Title: Web Scraping with PHP, 2nd Edition by Matthew Turland
“The disadvantage of the HTTP streams wrapper is its minimal feature set. It gives you the ability to send HTTP requests without having to construct them entirely on your own (by specifying the body and optionally any headers you want to add) and access data in the response. That’s about it. The ability to debug requests is one example of a feature it does not include at the time of this writing.
The fact that the wrapper is C code is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the positive side, there is a significant performance difference between C code and PHP code (though it’s more noticeable in a high load environment). On the negative side, you have to either know C or depend on the community to deliver patches for any issues which may arise. This also applies to extensions written in C covered in later sections.“