PHP is the most popular dynamic web programming language which you see in most of the websites that require you to sign in with your username to a site, vote in a poll, download or upload something or even while you are using the shopping cart of online shop. It is the main language of most of the sites that are professionally written for commercial purposes.
Unlike HTML, PHP is much closer to the basic programming languages like C or even JAVA. However, calling PHP a programming language would be a huge mistake since it was originally written in C and then developed into a sever technology by a college student Rasmus Lerdorf. In fact, his first intention was just to create a small script to track hits on his “Home Page” and yet, it became the most popular open source in the Internet world. Further, the name PHP comes from HP of “Home Page” and P of “Personal” and “Portable”.
With PHP, users can do variety of programming; from a simple “Hello World” script to a very detailed shopping system. Its simplicity and maintainability separates this code from its competitors; JSP (Java Server Pages) and ASP of Microsoft. Knowing this fact, most of the Internet web space suppliers build their servers with Apache (Linux) so that their clients can work with PHP instead of WINDOWS based ASP. PHP being a derivative of C is associated with LINUX which also supplies the user with another useful companion of PHP; MySQL database server.
Some people might say that PHP is just the “free” version of ASP (Microsoft’s Active Server Pages); in other words ASP for the poor. However, this is not the case. ASP, as most of the products of Microsoft Hegemony, does not let the user to do any further setting then it is allowed in the installation software. Everything is done automatically and almost nothing is left for the initiative of the user. Whereas most of the things are manual in PHP, in order to install the PHP/APACHE/LINUX triplets you really have to know what you are doing and have to work on them.
Other than the flexibility of this technology, it is also extremely stable since it uses Linux which is a modular operating system which means it opens a new module for each and every function that you try to use. In the end, you really do not want to have a server which cannot support you for 24/7. The most intriguing feature of PHP is that it can connect to MySQL database or SQL 2000 server using its own open source libraries developed for the users by the users. These connections are also without using ODBC which is slow because it a mediator between your code and the database. PHP directly interacts with the database bypassing this middle burden thereby giving you tremendous clock enhancements.
PHP is the basic tool for you to follow the path to become a web programmer and create your own, sophisticated, nicely coded, interactive internet pages. Use PHP if you want to be in total control of your server and want to know what really is going on.