Manual/en/funcref php >function reference

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PHP, which stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor" is a widely-used Open Source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. Its syntax draws upon C, Java, and Perl, and is easy to learn. The main goal of the language is to allow web developers to write dynamically generated web pages quickly, but you can do much more with PHP.

This manual consists primarily of a function reference, but also contains a language reference, explanations of some of PHP's major features, and other supplemental information.

You can download this manual in several formats at » More information about how this manual is developed can be found in the 'About the manual' appendix. If you are interested in the history of PHP, visit the relevant appendix.


PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. It was initially developed for HTTP usage logging and server-side form generation in Unix.

PHP 2 (1995) transformed the language into a Server-side embedded scripting language. Added database support, file uploads, variables, arrays, recursive functions, conditionals, iteration, regular expressions, etc.

PHP 3 (1998) added support for ODBC data sources, multiple platform support, email protocols (SNMP,IMAP), and new parser written by Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans .

PHP 4 (2000) became an independent component of the web server for added efficiency. The parser was renamed the Zend Engine. Many security features were added.

PHP 5 (2004) adds Zend Engine II with object oriented programming, robust XML support using the libxml2 library, SOAP extension for interoperability with Web Services, SQLite has been bundled with PHP

Getting Started

  1. Introduction

  1. What is PHP ?

PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

Nice, but what does that mean? An example :


                    echo "Hi, I'm a PHP script!";


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