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Thursday, July 28, 2011

How Did PHP Evolve?

How Did PHP Evolve?

The first version of PHP was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994 as a set of Web
publishing macros. These were released as the Personal Home Page Tools and later
rewritten and extended to include a package called the Form Interpreter (PHP/FI).
From a user's perspective, PHP/FI was already an attractive proposition, and its
popularity grew steadily. It also began to attract interest from the developer
community. By 1997, a team of programmers was working on the project.
The next release
was born out of this collaborative effort. PHP3 was an
effective rewrite of PHP, with an entirely new parser created by Zeev Suraski and
Andi Gutmans, as well as differences in syntax and new features. This release
established PHP as one of the most exciting server scripting languages available,
and the growth in usage was enormous.
PHP's support for Apache and MySQL further secured its popularity. Apache is now
the most-used Web server in the world, and PHP3 can be compiled as an Apache
module. MySQL is a powerful free SQL database, and PHP provides a comprehensive
set of functions for working with it. The combination of Apache, MySQL, and PHP is
all but unbeatable.
That isn't to say that PHP is not designed to work in other environments and with
other tools. In fact, PHP supports a bewildering array of databases and servers.
The rise in popularity of PHP has coincided with a change of approach in Web
publishing. In the mid-1990s it was normal to build sites, even relatively large sites,
with hundreds of individual hard-coded HTML pages. Increasingly, though, site
publishers are harnessing the power of databases to manage their content more
effectively and to personalize their sites according to individual user preferences.
The use of databases to store content, and of a scripting language to retrieve this
data, will become further necessary as data is sent from a single source to multiple
environments, including mobile phones and PDAs, digital television, and broadband
Internet environments.
In this context, it is not surprising that a tool of PHP's sophistication and flexibility is
becoming so popular.


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