An Introduction to PHP

Never heard of PHP? It may surprise you to find out that not only is it the most popular server-side scripting language (outstripping ASP and by far clobbering .NET), it is also the fastest growing web scripting language. Why? It’s free, open source, fast, secure, runs on every imaginable platform, there are vast libraries of free code and classes to do just about anything, and it’s powerful and easy to use. Plus, the syntax is similar to Perl, C, C++, C#, Java, and Javascript, so learning one language gives you the ability to program in many others (with Visual Basic the only other thing your could program in is….well, Visual Basic for Applications).

Address Information Center v5.0 (yes, there’s been five of them, and no, you can’t have too much of a good thing) was written top-to-bottom in PHP. That includes transparent hovering menus, tab strips, interacting with web services, interfacing with SQL Server and Access tables, setting and retrieving cookies, form processing - the whole gamut of typical web application needs. In all respects the language was straight-forward, intuitive, easy, and efficient. Learning on the fly from web tutorials, books, and as-I-needed-to googling was not a problem. As it was written by web developers, for web developers, and with nothing (originally) other than web development in mind, things just…work.

You can download PHP and experiment with it at .