General purpose web development tools with PHP support
Two of the most widely used integrated development environments (IDEs) for building websites, Adobe
Dreamweaver (www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver/) and Microsoft Expression Web
(www.microsoft.com/expression/products/web_overview.aspx), have built-in support for PHP.
• Dreamweaver CS5: Dreamweaver is a good, standards-compliant visual editor. PHP support
was taken to a completely new level in Dreamweaver CS5 with the addition of syntax checking,
embedded documentation (complete with examples), and autocompletion of variables.
Particularly useful is the ability to work in PHP includes, while keeping the main page visible in
To understand more about what PHP is now, it's helpful to examine the history of PHP. Version 1 of PHP was written by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, with a set of CGI binaries in the C programming language that he wrote to replace a set of Perl scripts that he'd been using to maintain his personal homepage. Version 2 was a more formalized version that he put out in 1995. This version improved the original version and also combined it with code that would interpret data submitted by web forms.
This was the first public release of PHP. At the beginning, PHP is an abbreviation for Personal Home Page Tools, as in PHP Tools. And that's because, that was its primary purpose, was helping him maintain his personal homepage. But in version 3, PHP changed dramatically. Two other developers got involved, Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans. These two developers rewrote major parts of PHP between 1997 and 1998. they also renamed it PHP hypertext preprocessor.
PHP is a server side scripting language. Now you may have thought that PHP was a programming language. Well, technically speaking, it's not. So how's a scripting language different from a programming language? The distinction between them is largely artificial, and the lines can get a bit blurry. But we can do a general comparison. A script only runs in response to an event.
We#re going to start by learning how to embed PHP code in a page. Because there is some basic rules that we need to know about.
Notice that there is the beginning, and ending to this line with a bit of code in the middle.
I shall drop out the code in the middle, so you can really see the difference. This is the beginning of opening a PHP tag, and the end, closing PHP.
What we#re doing is essentially saying to the Apache server, hey, as you are processing this document, turn on PHP. Start reading the next little bit as being PHP code, and then when it gets to the end and it sees that question mark with the greater than, the tag is over. Now we are done with PHP. You can go back to doing your regular html rendering. This allows us to embed PHP into the html. Remember, in the early introduction I talked about that that is one of the features of PHP. Is that we can just embed in the html code. So we#re essentially telling Apache to turn on and turn off PHP filtering as it it is going through the document. And then in between, we can put whatever PHP code that we want. So if you look at somebody else#s PHP code, you’re going to see these open and closing tags throughout the document, as it is turned on and off.