10 Things I Like About PHP

It is almost impossible to be involved in any web related activity without being aware of php, an open source scripting language used in the development of dynamic websites. Your use of this language can be as simple or complex as you desire. Here is a quick list of a few things I like about it.

1. The language is easy to learn. A search for php and “Hello World” turns up copies of a simple script to write a line of text to the screen. In just a couple of minutes, the beginning programmer can see a concrete result from a self written script.

2. Sites can be built very quickly with freely available open source packages. A good example is WordPress, the blogging platform. This is not limited to blogging. WordPress is one of the best content management systems and adapts easily to creating dynamic page sites.

3. The open source nature of php means that thousands of volunteers are working to create new applications and improve and expand the capabilities of existing ones.

4. Because of the popularity and widespread use of php, solutions to almost any problem you encounter are available with your favorite search engine.

5. For specific problems or questions, there are many available forums and discussion groups where questions are answered in a matter of minutes. Your question is probably not unique. Usually it is not even necessary to post a question. A search of previously asked questions on the major forums will usually find the answer.

6. Most hosting packages combine php with mysql, a powerful, multi-featured open source database. Database driven sites, shopping carts, catalogs, directories, discussion forums, etc can all be up and running on your site in a few minutes.

7. The language is well documented with an online manual with explanations and examples of the syntax of the code.

8. There is an endless supply of books about php. New ones are constantly being published. A little experimenting will acquaint you with the authors and presses that fit your style of learning.

9. Many of the functions of php are similar to those of perl, another language used extensively on the web. A good example is regular expressions used to analyze and manipulate data. These can be used to extract information from raw data collected from the web.

10. The language is fun. php is an easy code to write and understand. Good code is almost self documenting. The accomplishment of solving what seemed to be a complex problem with just a few lines of code is very satisfying.

Those are just a few reasons I like php. Try it, you will like it, too.


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