PHP is a scripting language mainly developed for web development. It is different from compiled languages, as compiled languages first compiled and then converted into machine code, which depends upon the hardware of a particular machine. Scripts are written in ASCII text format, scripts program runs under another program. Script Engine, a parent program read the script code line by line and executes them. Script programs are much slower and limited in in features than a compiled program. However, one advantage of a script programs are that they are portable and can be edited any time since they are written in plain text format.
Advantages of PHP
PHP has many advantages over other languages which make it most popular and widely used program language used for web development. These advantages are listed below.
- PHP is freely available to all, it is an open source general purpose language. To improve its functionality there are third party developers who develops extensions for PHP. Examples of few such developments are PEAR package, GD library, ZLib extension, etc
- PHP can be installed under all popular operating system including Windows, Linux and Mac.
- From version-4 and onwards PHP supports object oriented programming method.
- You can mix PHP scripts with HTML. Start writing PHP script code within starting and ending tags. But the resulting page must be saved in PHP format (i.e. with.php extension) in order to run script code.
- Writing or editing program only requires a plain text editor. You can use Windows Notepad to write a program or to edit it.
- The HTML code is required to build a webpage, are generated at the server end and reach to the client computer, Hence PHP called a “server side scripting language”.
- PHP is very much user friendly language. In general a programmer requires smaller time to learn it than other scripting language.
- PHP is very rich language. For every functionalities which a programmer requires to build a dynamic website such as receiving form data, sending and receiving cookie, handling file upload, processing file and directory, handling array, etc. PHP comes with several inbuilt functions to implement them.
- Today all modern websites are supported by remote database. Among the external database MySql database is the most popular. PHP have a rich set of inbuilt functions to connect with MySql database server, access data from it and process them. Actually PHP/MYSQL website is the most common and popular way of building website today.