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Introduction to PHP

It's hard to argue that PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) has taken the web development world by storm. PHP is a lightweight, easy-to-learn, and quickly deployed open-source scripting language with a number of convenient features. The language's lineage is Perl, C, and Java, so many developers familiar with those languages will find making the switch very easy.

PHP works very well with many database solutions, but it is almost always mentioned in the same breath as the open source MySQL database (discussed with greater detail in the next chapter). PHP can run on Windows, Unix, and Mac servers; it supports IIS, Apache, and other Web servers. As for functionality, PHP 5 has limited support for object-oriented programming, nesting of modules, and custom functions. It has a rich set of built-in tools that let you access XML files, mail servers, database archives, Java APIs and objects, the server's file system, and a lot more.


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