This article refers to a beta-ish feature of Magento Community Edition 1.4.2, and therefore the specifics may quickly fall out of date. Proceed will all due caution
There’s a performance improvement feature of Magento that exists in this weird pseudo-beta state. There’s no exposed interface for it, but it does ship with the core codebase and is in wide enough use that’s it’s worth mentioning. I’m talking about the Magento “Compiler”.
(It’s been pointed out to me on twitter that the compiler interface is located at
System -> Tools -> Compiler. We regret the error, and offer as defense HEY LOOK OVER THERE! That was close. Ahem. [awkward silence]. This article still has some useful tips for dealing with the compiler via the command line )
In computer science the term compiler usually refers to transforming code from one language (like C) into another language (like binary machine code). The Magento compiler transforms PHP code into – more PHP code!
Here’s the deal. Magento’s source is spread out over a large number of modules.