PHP Introduction

PHP stands for "Hypertext Preprocessor" it was formerly known as "Personal Home Page".

Any person having little knowledge of programming can learn PHP, all they need is a bit of understanding about the basic programming concepts.

Prerequisites

The person needs to know bit about programming concepts along with basic Database concepts and he/she should be aware about the concept of server. You should have a basic understanding of HTML & CSS.

Introduction of PHP   

Hello All, before we begin to learn the PHP language in depth, it is essential for us to know what actually PHP is? And what is the history behind PHP?

PHP is abbreviated as Personal Home Page which is now also referred as Hypertext Preprocessor. This is one of the server side scripting language which is used by programmers for developing dynamic web pages.

What is a Dynamic web page?

  1. Client  - which sends requests for required information
  2. Server – which processes the requests sent by clients and serves it accordingly
  3. Database – where the information is stored.

In other words a dynamic web page is a web page displays different content each time it's viewed.

History of PHP

PHP was developed in the year of 1995 by Rasmus Ledorf who was a software engineer and the Apache team member. This first part of the PHP was used for personal use, then in the middle of 1997 it was used by over 50,000 web-sites and in today’s market it is being used widely.

There are many versions of the PHP released till date and some of them are out of date.

All of the versions which are released are given below

Version 1 (Released in 1995) - it was the first version which is referred as Personal Home Page introduced by Rasmus Ledorf.

Version 2 (Released in 1997) – The newer version of PHP which was used by over 50,000 websites for creating dynamic web pages.

 Version 3(Released in 1998) –  with efforts of two more developers Zeev Suraski & Andi Gutmans introduced some extra features in older version. The newer version became much faster and simpler.

Version 4(Released in 2000) – concept of Zend Engine was introduced , global variables like $_GET , $_POST, $_SESSION were introduced , PHP became more popular.

Version 5(Released in 2004) – Zend engine II was introduced along with object oriented features , regular expressions . Many other bugs were fixed.

Version 7( Released in 2015) –  it has new features like Scalar type hints ,  Return type declarations  , anonymous classes ,  Uniform Variable syntax , Delegations , Throwables .

Along with all the versions there are many bug fix releases for each version.

The next set of questions which arise in your mind is why do we need PHP? What is the advantage of using PHP? Well let’s discuss the features (advantages) which made PHP a go to server side scripting language for web designing.

Features of PHP (Why PHP?)

  • Open source

The main reason behind wide spread use of PHP is that its Open source, so you can download PHP along with the source code that too for free , you can change the source code and customize it according to your needs.

  • Easy to Use

Compared to other scripting languages available to develop a website PHP is easy to use the coding style for PHP is very much similar to that of C Language so one who knows basic programming with C will find it very easy to learn PHP.

  • Speed

Compared to other heavy software’s like  .Net , JAVA the speed required to access a webpage made using PHP is very much faster. It is relatively fast since it uses much system resource

  • Supports all major Web Servers

it supports all major web servers like Apache ,  Microsoft IIS, Netscape , iPlanet server etc.

  • Supports all major Databases

It supports all major databases like MySQL, ODBC , SQLite , PostgreSQL, dBase etc.

  • Secure

PHP Provides multiple layers of security for preventing unauthorized access, threats , and other attacks.

  • Stable

Since it is maintained by many developers, bug fixes are done frequently which makes PHP more stable.

  • Platform Independent

You can run PHP on:

  • Linux
  • Mac OSX
  • Windows
  • UNIX
  • HTML Support

 

PHP is a scripting language and so it can also make use of HTML. it uses various controls of HTML form. Hence, HTML support is there in PHP.

To summarize PHP is a server side scripting language which is fast, simple, open source, yet popular language preferably for web development.

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