PHP Overview

Introduction

PHP is one of the most popular and most used server-side scripting languages which are designed for the purpose web development. However it is also used for the general purposes. According to the statistics of the year 2013 PHP was found to be installed in more than 240 million websites which are more than 39 parentages. It was first created by a personal called Rasmus Lerdorf in the year 1994. Its latest version was released lately on 18th of December and this was the 5.6.4 version of PHP. The codes of PHP can be combined with the HTML code for various purposes. A PHP interpreter is responsible for processing the PHP codes.

History

The development of PHP started in the year 1994 and the person who was responsible for it was Rasmus Lerdorf. He started writing a series of CGI (Common Gateway Interface) binaries in the programming language called C. After working it for some time he added the ability to work with web forms feature and he also added the feature to communicate with databases. Several PHP versions have been released till now with different added features. The first version which was the 1.0 version was released in the year 1995 on 8th of June and this version was officially called the Personal Home Page Tools. This version made the PHP popular as it was the first use of the name PHP. The second version which was the 2.0 version was released in the year 1997 on 1st of November. This version had many features that the current PHP version possesses. After that the 3.0 version came out in the market and the date was 20th October 2000. After that the 4.0 version came out which added advanced two-stage parse/execute tag-parsing system which was called the Zend Engine. The 4.1 version which was released in the year 2002 on 10th of December had a feature called superglobals. The 4.3 version was released in the same year on 27th December and this introduced the command-line interface for the purpose of supplementing the CGI. The latest version was the 5.6.4 version which was released in the year 2014 on 18th of December.       

Features

PHP has several features and among them the most popular and most used are provided below:

  1. HTTP authentication with PHP: It is possible to use the header() function to send an Authentication required.
  2. Cookies: PHP supports HTTP cookies, these are the mechanism for storing data in browser for tracking purpose.
  3. Sessions: PHP supports session to preserve certain data who has frequent access, it enables more customized applications with best security.
  4. Dealing with XForms: XForms are used in wide variety of platform and browsers or even non-traditional media such as PDF documents, PHP deals with these variation of web forms.
  5. Handling file uploads: PHP handles file uploads in wide range, single,multiple etc. mostly post and put methods are used in file handling.
  6. Using remote files:  You can use HTTP and FTP URLs with most of the functions that tae a filename as a parameter as long as allow_url_fopen is enabled in php.ini.
  7. Connection handling: In PHP always connection status is maintained, there are 4 possible states 0=Normal , 1=Aborted , 2=Timeout , 3= Aborted and Timeout.
  8. Persistent Database Connections: These connections are those links which do not close when the execution of your scripts ends.
  9. Safe Mode: PHP safe mode troubleshoots the shared-server security problem.
  10. Command line uses:  The main focus of Command line uses is to enable developing shell application with PHP.
  11. Garbage Collection: PHP keeps reference count for all variables and destroy them(in most cpnditions) as soon as this reference counts to zero.
  12. DTrace Dynamic Tracing: DTrace can trace operating system behavior and user program execution.

PHP Basic Example:

<?php echo “Hello Dream.”; ?>

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