CG’s CodeMash Countdown: PHP

I am starting my CodeMash Countdown by featuring a language that I’ve worked with in the past and that I’ve helped others learn. Introducing one of my favorite web development languages…

Language: PHP


A Little About PHP

PHP, as close to what we know it as today, first appeared in 1997, as PHP 3. What originally started with a guy named a bunch of Perl scripts his “Personal Home Page Tools” eventually evolved into a C implementation language called PHP/FI (“Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter”). However, a couple guys found PHP/FI underpowered, and they beefed it up into what came out as PHP 3.

PHP 3 brought on a new abbreviation – PHP now is a recursive abbreviation, standing for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It also brought a lot of extensibility – talking to more databases, over more protocols, with more APIs.

For a complete history, check out the history of PHP on the official PHP site.

Where can this be seen in the wild?

PHP has been used in an assortment of applications, including content management systems – such as Joomla, PHP-Nuke, and Mambo. Other popular PHP packages include MediaWiki (Wiki software), WordPress (blogging software), Gallery (photo gallery software), phpBB (bulletin board system), and Zen Cart (shopping software).

Some sites that use PHP include:

Where will this be seen at CodeMash?

Although there are no sessions featuring the language, it is used at the Code Jam on Day 0. This is my language focus, as I had worked with it extensively in the past, co-writing an inventory system in PHP.

If you want a preview of what kind of fun lies ahead at the CodeJam, you can see some of my JSON at my CodeMash PHP test bed on Cleveland Tech Events.

Where can I learn more about PHP?

The language FAQ is definitely a great place to start to learn about the language itself.

If you want to look at the various PHP frameworks available, check out this article that compares the PHP frameworks available.

You can also find links to articles and tutorials on PHP at

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