AWS Developer Tools Blog

Guzzle 4 and the AWS SDK

Since Guzzle 4 was released in March (and even before then), we’ve received several requests for us to update the AWS SDK for PHP to use Guzzle 4. Earlier this month, we tweeted about it too and received some pretty positive feedback about the idea. We wanted to take some time to talk about what upgrading Guzzle would mean for the SDK and solicit your feedback.

The SDK relies heavily on Guzzle

If you didn’t already know, the AWS SDK for PHP relies quite heavily on version 3 of Guzzle. The AWS service clients extend from the Guzzle service clients, and we have formatted the entire set of AWS APIs into Guzzle “service descriptions”. Roughly 80 percent of what the SDK does is done with Guzzle. We say all this because we want you to understand that updating the SDK to use Guzzle 4 is potentially a big change.

What does Guzzle 4 offer?

We’ve had several requests for Guzzle 4 support, and we agree that it would be great. But what exactly does Guzzle 4 offer — besides it being the new “hotness” — that makes it worth the effort?

We could mention a few things about the code itself: it’s cleaner, it’s better designed, and it has simpler and smaller interfaces. While those are certainly good things, they’re not strong enough reasons to change the SDK. However, Guzzle 4 also includes some notable improvements and new features, including:

  • It’s up to 30 percent faster and consumes less memory than Guzzle 3 when sending requests serially.
  • It no longer requires cURL, but still uses cURL by default, if available.
  • It supports swappable HTTP adapters, which enables you to provide custom adapters. For example, this opens up the possibility for a non-blocking, asynchronous adapter using ReactPHP.
  • It has improved cURL support, including faster and easier handling of parallel requests using a rolling queue approach instead of batching.

These updates would provide great benefits to SDK users, and would allow even more flexible and efficient communications with AWS services.

Guzzle 4 has already been adopted by Drupal, Laravel, Goutte, and other projects. I expect it to be adopted by even more during the rest of this year, and as some of the supplementary Guzzle packages reach stable releases. We definitely want users of the AWS SDK for PHP to be able to use the SDK alongside these other packages without causing conflicts or bloat.

Consequences of updating to Guzzle 4

Because the AWS SDK relies so heavily on Guzzle, the changes to Guzzle will require changes to the SDK.

In Guzzle 4, many things have changed. Classes have been renamed or removed, including classes that are used by the current SDK and SDK users. A few notable examples include the removal of the GuzzleBatch and GuzzleIterator namespaces, and how GuzzleHttpEntityBody has been changed and moved to GuzzleHttpStreamStream.

The event system of Guzzle 4 has also changed significantly. Guzzle has moved away from the Symfony Event Dispatcher, and is now using its own event system, which is pretty nice. This affects any event listeners and subscribers you may have written for Guzzle 3 or the SDK, because they will need a little tweaking to work in Guzzle 4.

Another big change in Guzzle 4 is that it requires PHP 5.4 (or higher). Using Guzzle 4 would mean that the SDK would also require PHP 5.4+.

Most of the changes in Guzzle 4 wouldn’t directly affect SDK users, but there are a few, like the ones just mentioned, that might. Because of this, if the SDK adopted Guzzle 4, it would require a new major version of the SDK: a Version 3.

What are your thoughts?

We think that updating the SDK to use Guzzle 4 is the best thing for the SDK and SDK users. Now that you know the benefits and the consequences, we want to hear from you. Do you have any questions or concerns? What other feedback or ideas do you have? Please join our discussion on GitHub or leave a comment below.