PHP is a computer language used to write server scripts for the web. The scripts are normally kept in the computer host that has the web server. A script is a short program. A web server is software that receives the URL request from clients and delivers the web pages. The learning of anything begins from the basics. In this article, I introduce you to a tutorial series that will teach you the basics of PHP.
PHP was invented (developed) to be used in the web. It is a relatively new language. It is available free and it is developed by volunteers. You can download it free from the Internet and install it into your computer. PHP is easier to learn than some of the other languages out there.
Client Script and Server Script
An example of a client script is the ECMAScript. A client script makes the web page in a browser at the client computer, interactive. At the other end, a server script makes the web server in an Internet host computer server, interactive. Analysis at the server is normally done by a server script.
When you send a command to PHP, it interprets it and then sends back the result. What you download to install into your computer is a package (software), but the main thing that does the work is called, the interpreter.
PHP exists in many versions and for different operating system versions. If you have the Windows XP SP2 operating system, then the PHP version to download that will work with your operating system is, php-5.2.8 . The package to download for Windows XP SP2 is called, a PHP installer. It is a file and its name is, php-5.2.8-win32-installer.msi .
Localhost Web Server
You can have a web server installed in your personal computer at home. Such an installed web server, typically has the domain name, localhost. Such a server has only one site. With such a server, to access the home (index) page, you would type, http://localhost, at the address bar of a browser in the computer that has the web server. The tutorial series expects you to install such a web server in your personal computer and use it to learn the basics of PHP.
If you have Windows XP SP2, then a good web server to install in your computer is called, Apache HTTP Server 2.2.10 . You can download it free from the Internet. Maybe there are newer versions of the server that will work with the operating system; for that, I cannot tell, because I have not had the time to check.
If you have a different operating system, then you will have to look for a web server that will work with your operating system. Some servers are free; others are not.
Outcome of Learning the Basics of PHP
When you complete the tutorial series, you will be able to write server scripts in PHP that will be able to do basic server analysis. You will also be able to write simple PHP scripts that can send as emails, HTML Form data received, to email servers. The tutorial series is free and well written. Click the following link and start the series: