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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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.
<?php

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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(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$P)
"The true power of PHP lies in integration with Perl and C, not in competition"
by Sgt.Bitterpants November 17, 2003
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PHP is a server-side scripting language similar to Microsoft's Active Server Pages technology. It is easy to use, but exceptionally powerful and perhaps most importantly it was developed for the web. It outclasses older technology such as perl simply through it's ease of use and effectiveness.
<?php
if($php > $perl) {
echo "php is the greatest, obviously ;)\n";
} else {
echo "php... is *still* the greatest!\n";
}
?>
by Mordan DS September 25, 2003
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A server-side scripting language that kicks the living shit out of PERL and A$P.
<?php
$arr = array(
"1" => "PERL sucks",
"2" => "ASP sucks"
);

print_r($arr);
?>
by Jim November 12, 2003
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Web programming language to make websites dynamic.
<?php // Begins php
print "string"; // Displays string
echo "sring"; // Displays string
$a="Left"; Defines variable a
if ($a==="Left") print "A equals Left"; /* If variable a equals Left then display A equals Left */
?>
by John Doe March 28, 2004
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