What is PHP?
PHP is a scripting language designed to fill the gap between SSI (Server Side
Includes) and Perl, intended largely for the web environment. PHP has gained quite
a following in recent times, and it is one of the forerunners in the Open Source
software movement. Its popularity derives from its C-like syntax, its speed and its
simplicity. PHP is currently divided into two major versions: PHP 4 and PHP 5,
although PHP 4 is deprecated and is no longer developed or supplied with critical
bug fixes. PHP 6 is currently under development.
If you’ve ever been to a website that needs you to login, you’ve probably
encountered a server-side scripting language. Due to its market saturation, this
means you’ve probably come across PHP. PHP was designed by Rasmus Lerdorf
to display his resume online and to collect data from his visitors.
Basically, PHP allows a static web document to become dynamic. “PHP” is a
recursive acronym that stands for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. PHP
preprocesses (that is, PHP processes before the output is sent to the browser)
hypertext documents. Because of this, the pages can change before the user sees
them, based on conditions. This can be used to write something to the page, create
a table with a number of rows equal to the number of times the user has visited, or
integrate the web page with a web database, such as MySQL.