What exactly is Zend's relationship to PHP? I don't mean the framework but the company itself. Are they the gatekeepers or guardians of sort?

I've just been reading up on PHP, and other than requiring knowledge of C to extend it you apparently need to learn the Zend APIs. But when you first start out with PHP you don't need to know anything "Zend", and the same goes for non-Zend frameworks like Cake and CodeIgniter.

So I'm confused and curious about when knowing things Zend begins to matter in using PHP.

  • The people who wrote PHP have a lot to do with Zend... Commented May 15, 2011 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


PHP was originally created and released by Rasmus Lerdorf. Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski were the driving force behind the PHP2 -> PHP3 rewrite. The company, Zend Technologies, and the virtual machine powering PHP4+, the Zend Engine, derive their names from Zeev and Andi.

While there's a lot of Zend in PHP, and Rasmus, Andi and Zeev are all involved at various levels, Zend Technologies does not control the development process. Indeed, nobody really controls the development process. php-internals is working on that.

The reason you see Zend all over the place when writing C extensions is due to the Zend Engine.

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