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PHP – An Introduction

February 15th, 2007

PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. PHP uses are widespread, and can include any kind of server functionality that takes user's input a

nd displays or manipulates the input. PHP has different ports, and supports Windows, Unix and Mac, which makes it more accessible than Microsoft Web Technology ASP. This scripting language is growing day by day. PHP5 a fully object oriented platform independent language. The speed on Linux server helps to build large and complex web applications.

What distinguishes PHP from something like client-side JavaScript is that the code is executed on the server. If you were to have a script similar to the above on your server, the client would receive the results of running that script, with no way of determining what the underlying code may be. You can even configure your web server to process all your HTML files with PHP, and then there's really no way that users can tell what you have up your sleeve.
The best things in using PHP are that it is extremely simple for a newcomer, but offers many advanced features for a professional programmer. Don't be afraid reading the long list of PHP's features. You can jump in, in a short time, and start writing simple scripts in a few hours.
Although PHP's development is focused on server-side scripting, you can do much more with it. PHP is not only used for web applications, but also to automate administrative tasks on webservers, like server management, automated backups, database related backups and cron job scripts, one such example is mysql incremental backup solution. PHP-GTK is an extension for the PHP programming language that implements language bindings for GTK+. It provides an object-oriented interface to GTK+ classes and functions and greatly simplifies writing client-side cross-platform GUI applications.
PHP is a particularly an excellent language because it allows for advanced programming and is easy to integrate with web pages. Another plus of PHP is that the language interfaces very well with almost all the available SQL backends especially MySQL, a popular type of open database. MYSQL is a commercial grade database application that is made available free under the Open Source to anyone. Another plus of PHP is that it is Open Source Code. The actual code that runs PHP is available to the public for free, while the source code for products such as ASP is not. Because PHP is open source, there is a large community of PHP programmers that help each other with code. This means PHP programmers can rely on each other by using reusable pieces of code called functions and classes rather than constantly reinventing the wheel. This can dramatically cut down on production time.
Pear – PHP Extension and Application Repository. PEAR is a community-driven project with the PEAR Group as the governing body. PEAR is short for “PHP Extension and Application Repository” and is pronounced just like the fruit. The purpose of PEAR is to provide:

  • A structured library of open-sourced code for PHP users
  • A system for code distribution and package maintenance
  • A standard style for code written in PHP
  • The PHP Extension Community Library (PECL)

PHP and MySQL are excellent choice for webmasters looking to automate their web sites. Now search spiders “see” all the content on a PHP page, the same way it is viewed in a browser. The creation of a php-shopping cart is surprisingly simple and when done with precision it could translate into a highly effective and universally accepted php-shopping cart.

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