What is PHP ?

PHP stands for “Hypertext Preprocessor” introduced in 1995 by Sir Rasmus Lerdorf. It is free open source programming language which is basically used for developing web applications.

PHP is a server side scripting language which is embedded with the HTML code. Usually PHP is used for enabling  to the dynamic content, session, tracking in the website for creating the dynamic web pages even for the e-commercial websites. PHP can integrate with the top of databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, My SQL Server, Oracle etc.

PHP has very basic syntax like C and supports the major protocols like POP3, IMAP etc.


History of PHP

There is very interesting story behind the development of PHP. Let take a look as per mentioned points.


Creation of PHP-

As per earlier motioned PHP developed by Sir Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995. Now he is senior engineer in Yahoo. They needed some dynamic content in their own website. So for make this task easier they developed a server side scripting technology by using Perl language named “Personnel Home Page/Form Interpreter” was later shortened to PHP/FI and a recursive name as “Hypertext Preprocessor” PHP/FI was able to receive the data from the browser and respond back. This initial version of PHP we do include in version 1.0. Sir Rasmus Lerdorf also introduced PHP/FI version 2.0 after the initial version release.


PHP 3

In the year of 1997 there are thousands of websites running in over the internet and by this time maximum sites were implementing using Apache Web Server and this was the time when Andy Gutmans and Zeev Suraski launched PHP version 3.

It was the time when PHP was spreading their limitation over the web market. PHP 3 Project also implemented a robust Apache module which was a great achievement of PHP on that time.


PHP 4

In this advance version of PHP Andy Gutmans and Zeev Suraski  re-architected the PHP with some advance and extra feature in it. They were developer this version of PHP using the Zend engine so that’s why this version of PHP has some major better improvements. These major changes are below:

  • PHP version 4 was able to support for other web browsers.
  • PHP version 4 improved the memory handling for avoiding memory leaks.
  • Improve efficiency and performance to develop large scale of web applications like e-commercial projects.
  • Also introduced the object and class model for Object Oriented Programming Language implementation.

PHP 5

This is the latest and ongoing version of the PHP. PHP version 5 introduced some more key features of Object Oriented Programming Language (OOPs). There are already some other programming languages like Java, C++, .Net etc. which follows the OOPs principles.

Therefore PHP version 5 implemented the OOPs features like exception handling using try catch block.

PHP 5 also introduced the new feature for storage and manipulating the data using the XML file in it.


What can PHP do?

PHP language designed as for server side scripting language and contains all the features like another CGI programs. Some of the power key feature of PHP mentioned as following.


  • Just like another CGI programs PHP also able to create dynamic web content, collect the data from the web forms, maintain cookies and session handling etc.
  • For the testing purposes you can run PHP script on your local machine by some quick easy installation of PHP module.
  • By using PHP Parser (Module) you can run PHP script without any web server or browser. This task achieved by PHP as Command Line Scripting.
  • PHP-GTK is also a very impressive feature of PHP language. If you are already aware with the some advance PHP aspect then you can create a client side desktop extension.
  • Another powerful feature of PHP is that PHP supports almost all major operating support like Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X etc.
  • PHP also supports the popular web servers like Apache, IIS etc.

Advantages of PHP over other languages

Now the days, there is various server side scripting languages other than PHP like JSP, ASP etc. These programming languages have their own features but if we’ll compare them to PHP then we will found these advantages of PHP as follows:

  • PHP is user friendly server side scripting language which can easily embed with the HTML code to create dynamic stuff for the clients.
  • PHP has much more similar syntax as C and C++. So the programmers do not feel any difficulty to learn it.
  • PHP 4 uses the POP (Procedure Oriented Programming) style where PHP 5 follows the OOP (Object Oriented Programming) style. Therefore programmers can use both.
  • PHP’s latest frameworks follow the MVC (Model View Controller) design pattern to create large web applications for ease to maintain. PHP latest MVC frameworks are Zend, Cake etc.
  • In security aspect, PHP is being enhanced for prevent security threats. We can adjust the security parameters in “php.ini” file.
  • PHP is following OOP concept on it version 5.0 onwards.
  • PHP also the platform independent for almost all web servers of Windows, Linux and Mac.
  • PHP has strong connectivity with the AJAX calls.


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