While PHP is an excellent language for building complex web application, it imposes certain limitations. Writing code that performs low-level, computationally intensive tasks in PHP is generally impractical--it'd simply be too slow. The QB extension addresses this particular weakness of PHP. By translating Zend opcodes and executing them through a statically typed virtual machine, QB offers an order-of-magnitude gain in performance. The added power allows PHP programmers do things they were unable to do before, such a complex, pixel-level image manipulation.
I would describe QB 2.4 as the "Eat your own dogfood" version. It fixes the many problems I encountered myself while developing Tourismosa, a photo sharing website. The site uses QB in variety of ways--mainly image processing. The development of a complete web application really helped flush out the bugs. Here're the big ones:
An oft encountered image effect on the Internet is one which makes a photograph looks like it's a handdrawn cartoon. This article discusses how your could build such a filter in PHP+QB.
Just a heads-up about what's going on with QB. Even though things have been quiet around here lately, this project is very much alive! Currently, I'm in the middle of building a web-site that makes heavy use of QB. The experience should help the extension a more reliable tool. Sometimes test cases just aren't enough.
Here is a good demonstration what QB is capable of. The script renders a three-dimensional Mandelbulb fractal. I have no idea what that is exactly, but the generated images are certainly interesting.
QB 2.3 introduces a number of new features. New syntax makes working with matrices and complex numbers easier. Unicode handling has been enhanced. The new version provides better error reporting. It also brings improved performance to certain platforms.
In recent weeks, the web site has been experiencing stability issues. Joomla wasn’t able to read from MySQL for some reason. I have wiped the hosting machine clean and restored the site from a back-up. Hopefully that’ll keep it from keeling over again.
Here's another script ported from Pixel Bender. It generates a monochrome Mandelbrot fractal.
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