Why Use PHP?
One of the best things about PHP is the large number of Internet service providers (ISPs) and Web hosting companies that support it. Today hundreds of thousands of developers are using PHP, and it ’ s not surprising that there are so many, considering that several million sites are reported to have PHP installed.
Another great feature of PHP is that it ’ s cross - platform — you can run PHP programs on Windows, Linux,FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Solaris, among others. What ’ s more, the PHP engine can integrate with all common Web servers, including Apache, Internet Information Server (IIS), Zeus, and lighttpd. This means that you can develop and test your PHP Web site on one setup, then deploy it on a different type of system without having to change much of your code. Furthermore, it ’ s easy to move your PHP Web site onto another server platform, if you ever need to.
How does php better than other common Web programming technologies.
❑ ASP (Active Server Pages): This venerable Microsoft technology has been around since 1997,and was one of the first Web application technologies to integrate closely with the Web server,resulting in fast performance. ASP scripts are usually written in VBScript, a language derived from BASIC. This contrasts with PHP ’ s more C - like syntax. Although both languages have their fans, I personally find that it ’ s easier to write structured, modular code in PHP than in VBScript.
❑ ASP.NET: This is the latest incarnation of ASP, though in fact it ’ s been rebuilt from the ground up. It ’ s actually a framework of libraries that you can use to build Web sites, and you have a choice of languages to use, including C#, VB.NET (Visual Basic), and J# (Java). Because ASP.NET gives you a large library of code for doing things like creating HTML forms and accessing database tables, you can get a Web application up and running very quickly. PHP, although it has a very rich standard library of functions, doesn ’ t give you a structured framework to the extent that ASP.NET does.
❑ Perl: Perl was one of the first languages used for creating dynamic Web pages, initially through the use of CGI scripting and, later, integrating tightly into Web servers with technologies like the Apache mod_perl module and ActivePerl for IIS. Though Perl is a powerful scripting language, it ’ s harder to learn than PHP. It ’ s also more of a general - purpose language than PHP, although Perl ’ s CPAN library includes some excellent modules for Web development.
❑ Java: Like Perl, Java is another general - purpose language that is commonly used for Web application development. Thanks to technologies like JSP (JavaServer Pages) and servlets, Java is a great platform for building large - scale, robust Web applications. With software such as Apache Tomcat, you can easily build and deploy Java - based Web sites on virtually any server platform, including Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD. The main downside of Java compared to PHP is that it has quite a steep learning curve, and you have to write a fair bit of code to get even a simple Web site going (though JSP helps a lot in this regard).
❑ Ruby: Like Python, Ruby is another general - purpose language that has gained a lot of traction with Web developers in recent years. This is largely due to the excellent Ruby on Rails application framework, which uses the Model - View - Controller (MVC) pattern, along with Ruby ’ s extensive object - oriented programming features, to make it easy to build a complete
Web application very quickly. As with Python, Ruby is fast becoming a popular choice among Web developers, but for now, PHP is much more popular.