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One of the most popularly used scripting languages on the web today is that of PHP. In its original creation under what was known as Personal Home Page, PHP was designed to create a dynamically driven website. However much has changed since its earliest creation and while it continues to drive dynamic websites, it has also evolved into a robust command line interface which is capable of being utilised as its own standalone application.

It was back in 1996 when Rasmus Lerdorf created the PHP language but since then the control has been turned over to the PHP Group who is in charge of setting the standards associated with its coding. It is important to keep in mind that while use of PHP is free of charge, due to its failure to fall within the GPL open source licensing requirements, it has developed its own version of open source licensing known as the PHP license. The difference is that with the PHP, a restriction has been set concerning the use of the term PHP.

Due to its developed purpose of being a dynamic website script, it is quite easily integrated with HTML in the creation of a website. In such a case, one can place a PHP line of code on an HTML page and vice versa. Furthermore, due to it being free of charge and able to be implemented on practically every server platform, it is now powering more than 20 million websites worldwide and is installed on a million servers.

Written in C back in 1994, it was originally intended to work based on a set of Common Gateway Interface binaries or CGI. It was done because Rasmus Lerdorf had been using a number of Perl based scripts on his website in order to display his personal resume as well as manage the traffic on the website. Through the combination of these libraries he created the very first PHP known as PHP/FI meaning that it was a form interpreter. Because of this use of the C programming language, the PHP immediately was seen as being even more useful as it was able to work with databases and was able to build simple dynamic web pages. However, this first release also had a few major bugs in them and by the time PHP was released publicly, it had already obtained the version of 2.0 which contains many of the common features that are still used today.

In 1997, two developers from Israel named Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski completely rewrote the PHP parser and as a result created PHP 3. Because of the rights to the name of PHP, they were later forced to rename the language to recursive initialism PHP. At the same time, the official release of PHP/FI 2 had occurred. While Rasmus Lerdorf continued to develop his PHP, the Israeli developers created Zend Technologies which today is the core for the PHP language and is the engine necessary for any web server to handle the server side code written on the page files.

While PHP 4 was released in 2000, it would not be for another 8 years that the next version would be launched officially. By 2008, PHP 4 was released to the public but due to some static binding issues associated with it, it was quickly remedied and upgraded to version 5.3.

Over all, while it may not be as robust as languages like Perl, it does serve its purpose in being an easier language to not only learn, but also to program. Basically anyone who has the will to learn and implement it can actually do so within a fairly short period of time.

Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 30/01/2009

 


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