PHP is a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages.
It is the widely-used, free, and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft's ASP and other scripting languages.
XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use - just download, extract and start.
What is PHP?
- PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
- PHP is a server-side scripting language, like Ruby on Rails, ASP, JSP and others
- PHP scripts are executed on the server
- PHP is an open source software
- PHP supports many databases (MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL and etc.)
- PHP is free to download and use
- PHP files have a file extension of ".php" or ".php3"
- PHP runs on different platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.)
- PHP is compatible with almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS, etc.)
- PHP is FREE to download at www.php.net
- PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side
- Any Text Editor like Notepad, Notepad++ and E
- Download XAMPP for Windows at http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp-windows.html then install it just follow the installation wizard.
How to Run a PHP file using XAMPP?
- Create a PHP file then save it to C:\xampp\htdocs directory.
- Open your browser then type "http://localhost/Your PHP File name" or "http://I.P. Address/Your PHP File name"
Basic PHP Syntax
A PHP scripting block always starts with and ends with ?>. A PHP scripting block can be placed anywhere in the document.
Each code line in PHP must end with a semicolon. The semicolon is a separator and is used to distinguish one set of instructions from another.
Note: The file must have a .php or .php3 extension else the PHP code will not be executed.
Comments in PHP
- // to make a single-line comment
- /* and */ to make a large comment block.
Variable Declarations in PHP
Variables are used for storing a values, like text strings, numbers or arrays.
In PHP, a variable does not need to be declared before adding a value to it and no data type needed, PHP will automatically converts the variable to the correct data type, depending on its value.
PHP variables are start with a $ sign symbol.
Naming Rules for PHP Variables
- A variable name must start with a letter or an underscore "_"
- A variable name should not contain spaces.
- A variable name can only contain alpha-numeric characters and underscores (a-z, A-Z, 0-9, and _ )