PHP is widely used web scripting language to produce dynamic web pages. Basic object oriented programming functionality was added in PHP3 and completely rewritten for PHP5. It has been expanding the feature and performance of PHP.
PHP is also an abbreviation and it stands, or at least used to stand, for Personal Home Page. PHP is no longer just a set of personal home page tools as it was in the beginning, but has grown to become a true programming language. Its abbreviation has gone one level deeper, and now recursively stands for 'PHP Hypertext Preprocessor'. But it's really known simply as PHP.
More preferably known as PHP (PHP Hypertext PreProcessor), Open Source Technology for developing Dynamic Web Applications is famously known to the worldwide developer community. The endless possibilities of the PHP scripting language and a great community of users have made it one of the most popular open-source languages. For all you people living outside the UNIX world, Open Source means it doesn't cost anything. You can use it as much as you want and where you want, and nobody will ever charge you thousands of dollars for licenses and support. Even though it was originally conceived as a set of macros to help coders maintain personal home pages, its name grew a lot more from its purpose.
Since then, PHP's capabilities have been extended, taking it beyond a set of utilities to a full-featured programming language, capable of managing huge database-driven online environments.
Well-maintained open source projects offer users additional benefits. You benefit from an accessible and committed community who offers a wealth of experience in the subject, as fast and as cheap as possible. Chances are that any problem you encounter in your coding can be answered swiftly and easily with a little research. If that fails, a question sent to a mailing list or forum can have an intelligent, authoritative response. You also can be sure that bugs will be addressed as they are found, and that new features will be made available as the need is defined. You will not have to wait for the next commercial release before taking advantage of improvements, and there is no hidden interest in a particular server product or operating system. You are free to make choices that suit your needs or those of your clients and incorporate whatever components you want.
PHP is Cross-Platformed. Using the same code base, PHP can be compiled and built on about 25 platforms, including most UNIXs, Windows (95/98/NT/2000) and Macs.
PHP is extendible. PHP consists of the core parsing engine (written by Zend), a set of core code modules and then a set of code extensions. This allows programmers two ways of extending PHP to do some special processing, either by writing an extension module and compiling it into the executable, or by creating an executable that can be loaded using PHP's dynamic loading mechanism.
PHP currently will load into Apache, IIS, AOL Server, Roxen and THTTPD. Alternatively, it can be run as a CGI module.
PHP currently will work with MySQL, MS SQL, Oracle, Informix, PostgreSQL and many others. These are binary level interfaces, and ODBC is also provided for those situations where the database is not supported
As an open source product, PHP is well supported by a talented production team and a committed user community and also new contributions are also added from the Development Community other than PHP Developers, Zend Engine Developers, worldwide serving to the Web Development. Furthermore, PHP can be run on all the major operating systems with most servers.
PEAR, the PHP Extension and Add-on Repository is similar to the CPAN network for Perl, although still in its infancy, the idea of PEAR is to provide a set of PHP scripts that would be installed by default with the PHP installation.
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