PHP for Dummies

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This article is for people who are not aware what PHP is or who have not heard of PHP. This article will inform you about what PHP is with some of the important highlights .

PHP!!! PHP!!!! PHP!!!! What is it????

Don't worry; I am here to tell you, what it is?

Hi Net mates. These days, when you surf through some sites, you will find some file extension in the address bar of your browser. For example: .htm, .asp, .jsp, .php, .php3 You will find the extension: .php or the. Php3 file extension in some of the popular sites too. Let us see what this file extension is, which language this extension refers to, and what are the main highlights of this language.

Hyper text pre processor is the exact expansion of PHP, tough it doesn't, fit to the exact spelling. It is adjusted to the word of mouth, called PHP. PHP is a web scripting language. Let us see some the basic queries, which we come across in PHP.

Who wrote PHP?

Rasmus wrote PHP. PHP was started off accidentally, Rasmus was designing his web site, and he had planed to put a hit counter for his site. He decided to write a combination of Perl. There were many enquires about the script which he used. Likewise it slowly improved on, and won the hearts of many programmers.

What type of scripting is PHP client or a server side?

PHP is a server-side scripting language. A server-side scripting language is one, which has the capability of executing the script on the server and serving the output as an HTML file. Server-side scripts have the main advantage of interacting with databases, as well as performing all types of server manipulations directly. Server-side scripting languages can manipulate the data which is received from web forms, anywhere on the Net.

But this is not the case with client-side scripts such as JavaScript and VBScript. However, there are exceptions where, client-side scripts can also be used for server-side scripting, but this is limited to some extent.

Can I use PHP with HTML?

Sure, you can very well use HTML with PHP. Like the other scripting languages you can do so but it is not a compulsory act for you to use PHP with HTML. You can very well get the output with PHP alone. But the expected out put which is exhibited by PHP is not that attractive for display, attractive meaning the formatting which is done by PHP.

Let us take an example: You have a server-side interaction with the database which is used to manipulate and fetch a certain type of data based on the query which is given out, now if you are going to display this data using PHP, the quality of the output, regarding such criteria as: font-face, font coloring and display areas all are disturbed, and painful to locate and place the data. If HTML is used to present this data, the outlook of the data exhibited can be gorgeous.

Can I Run PHP on Windows Operating System?

You can very well run PHP on Windows machines. PHP is a cross-platform support language, which means, PHP can run on various platforms such as Linux, Windows etc. Web servers such as PWS, IIS and Apache can be configured to work with PHP.

Is it easy migrating from any other server side scripting languages to PHP?

If you are aware of programming concepts and the application of the logic, then, you will find it relatively easy to code any programming language by understanding the syntax. PHP's functions are similar to other scripting languages. The only thing that matters is your requirement, how you are going to apply the logic and code php to your logic.

The main consideration when migrating from a different language lies with the syntax. PHP syntax is similar to that of the C language. People with a basic understanding of C will find it very easy to migrate to PHP.

I am new to programming, is it easy to learn PHP?

If you are blind to programming then it may be difficult to learn PHP, as you will need to learn the programming concepts, understand the logic and troubleshoot the programs. If you happen to know at least one programming language, then it is very easy to learn PHP. PHP it is pretty easy compared to other scripting languages.

What are the databases that support PHP?

PHP is very much compatible with MYSQL and POSTGRESQL Databases. PHP also can be programmed to interact with any database right from a simple text file to DB2. It is believed that PHP's ability to interact with databases is greater than any other scripting languages.

How fast is PHP compared with other scripting languages?

PHP is believed to be fast when compared with other programming languages, Because of execution speed. In the case of large interactions with the database, PHP really plays a good role of execution in performing the interaction. Now a days major web sites have been migrating to PHP, because of the performance.

PHP is open source; will this work properly?

PHP is the only scripting language, which has won the hearts of many web servers and has been moving on enormously day-by-day, The main advantages of open source software is that, if there is a problem, that particular problem is shared my millions of programmers across the world. But in the case of licensed version scripting languages, it is very limited to a set of a small community.

Because innovative ideas are studied by many programmers across the world, new ideas are implemented then and there, making the language strong. There is no problem in using PHP, which is open source.

I shall conclude by saying that, all the scripting languages have their own merits and demerits, it is up to you to decide whether to go for a partial migration or a full migration .

What are the main advantages of PHP?

PHP has many advantages over other scripting languages. Some of the important highlights are as follows:
Speed - PHP is considered to be the fastest of the scripting languages. You can really feel the speed when you implement scripts live on the web. Normally when you try to connect a database and fetch certain data, it takes time to connect the database, execute the statement and get the data across.

Because of its high performance in terms of speed, PHP is being used for some of the important Web server administration such as mail functionality.

Open Source - PHP is open source. This means users are given a free license to remodel or recode PHP, according to their wishes. You might wonder how this is possible without source code but source code is shipped with PHP - it is open source.

Multi Platform - PHP supports various Plat forms, which means PHP can be installed on almost all operating systems such as Windows-x and Linux, just choose the appropriate version to download and follow the instructions given in the Manual accordingly.

Easy Syntax - PHP syntax is quite easy to code. It is similar to that of the C language. If you are new to the programming environment however, getting used to the syntax may be a bit difficult.

What are the main disadvantages of PHP?

Every language/scripting language has its own advantages and disadvantages and PHP also has some disadvantages. Some are direct disadvantages and some are indirect regarding functionality.

Error Handling - When it comes to error handling, it is believed that PHP has a very poor ability but even this disadvantage can be over come using a feasible advantage solution.

It is up to you to decide, whether to migrate or learn PHP.
PHP is great in the terms of performance of speed, which is the main factor, which people expect these days.

Publication Date: Sunday 5th October, 2003
Author: G.ajaykumar View profile

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