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PHP Basic: A Basic Overview and Introduction of PHP Programming

Updated on October 19, 2011

PHP is open source server-side scripting langualge which is execuated on the server and supports many databases (like MySQL, Oracle, Solid, PostgreSQL, ODBC, Informix etc) which is suited for web development and can be embeded into html. This page is just the introduction of PHP. This page focues about PHP, it's common basic syntax, the advantages of PHP etx. This page will discuss on the following things:

  • PHP / What is PHP?
  • What is a PHP file?
  • Why PHP is used?
  • How to learn PHP?
  • What things are necessary to program with PHP?
  • Syntax of PHP
  • PHP script block's starting & closing syntax
  • PHP comments
  • Writing "Hello World" using PHP
  • Program Code
  • Output of "hello_world.php" program
  • Discussion of the above program

PHP / What is PHP?

  • PHP stands for PHP : Hypertext Preprocessor.
  • PHP is a widely used sever-side scripting language.
  • PHP is open-sourced.
  • PHP is widely suited for web development.
  • PHP scripts are executed on the server.
  • PHP can be embeded into html.
  • PHP supports several databases like Oracle, MySQL, Infomix, PostgreSQL, Genric, Sybase, Solid etc.
  • PHP can be downloaded freely.
  • PHP can also be used freely.

What is a PHP file?

  • PHP files have the file extension of  ".php" or ".phtml" or ".php3".
  • PHP files can contain text, HTML tags and scripts.

Why PHP is used?

  • Any type of PHP file can be run several platforms like Windows, Linux etc.
  • PHP is compatiable to several types of servers like Apache, IIS etc.
  • PHP is open sourced and can be downloaded freely form the website.
  • And at last, PHP is very easy to learn and to use.

How to learn PHP?

Before learning PHP, you need some basic knowledge of HTML and some sort of scripting knowledge. If you have these little knowledge, you can learn PHP very easily.

I learnt PHP form several tutorials, documents and sources. You may also follow them by searching to Google.

But here I introduce the tutorials through my own way by applying my practical knowledge. So, you can follow it if you wish.

What things are necessary to program with PHP?

To work with PHP, you firstly need to install PHP. For successful programming with PHP, you need to download the following things and need to install them all. Click the following links below and download them and install them to learn or program with PHP.

  • Download PHP [http://www.php.net/downloads.php]
  • Download MySQL Database [http://www.mysql.com/downloads/index.html]
  • Download Apache Server [http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi]

By using PHP, you can do web program easily. PHP code is executed on the server and the plain HTML result is sent to the browser.

Syntax of PHP

A PHP scripting block can be placed anywhere in the document. The syntax of PHP is very simple and easy. In the followings, you will know and learn some of the basic syntax of PHP programing.

PHP script block's starting & closing syntax

PHP scripting block starts with <?php and ends with ?>. You may also use shorter handed form tags if the server supports. The shorter hand tags are <? (starting tag) and ?> (closing tag). But the standard tags are <?php and ?>. As, it's standard, I prefer to use this tag not to use shorter hand tags. So, we can say the tags are like the followings:

  • PHP scripting block starts with: <?php
  • PHP scripting block ends with: ?>

PHP comments

Like any other programming, you can also use comments in PHP. There are 2 types of comments in PHP. They are:

  1. Single line comment
  2. Block comment

Single line comment:Single line comment is used to make a single line comment. It starts with a " // ".

Block comment: Block comment is used to make a large comment block. It starts with a " /* " and ends with a " */ ".

Writing "Hello World" using PHP

Here one basic program is explained. This section just give you a basic program steps only.

Program description:

Write one program using PHP which can display "Hello World!!".

Program Code

/* Save the code by the name "hello_world.php" */

/* this is a "Hello World" program using PHP.*/

<html>
<body>

// php code starts from here using " <? " 

<?php
    echo "Hello World!!";
?>

// php code ends here using " ?> " 

</body>
</html>

Output of "hello_world.php" program

Discussion of the above program

PHP file name & extension:

As this is a PHP program, the program must have to a .php extension. So, the program name is "hello_world.php". If you don't include .php extension, you will not see the output of the program when you try.

Comments of the code:

The program has both single line comment and block comment. Block comment is noted within /*  and */. All the single line comments are mentioned by //.

PHP code block:

The php code block starts with <?php and ends with ?>. So, within this all the things are the part of php code block.

Output text with PHP:

There are two basic statements to output text with PHP. They are:

  • echo
  • print

Here, echo is used. It prints "Hello World!!".

Statements of PHP code:

All the statements of PHP code block must be ended with a semicolon ( ; ).

This is all about the basic of php programming. This page is just give you the idea related to PHP and the basic PHP programming tags. I will try to introduce more on PHP programming in future. I write this page as a resource and important note for the basic introduction of PHP.

© Written by rancidTaste

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