New PHP trends

As a web language PHP is without a doubt is the most popular server language that is in the use. As PHP.net statistics shows by April, 2007 there have been 20,016,421 domains using PHP for their web sites. So you can get a brief idea how popular the language has become.

History

PHP was founded in 1995 by Rasmus Lerdorf, because he needed to build a tool that would track the access to his web page. He used C to create his tools and then he released his tools to open source community under the name PHP/FI (PHP Form Interpreter).

In the first release it had many syntax similarities with Perl and in 1997 PHP 2 was released with some new features. In 1998 PHP 3 was released with many flexible features in it. And even in that stage it’s said to have occupied 10% of web servers.

PHP 4 came in year 2000 and it brought a new look to PHP language. A new object oriented look which I think resulted in initiating many new web trends such as CMS and Frameworks. It also had many new features such as new session features which helped coding with PHP. In 2004, PHP 5 was released with enhanced OOP abilities which gave PHP the strength to compete with any other web language. Unfortunately it seems that most of the web products already had a good based in PHP 4 when PHP 5 came and even now most of the products and web services are using PHP 4 as standard without using the enhanced features in PHP 5.

Some of the new OOP features in PHP 5 are listed here.

  • Abstract classes
  • Final Keyword
  • Constant Keyword
  • try, catch…throw syntax in error handling
  • HTTP_*_VARS are depricated

So if you are a Java or C++ programmer no doubt you will see this is lot familiar. And with that it goes without saying that PHP is a lot tougher language than it sounds.

Evolving world of PHP

I am really glad about the moment I chose to use PHP as my primary web language when I think back. It’s not only because of advanced features of PHP 4 or 5. It’s because of the rapidly evolving community around PHP. Apache the most popular server, and PHP goes hand in hand giving all the functionality a programmer would need in web world without any waste of money. And there’re more than enough tools for a PHP programmer to use, from basic PHP modules to advanced CMS or frameworks. I’ve used ASP.net also for some time, but I can safely say I didn’t get that homely feeling around ASP.net as I had in PHP.

Lately I have started to work with PHP frameworks, mainly cakePHP and CodeIgniter. These frameworks seem to have taken after the steps of Ruby on Rails and still have the space to develop. But it’s very enjoyable to work with them, especially with cakePHP as I have been using it now for some time.

As an example, to access a database and get all data in a table with cakePHP you only need this sentence.
$this->Module->findAll() ;
So you can understand how cool it is to work with cake.

I’m hoping to post my experiences with cakePHP in another post and some tips I found when working with cakePHP.

18 thoughts on “New PHP trends

  1. FelipeC says:

    About four years ago I thought PHP was the best. I did some stuff in ASP.net and Java, but somehow PHP was more natural to me.

    After two years of coding with PHP it was clear to me people all over the world were probably doing the same things over and over, but I had some code to maintain and I didn’t bother.

    Then after I left that PHP project I found Ruby on Rails, and I then I realized that our code was leading to a web application framework, and RoR had everything we had done, except that much better. Probably the fact that it was done in a so beautiful language as Ruby counted a huge deal.

    I haven’t done many things in RoR, but the ones I have, have been very straightforward.

    I mostly know about plain Ruby, and the language is a bliss, I suggest everyone to give it a real deep try.

    And for web application frameworks: Ruby on Rails without any doubt; it just makes perfect sense.

  2. deneth says:

    you really have a point there. I havent try much of RoR but the things from what i have done its nice.

  3. Nazly says:

    I have been using PHP for quite a sometime now and I should say I never had a need to look back for another Server Side Scripting language. Lately I have been doing some work with CakePHP and I’m super impressed with it. As you said lot of things are made easier with CakePHP. Specially the repetitive tasks that we do like CRUD operations.
    In reply to FelipC’s comment, I haven’t used Ruby up to now mainly being really addicted to PHP but I do have heard a lot about RoR. But then comes CakePHP which is much similar to RoR from what I have heard so far. So I guess I will stick with PHP as I’m used to it all these years.

  4. luckycala says:

    FelipC, I haven’t used RoR much. Only had a glimpse of it in practicle use. But I have a good friend and my co-worker Lakshan (http://www.web2media.net/laktek) who is the RoR developer in Vesess. So I hear lots about RoR from him and see lot of good things about RoR everyday. Actually, I haven’t seen a single bad thing said about it yet. So I may dig more about it in future.

    But similar to Nazly, I’ve used PHP for a long time and feels like at home with it. And with cakePHP I don’t need to go any where to get a framework for PHP. So in my opinion, I’m quite contented with it. But I’m very curious about RoR and am willing to get more experience with it if I have time.

    And Deneth, good to see some one from our faculty is looking more deep into web. And if you are thinking of doing something serious with RoR you may need to talk with Lakshan. I think he is the only RoR developer who is doing RoR professionally in our faculty.

  5. Lakshan says:

    Oh ! nice to see some worthy talk happening. Sorry for being late for the party :)

    Compared with PHP, Ruby is a sweet language. Especially for a hacker like me, who is lousy on syntax. I just love the semantic sugar :)

  6. gari says:

    Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it!t

  7. Pius says:

    Thanks for providing useful infromation in PHP.

    Kindly mail me if any.

    Thank U.

  8. jdfh says:

    Thank you sooooo much!r

  9. Jeevitha Arvindh Kumar says:

    Php is a superb web designing language and this is a good website for the beginners:-)

  10. G.Aruna says:

    i felt php as a good language, but my lecturer made to think it as hell bugging language..anyhow it is good for web designers:-9

  11. Hashini says:

    hei…all wat those guys said was stupid…really it is a good web designing language…

  12. T.jeevitha says:

    php is superb language but our lecturer made to think it as hell bugging language..

  13. GlendaBarron says:

    cool links, thanks!,

  14. tormuscubcovemitte says:

    whmzritbuvbnwwxdwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch ;)

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  17. jakeirribiA says:

    Was ist das?

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