bookmark_borderHistory of PHP programming language

PHP, or also called Hypertext Preprocessor, is the most popular server-side scripting language. It is incredibly adaptable and holds plenty of innovative features. 

Early History of PHP 

Rasmus Lerdorf developed PHP in 1994 but to maintain his personal homepage. Later on, in 1998, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski, two talented programmers, met him to take PHP to another level. So, the goal was to be used to redesign web pages.

Lerdorf named it Personal Home Page because he meant to use it personally. But his creation started to gain recognition by other programmers, and eventually, it turned into a global web programming language. Thus its name became Hypertext Preprocessor.

For sure, the aim behind the development of this language was not to gain such popularity and global usage. The interest was so uncontrollable and unexpected that Rasmus Lerdorf was not able to protect and limit its individuality.

Still, his venture has proved to be helpful for the coming generation with discovering new ways of web development.

History of PHP versions

It is easy to notice the growth of web development through the regular supplement of newer PHP extensions.

With every one of them, they allow web programmers to create more attractive and dynamic web pages. As time progressed, a lot of changes to PHP versions were made. 

  • PHP 1 and 2: The first two original variants of PHP are not created with enough features. However, they have established the benchmark for future versions to get additional advancement.
  • PHP 3 and 4: These two variants experienced significant developments as Zeev Suraski, and Andi Gutmans recreated the whole language. As a result, the new name of the language became Hypertext Preprocessor. During this period was added also improved parsing system named Zend Engine. The functionality is expanded and more powerful with introducing global, command-line interface and object-oriented programming.
  • PHP 5: In 2004 came the fifth variant of PHP, which was powered by the new Zend Engine II. The great new added feature of the latest version was the possibility to manipulate the database easily and have continuity. Moreover, in this version was added a binding variable.
  • PHP 6: In this version was embedded the ICU (International Components for Unicode) library into the program. However, this variant was abandoned, and it wasn’t launched in the market due to some other reasons.
  • PHP 7: In this version of the PHP programming language can be found various features. They didn’t exist in the earlier variants. Some of them are 64-bit integer support, return and scalar type declarations, etc. Also, it is powered by Zend Engine 3.

The latest release

The major version update is PHP 8.0. It brings various new features to the type system, error handling, object-oriented programming, strings, and more.

The future of a programming language that powers a vital part of applications and Internet websites results from many people’s efforts.

Although, PHP is trying to be conservative and exclude changes that might break a larger part of the applications. Still, the new release comes with numerous significant new features. Some of them are JIT, Named Parameters, Constructor Properties, and Attributes. They bring a lot of improvements and changes in syntax. Also, there are several minor changes, such as a resource to object migrations, advanced error handling, and modifications in operators and engine comparisons. They help to reduce the chances of overlooked bugs.

bookmark_borderWhat is PHP, and why is it used?

PHP explained.

The short acronym PHP is for Hypertext Preprocessor. So, yes, the unusual is that it doesn’t follow the name. Simply, it is a server-side, open-source scripting language. Its primary use is for the development of web applications. It is a scripting language because it is a program that is based on a script, lines of code. The purpose of which they are written is to automate tasks.

It is an open-source language, which means you have full access to the source code of the language itself. So, in the case of PHP, you can visit the PHP website, and view how it was written.

The web pages are designed with HTML. When we are talking about HTML, the code implementation is performed on the user’s browser. That is the client-side. In the case of PHP server-side scripting language, the code is implemented on the server. That is before it goes to the web browser of the user.

It is possible to embed PHP in HTML. It suits very well for web development and building a dynamic web page for web applications, database applications, and e-commerce. In addition, it is rated as a friendly language. It has the ability to connect with Oracle, MySQL, and other databases easily.

What does Scripting Language mean?

A script is a collection of instructions for programming that are constructed at runtime. A scripting language is a language that construes scripts at runtime.

Usually, scripts are embedded in another software.

When scripts are used, the goal is to improve the performance or to make regular tasks for an application. 

As we mentioned, Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side script, which is interpreted on the server. On the other hand, JavaScript, for example, is a client-side script interpreted by the client browser. Both JavaScript and PHP can be set into HTML pages.

Cases to use PHP. 

There are three main areas where Hypertext Preprocessor is usually used:

  • Command-line scripting – It is perfect for scripts made applying Task Scheduler or cron. Plus, it is excellent for simple text processing.
  • Server-side scripting – This is PHP’s principal field. If you are just starting and practicing at home, this is the perfect form to do it. 
  • Formulating desktop applications – If you have experience using PHP and would be interested in trying some of the advanced PHP features, you can additionally try PHP-GTK to develop such programs.

Why use PHP?

There are various programming languages out there. If you are still wondering why you should use PHP, here are some unbeatable reasons to do so.

  • It is free and open-source.
  • Extensive community document
  • Quick learning compared to another language such as ASP, JSP, etc.
  • Unlike other languages, most web hosting servers support PHP by default. For example, languages such as ASP need IIS. So, it is a more efficient choice.
  • Another advantage that you receive with it is that it’s a server-side scripting language. That indicates you only have to install it on the server. Also, customer computers asking for resources from the server are not required to have PHP installed. Just a web browser is going to be enough.
  • It is updated frequently. Thus, it keeps up-to-date with the latest technology tendencies.
  • It holds inbuilt assistance for operating with MySQL. That doesn’t mean you can’t apply PHP with other database management systems. You can yet apply it with the following:
    • Oracle
    • Postgres
    • MS SQL Server
    • ODBC
  • It is cross-platform. You can use your application on several OS, like Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.