Multithreading would help, but PHP doesn't do this, hence I'm toying with moving to C++ and building a "proper" application (I don't do Java). This means I need to get XML, XPath, and XSLT libraries for C/C++, and this has been, ahem, interesting. Was going to use Sablotron (which I use in my PHP 4 and Perl work), but its documentation is just awful (where are some nice examples?). Will probably use libxml and libxslt. These come with Mac OS X 10.3.9 (I do my development on a G4 iBook, before moving stuff to a Linux box), but Apple hasn't compiled libxml with XPath support (sigh). I built libxml 2.2.63 OK, but libxslt 1.1.15 needed a little hand holding because of the presence of Apple's libxml. The following does the trick:
This tells configure to use the version of libxml I installed in /usr/local. Now, once I get my head around libcurl I'll try and build something and see if we can speed up iSpecies.