PHP – A Widely-Used Scripting Language

Typified as interpreted script language, PHP – a recursive acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor – is a widely used general purpose scripting or programming language. Hypertext Preprocessor is suited for web development in particular as it can be embedded into HTML. It is open source software, which means it is free of cost, and it can be downloaded and used without any charge from its official website. Although, it is available free of charge as the software is released under the Hypertext Preprocessor License, it is not compatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL) as there are limits on the usage of the expression PHP.

It was designed particularly for server side programming and as a result the tasks that you will be doing again and again in the route of your website programming will be taking great advantage of the specialized library that the language has. As mentioned in the first paragraph, the scripting language allows mixing layout with programming as it has the plus point of being able to intertwine code with HTML.

A Brief History of PHP:

With original meaning of the acronym as Personal Home Page, PHP started in 1994 as a set of Common Gateway Interface binaries that were written in the C programming language by Rasmus Lerdorf, a Danish/Greenlandic programmer. Initially, Rasmus created these Personal Home Page Tools so that he can swap a petite set of Perl scripts that he had been using to keep up his personal homepage. He used to use the tools to display his résumé and to keep a track of how much traffic his page was getting. He ended up creating PHP/FI with more functionality when he combined those binaries with his Form Interpreter. Including a larger implementation for the C programming language, his new creation could communicate with databases, which made it a possibility to build simple, dynamic web applications. It was on June 8, 1995, that Rasmus Lerdorf released Hypertext Preprocessor publicly. He did so just so that the bug location finding and code improvement can be accelerated with the help of other developers. This release was named PHP version 2. The version 2 had the basic functionality that the language has today. Later in 1997, two Israeli developers at the Technion IIT, Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, rewrote the parser and formed the base of Hypertext Preprocessor 3. It was with this release that the language’s acronym meaning was changed from Personal Home Page to Hypertext Preprocessor.

PHP Frameworks:

While adapting a software framework when working with any programming language is not a necessity, it is certainly helpful as frameworks help programmers to dedicate their time in meeting software requirements more willingly than to taking care of the more customary, lesser-level details of providing a working system. Among the many software frameworks available for the script, following three are the ones that most developers are found to use:

  • Zend Framework
  • symfony
  • CakePHP

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