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Happy Birthday PHP!

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From the 'was it really that long ago?' files:

On June 8, 1995, Rasmus Lerdorf issued the first public release of PHP. It's a language that became the key development language of the Web 1.0 world powering millions of sites (including InternetNews.com).

Sure you can argue that PHP didn't 'really' take off until PHP 3 or 4, but it's important to note the birthday of the first PHP public release. It's a dynamic language that quite literally helped to power the Internet revolution.  PHP is the 'P' in the LAMP stack (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP).

For me, PHP 3 and moreso 4 is where I spent the bulk of my development time in the early days. Remember there was no Ruby on Rails, no .NET and JavaScript was for eye candy mostly and not dynamic website generation.

Now in 2009, PHP has its fair share of competitors but it still soldiers on.   PHP 4, is now at its end of life and PHP 5 (first released in 2005) is the way forward for PHP developers. PHP 5.3 is nearing completion adding elements that originally were destined for PHP 6.

Zend, the company founded by Andi Gutmans Zeev Suraski (the two guys that drove the PHP 3 release) put out a Zend Server release this year - marking in my view - the debut of an easy to setup/manage PHP middleware distribution.

What's amazing to remember in the story of PHP is that this is a language that has grown and prospered as an open source project. Sure Zend is a commercial backer, but they're not the only ones driving it. The community has provided key direction and continues to help push it forward.

So Happy Birthday PHP and thanks for all the code.

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