PHP - Hypertext Preprocessor

PHP is an open source server-side scripting language used in the development of web pages. The php.net website provides this definition: PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. In early 2013, W3techs reported that 78.8% of websites used PHP as their server-side scripting language.

Web browsers know how to execute HTML and JavaScript commands. These are called client-side languages because the user's computer can process the languages without help from additional computers. In contrast, PHP is a server-side technology and web browsers are not able to execute PHP commands. PHP code is embedded into the client-side languages (e.g. HTML) and must first be sent to a web server for processing.

At the web server the embedded PHP code is extracted and executed. For example, the PHP code may instruct the server to retrieve data from a database. In which case the server will obtain the requested data and insert it back into the HTML web page before sending it on to the web browser for display. The web server extracts and executes all the server-side scripting code. The only data that is passed on to the web browser is in a form that the web browser knows how to process, such as HTML.

The origin of PHP dates back to 1994 when Rasmus Lerdorf wrote a group of Perl scripts he named "Personal Home Page Tools" to maintain his personal home page. Lerdorf publicly released "PHP Tools version 1.0" on June 8, 1995. He continued to write a second version of the language and participated in further development of later versions which where made by a group of developers. Lerdorf remains active in the field of web development and maintains a home page.

In 1997 Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans rewrote the language's parser which formed the base of PHP version 3. At that time the language's name was changed to be "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor". In 1999 Suraski and Gutmans rewrote the core of PHP producing the "Zend Engine".They also founded Zend Technologies located east of Tel Aviv in Ramat Gan, Israel. The word Zend is a combination of their two first names ZEev and aNDi. In 2000 PHP version 4 was released with Zend Engine version 1.0. In 2004 PHP version 5 was released with Zend Engine II.

PHP Products Zend Server, Zend Framework , Zend Studio

Zend Server
A web application server for running and managing PHP applications.
Zend Server Community Edition (Free)
A free lightweight version of Zend Server (differences).
Zend Framework
Open source web application framework implemented in PHP 5.
Zend Studio
PHP Integrated Development Environment using proprietary PHP Development Tools (PDT) plugin for the open source Eclipse IDE.
PHP Certification Test
PHP 5.3 Certification by Zend.

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