Setting things straight ...

PHP began life as "Personal Home Page" (Tools), and later the "Personal Home Page" (Construction Kit). Later it would be merged with an SQL query tool for webpages and become PHP/FI, or "Personal Home Page / Form Interpreter".

FastForward to the present day and it's no longer a mere tool to handle generation of Personal Home Pages, reuiring a new acronym, some clever chap came up with:

"PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor"

Cunningly (or not), in the same vein as "GNU's not Unix" and "PINE Is Not Elm", PHP became a recursive acronym, whereby the first letter actually stands for the full acronym.

Deep, huh?
<? phpInfo() ?>
by Kureigu-San III February 08, 2004
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Hypertext Preprocessor.
(Earlier Personal Home Page.)

A modern high-level server-side scripting language for the HTTP protocol (CGI.) An alternative to ASP, Perl, Python, TCL, etc.

PHP is claimed to be installed on 20% of the domains on the Internet, including the webserver that hosts The engine that keeps track of all the words and definitions is written in PHP. See for more information.
Hello World in PHP:
<?php echo "Hello World!"; ?>
by zacon November 29, 2003
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PHP is a server side scripting language primarily developed and used by the open source community. It is frequently used in conjunction with Linux, Apache, and MySQL, as part of a LAMP set up.

According to their history, the phrase originally stood for "Personal HomePage", and now stands for "Hypertext Processor".

There is a hidden history, though. The initial uses of the language were for serving porn pages, and later, developing an online booking and tracking system for 'escorts'.

As a result, the initial developers began referring to the language as "Pimps, Hoes and Playaz".
"Ugh, I have to write this stupid blog software for this client who doesn't want to use an existing solution."

"Use PHP."
by scriptkidder February 17, 2010
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PHP is a powerful web scripting language, famous for its ease of use and ability to interact seamlessly with SQL type databases. PHP takes a lot of its syntax from Perl and C++, and it is in this way that programmers familiar with these languages can pick up PHP rather easily.

Advantages: Can be much easier to read than Perl, arguably easier to learn

Disadvantages: Might teach sloppy programming habits (not having to define variables etc) and can be less compact than Perl.

if("PHP" > "Perl") {

//returns true :p


by haze December 30, 2003
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A server side scripting language that is commonly used to render web pages. It sounds like a drug so its cool to say things like "I did some PHP over the weekend" or "I got a good high of my PHP stash."
by w00tw00t April 05, 2003
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A web scripting language that is simply better than you. It can talk to databases, plug and chug math you only wet-dreamed about, and paint on freaking digital images. It's so cash, it's variables have to start with dollar signs. Rasmus Lerdorf (aka the jizz hammer) invented this beast.
<?php print 'I\'m better than ' . print_r( $_GET ); ?>
by TheEqualizer August 03, 2009
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(Personal Home Page) Hypertext Preprocessor. A server-side scripting language easilly competent to ASP or JSP. Avalaible on nearly every platform and server, PHP has been embraced by veteran programmers and (unfortunately) newbies alike as the programming language of choice for ad-hoc web processing.

Draws it's syntax structure mainly from c++ and perl, but has roots in java and sed as well.

Often heralded as "better than perl" by newbie code monkeys who've neither used perl nor have any idea that perl's scope of usability far exceeds that of PHP's, (which is reallistically limited to that of processing HTML and interfacing with databases). Ironically, the legions of newbies who are self-proclaimed "php mastaz" have no idea that PHP is frequently trampled in benchmark tests for Common Gateway Interface (CGI) and Database Interface (DBI) by languages like C, C++, Perl, Sed/Awk, and Python.

However, PHP is still the fastest ad-hoc server processing language out (and of course smashes A$P)
"The true power of PHP lies in integration with Perl and C, not in competition"
by Sgt.Bitterpants November 17, 2003
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