockets, and all sockets that are in a Keep Alive state.

Unfortunately, that doesn't work either, because it will only 'snooze' after a request is complete, waiting for a new request from the client.


Now, considering the other side of the problem, even if you resolve the issue with holding up one thread per comet request, you will still need one PHP thread per request - this is why FastCGI won't help.

You need something like Continuations which allow the comet requests to be resumed when the event they are triggered by is observed. AFAIK, this isn't something that's possible in PHP. I've only seen it in Java - see the Apache Tomcat server.


There's an article here about using a load balancer (HAProxy) to allow you to run both an apache server and a comet-enabled server (e.g. jetty, tomcat for Java) on port 80 of the same server.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022


if (function_exists('curl_file_create')) { // php 5.5+
  $cFile = curl_file_create($file_name_with_full_path);
} else { // 
  $cFile = '@' . realpath($file_name_with_full_path);
$post = array('extra_info' => '123456','file_contents'=> $cFile);
$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL,$target_url);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST,1);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $post);
$result=curl_exec ($ch);
curl_close ($ch);

You can also refer:

Important hint for PHP 5.5+:

Now we should use but if you still want to use this deprecated approach then you need to set curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_SAFE_UPLOAD, false);

Monday, September 12, 2022

if there are no messages to push from server in say 40 sec, you send some response from server, on the basic of which the client re-request.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

You can use PHP to reproduce the Comet behavior. Like you said PHP isn't the best choice because of a lot of memory management issues that are still widely there.

However for small scale purposes (low-traffic) PHP will work just fine.

There's a lot of information on the web about Comet and how to use it with languages such as Python or Erlang (especially good because of its optimal concurrency behavior, but frankly I don't know much about it).

If you want to try out Python there's a good question/answer on SO: Python Comet Server

Tuesday, November 22, 2022
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