Seeing how bcompiler is stuck back on PHP 5.3 support I'm wondering if there are currently any plans to create tools for compiling PHP code into bytecode like bcompiler does?
It seems that Zephir will not be protecting PHP code directly and is more suitable for libraries and generally useful frameworks. I think that it would be very useful to have something similar to bcompiler working and integrating into the new Zend Optimiser+ opcode cache in a way that would preserve the (commented out) Phalcon annotations.
This opens up new ways for Phalcon based PHP code to be deployed and protected. One half of the solution can protect some lower level parts of a proprietary technology and the other half (that I'm proposing) could protect the PHP portion that is using Phalcon.
The performance gain would be a slightly quicker first hit. If a PHP project were compiled in this way then it could create a manifest of the files that are present and then stored in memory so that unnecessary fstats could be avoided when looking for dynamic hooks (that would have been already completely defined for the project at that point).
Also I have still not found any tool available that can replace bcompiler that can be run purely from the command line.