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Posted On : 14th July, 2016 by ViitorCloud

PHP, which is a server side scripting language today and is used for web development, in the earliest of its days was a term used to refer “Personal Home Page”. Since its introduction in 1995, to its present day avatar, a lot has changed except the fact that it has always been one of the most widely used web development languages across the globe. In the present day, we know PHP as “Hypertext Preprocessor” and a general purpose scripting language which can either be embedded into HTML or can be leveraged for web development.

PHP’s Timeline
Early Years

It was 1994 that Rasmus Lerdorf started working on this language and the first incarnation of PHP was a simple set of CGI binaries written in “C” language. in 1995, PHP was launched officially after the code underwent a makeover.

In 1996, the code got a complete makeover again and the second generation of PHP evolved as PHP/FI. This second generation of PHP, which turned into a programming language from a suite of tools, offered the following features:

  • Inbuilt support for DBM
  • Inbuilt support Postgres95 databases
  • User-defined function support
  • Inbuilt support for mySQL
First version of Modern PHP

In 1998, the first version of modern PHP was launched and was named PHP 3.0. This was the very first version which resembles the PHP being used today. This version became quite successful and got installed on over 70,000 domains worldwide within 10 months of the release.

PHP 4.0

After the work on rewriting the core of PHP started, the next version of PHP that got released was PHP 4.0 in 2000. The PHP 4.0 introduced several new features including:

  • Improved performance of complex applications
  • Improvement in PHP’s code base modularity
  • Support for a large array of web servers
  • Support for output buffering and HTTP sessions
  • Many new language constructs
  • Secure ways for handling user input
  • Introduction of the new engine – Zend
PHP 5.0

After almost four years of introduction of PHP 4.0, the new version of this server side scripting language was introduced. This version gave PHP an unprecedented popularity and acceptance, and PHP made its mark on millions of servers across the globe.

The major features offered by this newer version of PHP included:

  • New Zend Engine 2.0 that was integrated with a new object model
  • XML support with excellent libxml2 library
  • An entirely new built-in SOAP extension facilitating interoperability with Web Services
  • SimpleXML extension that made it easier to access and manipulate XML as PHP objects
  • Support for MySQL’s several new features
  • Enhanced MySQL extension

Eventually, the versions PHP 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 were released in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2103 respectively. Each version introduced many changes focusing on improving overall performance, memory footprint and much more.

PHP 7.0

This is the most current version of PHP which is in use today, and it was introduced in 2014 with colossal performance improvements. This version of PHP was up to twice as fast as its predecessor, PHP 5.6 and introduced many imperative enhancements while deprecating the features from the previous branch.

Some of the top improvements introduced with PHP 7.0 include:

  • Improved exception hierarchy
  • Anonymous classes
  • Reduced memory usage
  • Conversion of many fatal errors to Exceptions
  • Zero cost asserts
  • Scalar and Return type declarations
  • The null coalescing operator (??)
  • Unsupported APIs and extensions removal
  • Secure random number generator
  • Consistent 64-bit support
  • Abstract Syntax tree
Changes in Coding:

When PHP was introduced in the beginning, it offered a significant improvement over traditional ways of web development including entering one letter of code at a time. Slowly and gradually, newer PHP frameworks kept on getting introduced. However, the other programming languages also kept on evolving, and with the development of C++, Javascript and .Net, PHP shifted itself towards the server related coding and emerged as a server side scripting language. More or less, with time PHP became a strong controlling code that was leveraged for dictating instructions to a server.

Extending Library

One vital change that PHP experienced in the years of its evolution as one of the top-notch web development languages is its library. In the early years of PHP, all designers leveraging PHP worked off of the same PHP library. There would be no change in the coding information and all the designers would develop & build off of it. Nevertheless, the things have completely changed today as PHP has evolved, spread and is being used for a variety of server requirements. PHP, being an open source entity now has a big community and the community members of PHP have developed their own libraries. Thus, one library may vary from other drastically.

Overall, PHP has changed significantly, both in terms of development frameworks and coding practices. It has greatly boosted the server control by giving the administrators the capability to view and monitor each altering variable associated with the coding.

VittorCloud is a leading company that offers unmatched PHP Web Development Services with dedicated developers for all the PHP frameworks being used for web development. VittorCloud, with a glorious history of 6+ years has completed several PHP based projects successfully and thus, implements the development best practices to deliver the ideal web solutions matching the custom requirements perfectly.


PHP Evolution in Last Two Decades from ViitorCloud Technologies