Spotlight on PHP
Like so many things, it started out as something small. In 1994, a Toronto-based
consultant named Rasmus Lerdorf developed a small hack to help Web designers.
It was a simple little program that allowed the user to place a macro
in static HTML code. Lerdorf decided to follow the new trend of open
source, and the program proved to be popular.
1997, two Israeli programmers turned it into a full-fledged programming
language. By re-writing the core engine, they transformed it from a
little utility into a powerful Web design tool. And since then, its
popularity has taken off. As of January 2001, PHP has been compiled
with Apache in over 5,000,000 web sites, with its market share still
what is PHP? Simply put, it is a programming language that can be used
to create dynamic Web pages and applications. PHP-enabled pages are
treated exactly the same as HTML pages, simplifying matters considerably
for the programmer. Moreover, PHP is a very comprehensive tag language,
with the ability to insert several statements within a single tag. While
version 3.0 had difficulties interacting with large Web applications,
the new version 4.0 is fully prepared for the enterprise market. PHP
is also multimedia capable, with simplified image creation and display,
and the ability to exploit users' audio capacities. With the language's
flexibility, it may only be a matter of time before it is also used
in non-Internet applications, such as word processors and databases.
greatest strength lies in its open-source philosophy. Like Linux, PHP
is a free program, with a readily accessible source code. This means
that bugs can be found and corrected much more quickly than in cases
of proprietary software, such as Microsoft's IIS; as a result, new versions
can be developed more quickly.However, because PHP is still in many
ways an infant in the programming language world, it will experience
growing pains. Enterprise-scale compatibility has only come with the
most recent release, and there will likely be some bugs to work out.
However, as a Web-based solution, it is both easier and less expensive
to use than many of the other available options.PHP can be downloaded
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