Tuesday, September 2, 2008

History of PHP

PHP is the successor of PHP/FI that was developed by Rasmus Lerdorf. PHP/FI, or Personal Home Page / Forms Interpreter, had a simple set of Perl scripts and was used by Mr. Lerdorf for tracking accesses to his online resume.

Rasmus later incorporated a larger C implementation to PHP/FI when more functionality was required. He then released the source code of his product so that everybody could use it and anybody could fix the bugs in it.

By 1997, Rasmus incorporated more C implementation and thousands of users started using PHP/FI, with some of them even contributing small pieces of code.

Later in 1997, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski claimed that PHP/FI was grossly inadequate for developing an eCommerce application for a University project they were working on.

The duo then began to completely re-write PHP/FI and several others contributed many extension modules to the write-up to come up with what Andi and Zeev called PHP3.0.

After nine-months of testing, PHP3.0 was officially released in June 1998. Andi and Zeev also went on to announce PHP3.0 as the official successor of PHP/FI. PHP 3.0 was object-oriented and also provided a more consistent syntax structure.

Despite the huge success of PHP3.0, Andi and Zeev continued to re-write PHP’s core to improve PHP’s performance on complex applications. This was made possible with their newly developed “Zend Engine”.

In 1999, Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski together founded California-headquartered, Zend Technologies Ltd.

Officially released in May, 2000, PHP4.0 was based on the “Zend Engine”. PHP 4.0 supported more web servers than its predecessors and provided a more secure way of handling user input. PHP 4.0 is no longer under active development.

PHP 5 was released in July 2004 and had many enhancements including improved support for object-oriented programming.

PHP 6 is currently under development and is likely to be released with some major changes.

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