The history of PHP
History of PHP
Early Beginnings (1994-1997)
In 1994, Rasmus Lerdorf created a set of Perl scripts to track visits to his online resume. These scripts eventually evolved into PHP (Personal Home Page Tools), which was released in 1995. The initial goal was to enable the creation of dynamic web pages.
In 1997, PHP was rewritten and named PHP/FI (Forms Interpreter). Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans later joined the development team. Their collaboration led to the creation of the PHP 3 version in 1998, introducing a new parser and support for databases like MySQL.
Birth of Zend Engine (2000)
PHP 4, released in 2000, marked a significant milestone with the introduction of the Zend Engine, a highly optimized execution engine. This improved PHP’s performance and set the stage for its widespread adoption.
PHP 5 and Object-Oriented Programming (2004)
PHP 5, released in 2004, brought substantial changes, including the introduction of object-oriented programming (OOP) features. This release enhanced code organization and reusability, making PHP a more robust language for large-scale applications.
PHP 6 (Unreleased)
PHP 6 was initially planned to include native Unicode support, but the project faced challenges and was eventually abandoned. The features intended for PHP 6 were gradually incorporated into later versions.
PHP 7 and Performance Improvements (2015)
PHP 7, released in 2015, was a game-changer for the language. It featured significant performance improvements, a more consistent and expressive syntax, and the introduction of the null coalescing operator (??) and the spaceship operator (<=>).
PHP 8 and JIT Compilation (2020)
PHP 8, released in 2020, introduced Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation, enhancing performance further. It also added attributes for metadata, union types, named arguments, and improvements to the match expression.
PHP continues to be actively developed. The language remains popular for web development, powering a significant portion of websites and web applications globally.
Please note that developments beyond January 2022 are not covered in this overview. Check the official PHP website for the latest information on PHP’s evolution.