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Pro PHP Programming

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Origins of PHP

PHP began as a project led and designed by Mr. Rasmus Lerdorf. In June 1995, he released version 1.0 of
Personal Home Page Tools (its original product name). It was a small collection of functions that helped
to automate the creation and maintenance of simple home pages on the then-burgeoning Internet.
Since then, PHP has grown by leaps and bounds to where it is today at version 5.3.4 (at the time of
writing). PHP was one of the first web development programming languages to be open source from the
outset. Lerdorf was visionary enough to see the need and the potential for
a tool and language that could
grow with this vein of the Internet community and expand far beyond it as well.

What Is PHP?

So then, what exactly is PHP? What does it look like and “feel” like in its current version? Well, in its
simplest terms, PHP is merely an HTML markup generator. If you look at the source code of a PHPgenerated
web page, you will see only HTML tags; maybe some JavaScript as well, but no raw PHP code.
Of course, that is an overly simplistic view of the language that has captured between 35 and 59 percent
(depending on the source) of the languages in use for web development. Whatever number you settle
on, PHP is the single most popular web development language on the market today.
When I use the term “on the market,” you also have to appreciate that PHP is free. Yes, free! It is an
open source product, so in reality there isn’t an actual market for it. So it has done very well in terms of
popularity and range of use for a product that is led and steered by no one entity or personality.

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