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 • Our Articles: What Is Php?

The simplest way to describe Php is with reference to HTML. Basically Php can be seen as the HTML-embedded scripting language. Much of its language rules and structure is borrowed from other well established languages like C, Java and Perl. Although, it should be noted that there are a host of exclusive Php-specific features created and added into the language. The objective of the language is to permit web developers to write and create dynamically generated pages with ease and quickly.  
  The above said definition is well defined for a common man who is ignorant to Php and its basics. However, this does not constitute all about the language. Having said that, though it does contain a lot of things you may not be used to. There is another way in which you can understand the utility of this language. It is scripting language which works from behind the scene to help the programmer to crate web pages that are dynamic in nature and this scripting language is hidden by the user who views the page. The only thing he sees is the content, images, forms etc. the user cannot view the programming done to achieve this. Another way to think of Php is a powerful, behind the scenes scripting language that your visitors won't see!  
  When a user visits a web page that has been created by using Php as the base, the web server then executes the Php code behind that particular web page. During the processing of the code, the web server sees that which part of the code has to be processed. For example, if a user has opened up a page that contains calculations and filling up form on the same page, and the user has shown his interest in filling up a form, then the part of the Php code containing the form will be processed and not the whole page. It then sees which parts it needs to show to its visitors like content and pictures and hides the other stuff like file operations, math calculations, etc. it then translates the result of the code execution in Php to HTML so that the user an view it. The web browser sends the HTML result to the visitor's web browser. Since HTML is the language of the viewer in which he views everything present on the net, so it become easy for him to understand.  
  To stress out the utility of Php, here is one more way. Php is a server side scripting language . This simply means that the programs that are written in Php are included among the HTML pages as a normal text, and then these programs are executed by a Php facilitated WWW server. The output from these programs is then included in the HTML page text as a replacement for the query by the user. Php commonly relates to the Apache WWW server and has fast become the most widely used scripting language on the WWW due to its efficiency and trouble-free ways.  
  When ever an error occurs while the execution of a Php program is taking place, then the error message is included as it is in the generated HTML result page and is included in the page itself that is being displayed to the user. In a way this action is helpful in debugging the problem. This phenomenon is totally different from the Cgi environment where unrelated errors are generated which cannot be used for de bugging purposes.  
  Php is an object oriented programming scripting language whose variables are from a wide range like arrays, which are both conventional and content addressable, functions and flow control structures like if/then, for, do etc.,. It resembles C in having the same set of operators as the language C.  
  There are some aspects in which Php differs from its relative programming languages like Perl C and Java. The Php variables do not ask for a specific declaration for themselves and just come in the front on the first reference. Particular care is to taken while naming the variable. This is because of a simple typing error which can convert a reference to one variable to a reference to a different variable. Php variables always start with dollar symbol $.  
  This article was just an overview about the most common scripting language on the web. Therefore one will have to do a lot of reading to go for Php.  
  Written by Goran Kusnjer,
E-Topbiz.com owner 
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