This PHP tutorial will guide you through the process of learning and using PHP, preparing you with some fundamental knowledge to get you started in the right path. We will talk about the history of PHP, create a local development environment (so that you won’t need a web server) and create a basic PHP script while discussing common beginner PHP gotchas along the way.
In the beginning, there was nothing. Well, there were static web pages that had to be edited manually. That was a pain. And it didn’t do anything other than display text and images on a web page.
With the introduction of PHP/FI (Personal Homepage Tools) in 1995, everything changed. It became possible to create dynamic web applications that generated content on-the-fly and allowed users to interact with the once static web pages.
When Rasmus Lerdorf, the creator of PHP/FI, decided to release the source code of his project, the development went even faster.
Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski joined the project in 1997 and started working on PHP 3.0 as the official successor of PHP/FI. The development of PHP/FI was mostly halted. PHP 3.0 (which is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) was officially released in June 1998.
Shortly after the release, Andi and Zeev were already working on a rewrite of PHP’s core. It was finished in mid-1999 and the new engine, dubbed Zend Engine (comprised of parts of their first names, Zeev and Andi), was a huge success.
PHP 4.0, based on the new Zend engine, was officially released in May 2000.
After four long years, PHP 5.0 was released introducing a new object model and dozens of other new features. In 2010, PHP 5.3.1 is the latest stable release.