PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, but now it is knowns as Hypertext PreProcessor. PHP is a server side scripting language, means that the code is executed on the server rather than on a client's machine. PHP is a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages. Rasmus Lerdorf unleashed the first version of PHP in 1995.
PHP is basically used for developing websites, and is widely-used, free and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft's ASP, JSP, Python and Perl.
- PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side.
- PHP is open source, and can be downloaded freely.
- PHP can collect form data for future use.
- PHP can encrypt and decrypt data.
- PHP can add, delete, modify data in your database
- PHP can create, open, read, write, delete, and close files on the server
- PHP runs on various platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc.)
|Version||Release date||Supported until||Description|
|1.0||8 June 1995||Officially called "Personal Home Page". This is the first version of "PHP".|
|2.0||1 November 1997||Officially called "PHP/FI 2.0".|
|3.0||6 June 1998||20 October 2000||Development moves from one person to multiple developers.|
|4.0||22 May 2000||23 June 2001||Added more advanced two-stage parse/execute tag-parsing system called the Zend engine.|
|4.1||10 December 2001||12 March 2002||Introduced "superglobals" Variables ($_GET, $_POST, $_SESSION, etc.)|
|4.2||22 April 2002||6 September 2002||Disabled register_globals. Data received over the network is not directly inserted into the global namespace, closing possible security holes in applications.|
|4.3||27 December 2002||31 March 2005||Introduced the command-line interface (CLI), to supplement the CGI.|
|4.4||11 July 2005||7 August 2008||Fixed a memory corruption bug|
|5.0||13 July 2004||5 September 2005||Zend Engine II with a new object model.|
|5.1||24 November 2005||24 August 2006||Performance improvements with introduction of compiler variables. Added PHP Data Objects (PDO) as a consistent interface for accessing databases.|
|5.2||2 November 2006||6 January 2011||Enabled filter extension. JSON Support.|
|5.3||30 June 2009||14 August 2014||Namespace support, late static bindings, jumping statement (goto), garbage collection, improved Windows support, sqlite3, mysqlnd as a replacement for libmysql as underlying library for the extensions that work with MySQL.|
|5.4||1 March 2012||3 September 2015||Trait support, short array syntax support. Removed items: register_globals, safe_mode, allow_call_time_pass_reference, session_register(), session_unregister() and session_is_registered(). Several improvements to existing features, performance and reduced memory requirements.|
|5.5||20 June 2013||10 July 2016||Support for generators, finally blocks for exceptions handling.|
|5.6||28 August 2014||31 December 2018||Constant scalar expressions, argument unpacking, new exponentiation operator, extensions of the use statement for functions and constants, and other smaller improvements.|
|6.x||Not released||Abandoned version of PHP that planned to include native Unicode support.|
|7.0||3 December 2015||3 December 2018||64-bit integer support on Windows, uniform variable syntax, return type declarations, scalar type (integer, float, string and boolean) declarations, <=> 'spaceship' three-way comparison operator and shorthand syntax for importing multiple items from a namespace.|
|7.1||1 December 2016||1 December 2019||void return type, class constant visibility modifiers.|
|7.2||30 November 2017||30 November 2020||Counting of non-countable objects.|
|7.3||6 December 2018||6 December 2021||support for reference assignment and array deconstruction with list()|
How PHP Is Better Than Its Alternatives?
What is the need of PHP in today's world? The days of static HTML websites with few scripts are over. Today's websites must be dynamic. Everyone needs dynamic websites with top functionalities. So biggest decision facing the creator or developer is to choose best technology platform from hundreds of technologies.
Why PHP is better than other alternatives?
1. PHP is faster to code and execute. It is designed to integrate with the Apache web server. Apache is one of popular free web server on the internet.
2. The same PHP code can runs on different web servers and on different operating systems.
3. Open source: PHP is free. So anyone download complete source code and use it without purchasing any licence.
4. Modifiable: PHP is specially designed to allow for future extension of functionality. It is coded in C and provides a good Application Programming Interface and contain rich set of functions.
5. Popularity: Internet service providers find PHP to be an alternative way to allow their customers to code web applications without the risks.
Large number of PHP Developers, Freelance Programmers, and Outsourcing Firms are available worldwide. Websites coded in PHP will have the option of moving from one host to another as well as a choice for programmers to add functionality.