Sandeep Kumar

A blog By Sandeep kumar

What Is PHP?

Posted by Sandeep Kumar on September 16, 2010

PHP is the shortened form referring to a hypertext preprocessor, a computer scripting language used for development of Web pages. The primary focus of PHP is giving Web pages a more “dynamic” look and feel. Developers have successfully used PHP with hypertext markup language (HTML), embedding PHP into HTML.

Most of the functions of this preprocessor language work on a server that is specifically set up to use the code. When properly used, PHP creates usable content for Web pages. According to Wikipedia, PHP is installed on over 20 million websites and 1 million Web servers.

PHPDavid Sklar and Adam Trachtenberg define PHP as a “server-side scripting language.” According to this duo, Web pages are created with PHP and HTML. A crucial comparison is made by Sklar and Trachtenberg as well. “When a visitor opens the page, the server processes the PHP commands and then sends the results to the visitor’s browser, just as with ASP or ColdFusion.”

A man named Rasmus Lerdorf is credited with creating the first version of PHP, though the scripting language has been improved and developed in the years since the mid-1990s. PHP is considered “free” software though there is a PHP license. Wikipedia also states that “PHP has evolved to include a command-line interface capability and can also be used in standalone graphical applications.”

The letters “PHP” actually indicated “personal home page” before the work of Lerdorf a couple of years later brought it to more notice. Lerdorf wrote the code using the programming language “C.” The language helped the programmer display information in a more appealing manner. It also did something even more important. Lerdorf was able to track how many people were viewing the page. This was one of the earlier uses of Internet traffic measurements.

One development led to extended use as a way to find “bugs” in code and improve the quality of code. Two programmer/developer experts from Israel made major changes and improvements in PHP in the year or two following Lerdorf’s work. First referred to PHP3, the developments led to an entirely new technology company by 1999.
The most current version of this scripting language is PHP6, after developers moved through PHP 4 and PHP5. The Zend Engine that came from the work of the Israeli developers is the power for the continuing changes and improvement.

Much of the latest work with PHP quality involves addressing security issues and some of the items that were unpredictable at best. More information about these crucial changes can be found by researching “magic quotes” and “safe mode.”

Academic literature and encyclopedia entries show that high-profile, open-source projects “ceased to support PHP4 in new code” after February 2008. (Wikipedia) This provided incentive to move to PHP5. Developers have created Unicode to allow users to employ their computers in any language, a problem for PHP until PHP6. Programmers have also worked with issues in 32-bit and 64-bit environments.

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