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<div class="thumbinner" style="width:182px;"><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Lerdorf.jpg" class="image" title="Rasmus Lerdorf, who wrote the original Common Gateway Interface binaries"><img alt="Rasmus Lerdorf, who wrote the original Common Gateway Interface binaries" src="path:180px-Lerdorf.jpg" width="180" height="270" border="0" class="thumbimage" /></a>
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<a href="/wiki/Rasmus_Lerdorf" title="Rasmus Lerdorf">Rasmus Lerdorf</a>, who wrote the original <a href="/wiki/Common_Gateway_Interface" title="Common Gateway Interface">Common Gateway Interface</a> binaries</div>

<p>PHP, standing for Personal Home Page, began as a set of <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Gateway_Interface" title="Common Gateway Interface">Common Gateway Interface</a> <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_file" title="Binary file">binaries</a> written in the <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_programming_language" class="mw-redirect" title="C programming language">C programming language</a> in 1994 by the <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danish_people" title="Danish people">Danish</a>/<a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland" title="Greenland">Greenlandic</a> programmer <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasmus_Lerdorf" title="Rasmus Lerdorf">Rasmus Lerdorf</a>. Lerdorf initially created these Personal Home Page Tools to replace a small set of <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perl" title="Perl">Perl</a> scripts he had been using to maintain his <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_homepage" class="mw-redirect" title="Personal homepage">personal homepage</a>. The tools were originally created to perform tasks such as displaying his <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9sum%C3%A9" title="Résumé">résumé</a> and recording how much <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_traffic" title="Web traffic">traffic</a> his page was receiving. He combined these binaries with his Form Interpreter to create PHP/FI, which had more functionality. It included a larger <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C_%28programming_language%29" title="C (programming language)">C implementation</a> which could communicate with <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database" title="Database">databases</a> and helped build simple, dynamic <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_application" title="Web application">web applications</a>. He released PHP publicly on <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_8" title="June 8">June 8</a>, <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995" title="1995">1995</a> to speed up the finding of <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_bug" title="Software bug">bugs</a> and improving the code. This release was named PHP version 2, and already had basic functionality that PHP has today. This includes Perl-like variables, form handling, and the ability to embed HTML. The syntax was similar to Perl but was more limited, simpler, and less consistent.</p>

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<div class="thumbinner" style="width:182px;"><a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Andi_Gutmans_1.jpg" class="image" title="Andi Gutmans, who, along with Zeev Suraski, rewrote the parser that formed PHP 3"><img alt="Andi Gutmans, who, along with Zeev Suraski, rewrote the parser that formed PHP 3" src="path:180px-Andi_Gutmans_1.jpg" width="180" height="244" border="0" class="thumbimage" /></a>
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<a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andi_Gutmans" title="Andi Gutmans">Andi Gutmans</a>, who, along with <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeev_Suraski" title="Zeev Suraski">Zeev Suraski</a>, rewrote the <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parser" class="mw-redirect" title="Parser">parser</a> that formed PHP 3</div>
<p><a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeev_Suraski" title="Zeev Suraski">Zeev Suraski</a> and <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andi_Gutmans" title="Andi Gutmans">Andi Gutmans</a>, two <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israelis" title="Israelis">Israeli</a> developers at the <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technion_IIT" class="mw-redirect" title="Technion IIT">Technion IIT</a>, rewrote the <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parser" class="mw-redirect" title="Parser">parser</a> in 1997 and formed the base of PHP 3, changing the language's name to the <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recursive_initialism" class="mw-redirect" title="Recursive initialism">recursive initialism</a> <i>PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor</i>. The development team officially released PHP/FI 2 in November 1997 after months of <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_stage#beta" class="mw-redirect" title="Development stage">beta</a> testing. Afterwards, public testing of PHP 3 began, and the official launch came in June 1998. Suraski and Gutmans then started a new <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewrite_%28programming%29" title="Rewrite (programming)">rewrite</a> of PHP's core, producing the <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zend_Engine" title="Zend Engine">Zend Engine</a> in 1999. They also founded <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zend_Technologies" title="Zend Technologies">Zend Technologies</a> in <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramat_Gan" title="Ramat Gan">Ramat Gan</a>, Israel, which manages the development of PHP.</p>

<p>On <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_22" title="May 22">May 22</a>, <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000" title="2000">2000</a>, PHP 4, powered by the Zend Engine 1.0, was released. On <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_13" title="July 13">July 13</a>, <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004" title="2004">2004</a>, PHP 5 was released and is powered by the new Zend Engine II. PHP 5 included new features such as improved support for <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object-oriented_programming" title="Object-oriented programming">object-oriented programming</a>, the PHP Data Objects extension (which defines a lightweight and consistent interface for accessing databases), and numerous performance enhancements. The most recent update released by The PHP Group is for the older PHP version 4 code branch. As of January 2008, this branch is up to version 4.4.8. PHP 4 will be supported by security updates until <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_8" title="August 8">August 8</a>, <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008" title="2008">2008</a>.</p>

<p>PHP 5 is the only stable version still being developed. <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_static_binding" class="mw-redirect" title="Late static binding">Late static binding</a> has been missing from PHP and will be added in version 5.3.  Development on PHP 4 ceased at the end of 2007, except for the critical security updates for PHP 4 already mentioned. PHP 6 is now under development and major changes include the removal of <code>register_globals</code>, <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_quotes" title="Magic quotes">magic quotes</a>, and <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_mode#Application_software_safe_mode" title="Safe mode">safe mode</a>. PHP does not have complete native support for <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/Unicode" title="Unicode">Unicode</a> or multibyte strings; unicode support will be added in PHP 6. Many high profile open source projects ceased to support PHP 4 in new code as of <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_5" title="February 5">February 5</a>, <a  href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008" title="2008">2008</a>, due to the GoPHP5 initiative, provided by a consortium of PHP developers promoting the transition from PHP 4 to PHP 5.</p>

<p class="attribution">This excerpt is adapted from <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PHP#History">Wikipedia: PHP - history</a>.  It is used here under a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Text_of_Creative_Commons_Attribution-ShareAlike_3.0_Unported_License">Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0</a> license.</p>