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eZ Publish CSS Designs Explained

Bertrand have just published an article on detailing how you can skin eZ Publish with CSS using the site package system. The articles is in depth with example. If you are interested in how you can apply a clean CSS design to ez Publish you should check out that article.

Speaking at the (OOoCon 2007) in September

I will be speaking at the OOoCon 2007 which is held in Barcelona from the 19th to 21st of September. The topic of my talk is "Integrating with Web Content Management Systems" and is currently scheduled for the first conference day.

Optimizing Apache, PHP and APC for Intel based Mac

I wrote a blog last year about optimizing Apache, PHP and APC for the new Macs with Intel CPUs. At that time I could not get the ICC compiler to work in my setup, but now I have gotten the new soon to be released Intel C++ compiler version 10 from the guys at Intel and things are working much better now. I used the same machine and same setup as in my last post just with the new Intel compiler installed.
The installation itself is quite simple just click through the wizard and when you are done you need to export some environment variables and set the CC compiler variable:

source /opt/intel/cc/10.0.012/bin/
export CC=/opt/intel/cc/10.0.012/bin/icc

Then you compile Apache, PHP and APC as normal. I blogged about how to compile Apache and PHP earlier.
I did the same basic test as last time but now with eZ Publish 3.9. The results when running the system with GCC:

Requests per second:    26.29 [#/sec] (mean)

With ICC compiled webserver environment I get the following results:

Requests per second:    28.85 [#/sec] (mean)

This is an additional performance improvement of 9.7% with caching enabled. When doing more CPU intensive work the difference is more noticeable so I measured template processing of a complex page before and after and this is the results:

Template processing with GCC: 1.0160sec
Template processing with ICC: 0.8382sec
% difference: 21%

This means that the CPU intensive operations with eZ Publish is boosted about 21% while the more cached operations are boosted about 10%. This is quite good especially when you consider the price Apple charges for a 20% faster CPU. The ICC compiler for Mac is selling for $399 so you have to consider the cost of the optimized software vs the cost of hardware.

UPDATE: I already did some tests with ICC using Linux 32 and 64 bits os:

Benchmark of Intel compiled Apache, PHP and APC on 64bits server

As a follow up on the ICC optimizations I did on Apache and friends and MySQL on 32 bits Intel servers I re-did the tests on 64bits servers. The test was done using Fedora Core 6 for x86_64 on a Dual Xeon 5130 2GHz.
The compilation is actually quite straight forward. You need to download and install the Intel C++ for Linux. I used the current 9.1 release of the ICC compiler. After the installation you need to export some variables:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/intel/cc/9.1.047/lib
export CC=/opt/intel/cc/9.0/bin/icc

Then you compile Apache, PHP and APC as normal and you are ready to run an ICC accelerated environment on your 64bits architecture.
The testing was done with eZ Publish Open Source CMS and the performance improvements was 13.4% in number of pages served and the PHP compilation speed was increased with 14.4%. This is a bit more even results than on 32bit but the overall result is better with 64bit compared to 32bits. I tested with the default download of eZ Publish 3.9.1 and used the standard MySQL that ships with Fedora Core 6. There are more tuning that can be done with the setup and the results might vary when it is tuned even more. I will look into more detailed tuning and see what numbers I can get.

Chicago - the windy city

We are on our last day in Chicago to meet eZ partners and customers. The city is great, but the weather is highly variable. When we arrived it was nice and warm 25C sunny weather. Two days later it was less than 10C and freezing wind. Now it is back to almost 20C again. Funny thing.

The 5th annual eZ Conference

eZ Systems has announced the date for the eZ Conference 2007. The event will be held on June 6-8 in Skien, Norway. The call for papers is out and interested speakers are encouraged to submit talk proposals. Registration to attend the event will begin on January 9, 2007. Look out for early bird specials! For sponsorship, exhibition, registration and track session information, visit

Hope to see you there this summer.

New Interface in eZ publish 3.9

eZ publish has gotten a new interface with full featured front end editing and new good looks in version 3.9. For those of you who have not seen this I have made a screenshot you can see below.

This interface includes a totally new set of optimized and validated templates and enables you to run solutions out-of-the-box with eZ publish.

Optimizing PHP for Intel based Mac

Running PHP and eZ publish on PowerPC based Macs have been extreemly slow and now that I have eZ publish running on the Intel based Mac I tried to tune it to get maximum performance out of it when running eZ publish as I was not satistied with my previous tests.

I now have 2GB of memory in the laptop I did a test similar to what I did before. I am using a different eZ publish setup which is a bit more tuned also (Yes, this is going to be released soon enough).

eZ publish 3.8 test before the patch:

Requests per second:    19.95 [#/sec] (mean)

Rasmus at Yahoo! have been using a patched version of PHP running on their FreeBSD boxes. The reason is that PHP generates lots of stat calls which really slows down the system on FreeBSD. Since OS X is based on FreeBSD I have long planned to test this patch on my system to see how it affects eZ publish. I got a ready patched version from my colleague Ole Marius, thanks ;)

The results from eZ publish after patching the system is:

Requests per second:    26.06 [#/sec] (mean)

In other words a performance boost of about 30%. Which is quite good.

When I tuned eZ publish for Linux on the Intel based platform I got good results with both Apache, PHP and APC as well as with MySQL. So I decided to get the ICC compiler for OS X and give it a shot on the Mac. After tons of warnings during compile it finally stopped with the error during linking:

icc: Command line error: invalid argument for option '-b'

If anyone knows how to make it link with icc under OS X I would be interested.

MySQL Performance Tuning

I have just gotten an article published on the community section of entitled Tuning MySQL for eZ publish. The article looks at the different buffers and settings you can tune in MySQL to boost the performance of eZ publish when running on MySQL.

I am interested in getting comments and feedback on your experience on this topic and what can be tuned for futher performance gain.

A certified eZ publish developer

eZ systems have now just launched the eZ publish Developer Certification.

I tested the exam and I passed! This means that I can use this banner on my blog:

Oh, I am not going to tell you how many answers I made wrong. But I can say that I did pass it with more than 70% which is what you need to pass the exam.