PHP, or PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, has become one of the most popular server-side scripting languages for creating dynamic web pages. PHP was created by Rasmus Lerdorf to track users at his website. In 1995, Lerdorf released it as a package called the “Personal Home Page Tools.” Two years later, PHP 2 featured built-in database support and form handling. In 1997, PHP 3 was released with a rewritten parser, which substantially in-creased performance and led to an explosion of PHP use. The release of PHP 4 featured the new Zend Engine from Zend, a PHP software company. This version was considerably faster and more powerful than its predecessor, further increasing PHP’s popularity. It is estimated that over 15 million domains now use PHP, accounting for more than 20 per-cent of web pages. Currently, PHP 5 features the Zend Engine 2, which provides further speed increases, exception handling and a new object-oriented programming model.
More information about the Zend Engine can be found at www.zend.com.
PHP is an open-source technology that is supported by a large community of users and developers. PHP is platform independent—implementations exist for all major UNIX, Linux, Mac and Windows operating systems. PHP also supports many databases, including MySQL.
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