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The most popular explanation of PHP we hear that it is an acronym for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. But that would make it HPP, Yes! Another explanation is that the initials come from the earliest version of the program, which was called “Personal Home Page Tools”. PHP is so popular that if you’re looking for a career in the web design/web scripting industry then PHP is right choice to start!
PHP is a widely-used open source general-purpose server-sided scripting language that is especially suited for web development that can be embedded into HTML. Why it is called server-sided scripting language? That’s because the PHP doesn’t get executed on your computer, but on the computer you have requested the page from. The results are then handed over to your browser to display.
PHP pages can contain HTML with embedded PHP code that does something. PHP code is enclosed in special start tag <?php and end with ?> tag that allow you to jump into and out of “PHP mode”. Server will understand the code between <?php and ?> need to execute via PHP parser. The client would receive the results of running that script, but would not know what the underlying code was. 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.
There are three main areas where PHP scripts can be used:
Server-side scripting: The most traditional and main target field for PHP. Need three things to make this work.
a) The PHP parser (CGI or server module),
b) A web server and
c) A web browser.
First need to run the web server with a connected PHP installation. You can access the PHP program output via a web browser, viewing the PHP page through the server. If you are just experimenting you can do all these three things on your home machine.
Command line scripting: If you installed PHP parser only you can make a PHP script to run it without any server or browser. This type of usage is ideal for scripts regularly executed using cron (on *nix or Linux) or Task Scheduler (on Windows).
Writing desktop applications: PHP is not the very best choice to create a desktop application, but if you know PHP very well, and would like to use some advanced PHP features in your client-side applications you can do it using PHP-GTK to write such programs. You can also write cross-platform applications this way.
Let your friends know!
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