Facebook hopes to shave seconds off of its PHP web pages loads and juice its servers' performance with an execution engine for the C++ code transformer it cooked up last year. The web giant's engineers have unveiled something called HipHop Virtual Machine (hhvm) for the HipHop for PHP product already being used in software …
If the tool is only 1.6x faster at executing compiled byte code, it is just another interpreting language concept like Java, not a true compiler for transforming code to C++. By replacing all object oriented programming in their PHP source code with simple plain old function calls, they would get about the same 1.6x performance increase.
Optimisation like that would be seriously expensive for development time though. Managing the complexity of and testing process oriented code is not fun.