They say a lot of great things can happen on the 8th of the month because of the luck that the number 8 brings. Case in point, its practically hard to book a wedding on the 8th because of that said belief. If ever they need proof though to hold up that conclusion, then the birth of PHP is but one of the examples that they can cite.
PHP is a server-side application software used to serve dynamic pages in a webserver. On June 8, 1995 (3PM), Rasmus Lerdorf announced the release of PHP/FI. That act consequently put the “P” in the LAMP programming suite and helped launch a million web developer’s careers by giving them a free and opensource platform to learn dynamic web development from.
PHP/FI initially stood for Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter but the official name of the application has since been renamed to PHP:Hypertext Preprocessor when version 3 came out.
Owing to its reputation for being free, quick, full featured, easy to learn, multi-platform and having a large community base, PHP became a very popular language to use in the Internet. Not to mention that a lot of developers used it to create some great opensource applications that also helped the popularity of PHP increase.
To name a few we have the forum software’s: PHPBB and SMF; and CMS Suites: Joomla, PHPNuke and WordPress. Yahoo even adopted PHP for their sites in 2002 (Rasmus Lerdorf has been listed to have worked for them since Sept 2002.)
The initial version of PHP was a far cry from the sleek object oriented fully functional scripting language that we see today. It initially started life as a bunch of Perl scripts that were ported to C Libraries.
In 1998 version 3 was released. With the help of Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski (Zend), a whole code re-write ensued that more greatly resembles the modern PHP that we see today. Its support for Apache, MySQL and extensions was said to have helped increase its popularity with the developer community. It helped also that the trend at that time was for websites to transition from hard coded HTML files to dynamic, DB stored data to generate sites.
With the release of version 4 in 2000 it was noted that the support for object-oriented syntax was more mature. Powered by the Zend Engine underneath its hood, it made the language more robust and added improvements in terms of functionality and quickness of execution. Support for user sessions was also made available in that version.
Version 5 was released in 2004 and it had the newer Zend 2 Engine while Version 6 is currently in development.
For those looking for a trip down memory lane, remnants of the original version of PHP/FI can still be found at the PHP museum.
So Congratulations PHP!, for your 12th year and may you have many more to come. And a Mountain of Thank You’s to Rasmus Lerdorf for deciding to release PHP/FI as opensource.