Why has PHP become so popular ?
This is nothing short of astounding. In the middle of the dot.com bust when many very good technologies are going under or merging away, PHP has been growing at 230% annual rate for the past 4 years. I know a lot of software vendors that would take 1/10th that rate and be very happy indeed. Now in the midst of Web 2, PHP continues to maintain its popularity. So lets look at a quick list of factors that might explain this phenomenal growth:
1)PHP is a server-side interpreter which is Open Source and free;
So without even trying we came up with a Dave Letterman Top Ten reasons for at least considering trying PHP. And downloading the PHP code results in another surprise - the system is a 5MB zip (or tar.gz) file. Compare this with Java's 18MB and .NET Framework's 1GB. Admittedly there is no IDE for PHP; but neither is there one for the Java SDK nor for the .NET Framework. All use Visual Notepad (or your favorite text editor) as the initial point of development. IDEs-Interactive Development Environs are arising all over the place: Nusphere, ActiveState, and Macromedia have some diverse offerings.But users will not have the huge learning curves associated with Java (J2SE, J2ME, J2EE) and .NET (the Framework, ADO.NET, ASP.NET, etc). The bottom line is that PHP is to Web Development what Visual Basic was to Windows -easy to use, very familiar and approachable, and at the time - cheap.
So the following PHP tutorials will try to place PHP in context with the many other web development tools and choices users have to make. But one can confidently say that PHP is Pareto optimal - that's the economist's way of saying well worth the look because the potential utility easily exceeds the costs/efforts to try it out - and of course that has been a key to PHP's success.
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