What Is PHP

This section describes what is PHP language and what are main features supported in PHP.

What Is PHP? PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, a recursive acronym. It is mainly a Web server side scripting language. But it can also be used for other purposes.

PHP was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995 as a simple Web page generation tool named as PHP/FI (Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter). Today it becomes the number one of server side scripting languages. Here is a comparison of number of matches on Google for different popular script key words:

Key words             Number of matches

"PHP scripting"         400,000 
"perl scripting"        371,000
"ASP.NET scripting"      40,100
"ASP scripting"	         30,900
"JSP scripting"          17,500

Main features of PHP:

PHP major releases:

7.0 	3 December 2015
6.x 	Not released
5.6 	28 August 2014
5.4 	1 March 2012
5.3 	30 June 2009
5.0 	13 July 2004
4.0 	22 May 2000
3.0 	6 June 1998
2.0 	1 November 1997
1.0 	8 June 1995

Last update: 2019.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

Introduction and Installation of PHP 7.3

What Is PHP

 Downloading and Installing PHP 7.3 for Windows

 "php -help" - Command Line Options

 "php -m" - Built-in Modules

 "php -i" - PHP Engine Information

 php.ini - PHP Runtime Configuration

 Hello.php - My First PHP Script

 "php -a" - PHP Interactive Shell

 Downloading and Installing PHP Documentation

 PHP Script File Syntax

 PHP Data Types and Data Literals

 Variables, References, and Constants

 Expressions, Operations and Type Conversions

 Conditional Statements - "if" and "switch"

 Loop Statements - "while", "for", and "do ... while"

 Function Declaration, Arguments, and Return Values

 Arrays - Ordered Maps

 Introduction of Class and Object

 Integrating PHP with Apache Web Server

 Retrieving Information from HTTP Requests

 Creating and Managing Sessions in PHP Scripts

 Sending and Receiving Cookies in PHP Scripts

 Controlling HTTP Response Header Lines in PHP Scripts

 MySQL Server Connection and Access Functions

 Functions to Manage Directories, Files and Images

 SOAP Extension Function and Calling Web Services

 SOAP Server Functions and Examples

 Localization Overview of Web Applications

 Using Non-ASCII Characters in HTML Documents

 Using Non-ASCII Characters as PHP Script String Literals

 Receiving Non-ASCII Characters from Input Forms

 "mbstring" Extension and Non-ASCII Encoding Management

 Managing Non-ASCII Character Strings with MySQL Servers

 Configuring and Sending out Emails

 Outdated Tutorials


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