PHP (stands for PHP:Hypertext preprocessor) is a general purpose server side scripting technology like ASP to create dynamic and interactive web pages.The PHP code is embedded in the HTML source document and is translated,interpreted and converted by a web server with a PHP processor module, which generates the web page document.PHP scripts are executed on the server.PHP was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995 and has been in continuous development since after that.PHP originally stood for personal home page and was commonly known by the name PHP Tools.It began in 1994 as a set of CGI binaries written in the C programming language by Rasmus Lerdorf.Lerdorf initially created these Personal Home Page Tools to replace a small set of Perl scripts which was in common use to maintain personal homepages. The tools were used to perform tasks such as displaying resume of the developer and owner of a web page and recording traffic statistics.
Rasmus then developed PHP to the next level by combining binaries with Form Interpreter to create PHP/FI, which had more functionality. PHP/FI was largely implemented by C programming language and could easily communicate with databases, enabling developer to develop and build simple, dynamic web applications. Lerdorf released PHP publicly on June 8, 1995, as an open source in order to improve it further by detecting and removing buggy code from the entire PHP source code.Rasmus named it PHP version 2 and already had the basic functionality of the PHP which is in use today. This included Perl-like variables, form handling, and the ability to embed HTML. The syntax was similar to Perl too but was more limited, simpler, and less consistent.PHP today does not have native support for Unicode or multi byte strings.Unicode support is under development for a future version of PHP and will allow strings as well as class, method, and function names to contain non-ASCII characters.
Initially PHP was not very popular but with the increase in the growth of web application,PHP development has become very important in countries like India,where PHP development has increased over the years.
Why to use PHP
There are many reasons as for why you should consider developing applications using PHP:
- PHP supports all the major operating system like Windows,Linux,Unix and many others.
- PHP is very simple and easy to learn and understand language.If you are familiar with PERL then you can easily get acquainted with PHP.
- PHP is FREE.You can download PHP from its official website and start to learn it instantly.
- It is an open source software.So PHP development continue for years to come.
Features of PHP
- PHP is a language which is suited to server site web development.
- PHP can be easily used with Relational Database management systems.
- Using web application framework PHP can also be used in Rapid Application Development.
- PHP also supports all the major databases used today like Oracle,MySQL etc.
- PHP is a loosely typed language.
How to start using PHP
You just need a server that supports PHP.You just have to create some PHP files and the server will do the rest of the work for you.It will do all the parsing and response handling.
So its very easy to get started with PHP.Just download PHP and you are ready for PHP development.
NOTE:Latest Version of PHP is PHP 5.3
Today since PHP has grown in popularity ,so is the number of compiler it supports.The most common of the all is phc compiler,which is a c++ based compiler for PHP.