Back in 1995, Rasmus Lerdorf created a set of Perl scripts to make a personal homepage, which displayed his resume and recorded his webpage traffic. Using C program language Common Gateway Interface (CGI), he rewrote the scripts so that they could communicate with databases and work with web forms. He then released this information to the public as PHP/FI (Personal Home Page/Forums Interpreter). Over the years, PHP/FI was upgraded and updated. In 2007, PHP 3 made its debut. This time the acronym PHP stood for Hypertext Preprocessor. This was the version resembling what is used today, and it was created by Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans. Web developers use this language for server-side web development.
PHP allows programmers to work in a variety of APIs, databases, and protocols. The features invite developers to submit new extension modules, arguably leading to the great success of PHP. Another great strength of PHP was its evolution in version 4, which allowed for third party databases and APIs.
Why do programmers use PHP as a primary programming language? It’s specifically designed to imbed dynamic text within static text, and it easily integrates web pages with databases on the Internet. One of the greatest attributes of learning PHP is that the language is universal and free to learn. There are books that teach PHP for beginners as well as books designed specifically to teach PHP to advanced programmers. There are online tutorials that walk programmers through the steps of learning PHP. There are also numerous blogs and forums dedicated to the subject where members offer tips and solutions such as “Always start with a blank page rather than copying old code” and “Use the PHP snippet of code for error reporting.”
PHP continues to evolve as users learn more about it. International conferences bring together developers to explore new technologies. Attendees also discuss the best practices for PHP in today’s Internet environment.