Intro to PHP In The Online Smarty PHP Services we'll introduce you to one of the Internet's hottest and fastest growing server side programming languages, PHP.
What can PHP do? PHP is mainly focused on server-side scripting, so you can do anything any other CGI program can do, such as collect form data, generate dynamic page content, or send and receive cookies.
But PHP can do much more.
There are three main areas where PHP scripts are used.
This is the most traditional and main target field for PHP.
You need three things to make this work.
The PHP parser (CGI or server module), a web server and a web browser.
You need to run the web server, with a connected PHP installation.
You can access the PHP program output with a web browser, viewing the PHP page through the server.
All these can run on your home machine if you are just experimenting with PHP programming oCommand line scripting.
You can make a PHP script to run it without any server or browser.
You only need the PHP parser to use it this way.
This type of usage is ideal for scripts regularly executed using cron (on *nix or Linux) or Task Scheduler (on Windows).
These scripts can also be used for simple text processing tasks.
oWriting desktop applications.
PHP is probably not the very best language to create a desktop application with a graphical user interface, but if you know PHP very well, and would like to use some advanced PHP features in your client-side applications you can also use PHP-GTK to write such programs.
You also have the ability to write cross-platform applications this way.
PHP-GTK is an extension to PHP, not available in the main distribution.
PHP can be used on all major operating systems, including Linux, many Unix variants (including HP-UX, Solaris and OpenBSD), Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, RISC OS, and probably others.
PHP has also support for most of the web servers today.
This includes Apache, Microsoft Internet Information Server, Personal Web Server, Netscape and iPlanet servers, Oreilly Website Pro server, Caudium, Xitami, OmniHTTPd, and many others.
For the majority of the servers PHP has a module, for the others supporting the CGI standard, PHP can work as a CGI processor.