What you need to know to get started with PHP

Introduction

In 2004, when Mark Zuckerberg sat down to create a site that required no identity, he chose PHP. The code has grown exponentially and is currently one of the largest websites in the world. If you know the early history of Facebook, you know that it is not meant to be behemoth as it is today. Choosing PHP for the task requires something intelligent about Mark and something equally incredible for PHP to carry his website to create global events. This is probably the same thing in PHP that attracts or attracts someone else to work with it.
Welcome to PHP – the world’s favorite and most hated programming language.

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PHP is the most popular server-side scripting language in the world

History

PHP was originally called PHP / FI (Personal Home Page / Form Interpreter) in 1994 when it was originally designed and in 1997 it was renamed PHP Tools in 1995 before renaming it only PHP (Repeated Abbreviation which means PHP Hypertext Preprocessor). Was done. Release of version 3.0. The initial name of PHP clearly indicates that it was not designed to look like it is today – the king of web programming language. In fact, its creator Rasmus Lorddorf created it as a set of CGI binaries that would help him better program his home page with some database support. It was not intended to be a full-fledged programming language.

The initial public release of PHP in 1995, quite surprisingly, is a large set of basic capabilities that it still has, and has improved internally throughout most versions. It added Object Oriented Programming capabilities to the 2004 version 5.0 release. Since then PHP has added many features, including namespace, late static binding and closure support in version 5.3 and lots of features in 5.4. Other releases equate it with other programming languages.

Significance and programming

PHP is known as one of the easiest programming (or scripting) languages ​​to get started, and is used by many programmers to get started.

Another point where PHP shines is an almost-web-exclusive language. Although PHP can be easily and efficiently used for system scripts, it was created to handle websites and features that handle specific web development issues such as form submission, user sessions, cookies and loose data types. PHP is designed to work in a ‘single request-single response’ environment where the script starts working when a request arrives, processes the request, creates a response, sends it to the client and then exits. The next time the same script is requested, it is run again, the request is served, and the execution is completed again.

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The world’s most popular social networking website runs on PHP

This model is compatible with web architectures where a user makes sporadic requests to a server. At the same time, it can be used to create sustainable services, which last indefinitely. This enables PHP to work with the WebSockets API launched in PHP5. PHP allows the developer to mix HTML and PHP together while it is suitable for coding in several software patterns. The primary one is the MVC software pattern, which fits very well with the web architecture (almost all PHP frameworks are built on the MVC pattern). This helps in fixing the flexibility

PHP powers more than 80% of all websites in the world and ASP.NET is in second place with just over 15% share! PHP runs the most popular blogging tools and content management systems, from WordPress and Drupal to MediaWiki and OnCloud. Also, Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress.com and Yahoo! Including some of the most popular websites in the world. Powered by PHP. As the world moves towards the “Internet of Things” where PHP will require more server-side connections, PHP can further its dominance.

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PHP empowers over 80% of the sites worldwide!

The future

It is planned that the next major version will be named version 7.0 (and not 6.0) to avoid confusion with the content of books that were already written for PHP 6.0, which was later released as version 5.3. Version 7.0 will fix a long known error – a confusing sequence of parameters for built-in functions. Also, inspired by Facebook’s HHVM interpreter for PHP, the PHP engine (parser and executor) is being overhauled to improve many speeds. Some tests indicate an almost 100% performance improvement over the current version where the existing syntax and API are basically maintained. The future looks promising for PHP.

Show me the code

The first entry into any programming language begins with a ‘Hello World’ program. Here’s how it looks in PHP:

<?php echo “Hello World”; ?>

But that’s very simple. Right? Let’s try to print something more interesting:

<?php 

$x = 5;

$x_square = $x * $x;

$result = “The square of $x is: “ . $x_square;

echo $result;

?>

This little program showcases many features of PHP that make web development easier. The output of this program is:

Value of $x is 5 The square of 5 is: 25

Line 2 shows how you can dynamically declare a variable and set it to a value. Notice that there is no data type for the variable. Data type is determined automatically.
Line 3 shows that you can perform simple mathematical operations as easily as any other programming language. Again, creating variables is dynamic.
Line 4 shows that a string (using the ‘.’ Operator) can be connected to an integer (x) and can be printed on the screen without any effort. PHP converts type for display so you don’t have to worry about it.
Line 5 shows that inside a double quoted string, a variable is evaluated before printing. Also, a combination of a string and an integer can be stored in a variable and the resulting variable can be printed (line 6) and shown without any errors.
Isn’t that interesting?

Let’s proceed to create an array, sort it and display it:

<?php 

$arr = [1.5, “4”, “10.83”, 2];

sort($arr);


foreach($arr as $x){

echo $x . ‘, ‘;

}

?> 

The output of the above program is:

1.5, 2, 4, 10.83, 

This program creates an array with 4 elements, all of which can be read as numbers (float and integer) but they are represented as 2 strings (yes, an array can contain different data types in PHP which allows flexibility) and PHP converts them to numeric forms and then sorts them. Also, a ‘foreach’ structure shows that you can easily handle the elements of an array. If you start a string in an array that cannot be converted to a number, PHP will treat all the elements as strings and sort all the elements as strings, it will not fail. You can change the hardness of PHP’s behavior in many cases by adding additional checks.
We’ve just touched the surface of PHP. If this sounds interesting, and you want to know more, keep reading.

Tools and resources

Although PHP requires you to have a web server on your machine, we cannot discuss its installation in detail. Depending on your OS, you can install PHP as follows:
1. Windows: Install XAMPP – This is the best way to start Windows.
2. Mac OS X: Integrates with PHP and Apache OS X. Due to space constraints we cannot provide details of the process here. You can read the official PHP guide for this here.
3. Linux: You can easily install PHP using your package manager. Most Linux DVDs carry PHPO with them. In Ubuntu, it’s as simple as: sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mcrypt

Once installed, you can start writing code in no time. Any general text editor will do the job. But over time, that is likely to change. Eclipse is a good free IDE for PHP development with PHP tools. If you want very professional tools, there is probably no IDE that can beat PhpStorm. However PhpStorm is a paid product that is available for free to students, lecturers and open source contributors – all you have to do is apply for a free license at JetBrains.com.



PHP’s API is thoroughly documented

One of the most important resources when learning any language is the API documentation of that language. If you’re interested in learning PHP, you’re in luck – PHP has the most useful, simple and detailed API documentation with examples, warnings, best practice guidelines and user comments for almost every function in the language (and many other popular extensions))
Popularity means you can search for your problems on the web and usually find a good answer already written. If not, StackOverflow.com is a great place to ask questions. If reading books and understanding the underlying architecture is your style, Rasmus Lorddorf (creator of PHP) programming PHP by yourself, you can get the best for the language. When you go for PHP development, unlike other programming languages ​​(except Java, probably), you will encounter a lot of frameworks. Remember to read about MVC (Model View Controller) architecture and how it works because going forward, it can help you a lot.

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