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PHP for Beginners

PHP for Beginners

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Published by Tanju YILDIZ

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Published by: Tanju YILDIZ on Aug 10, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Introduction to PHP
A PHP file may contain text, HTML tags and scripts. Scripts in a PHP file are executed on the server.
What You Should Already Know
Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:
Some scripting knowledgeIf you want to study these subjects first, find the tutorials on our Home page.
What is PHP?
PHP stands for 
PHP is a server-side scripting language, like ASP
PHP scripts are executed on the server 
PHP supports many databases (MySQL, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, Generic ODBC,etc.)
PHP is an open source software (OSS)
PHP is free to download and use
What is a PHP File?
PHP files may contain text, HTML tags and scripts
PHP files are returned to the browser as plain HTML
PHP files have a file extension of ".php", ".php3", or ".phtml"
What is MySQL?
MySQL is a database server 
MySQL is ideal for both small and large applications
MySQL supports standard SQL
MySQL compiles on a number of platforms
MySQL is free to download and use
PHP combined with MySQL are cross-platform (means that you can develop in Windows and serve on aUnix platform)
Why PHP?
PHP runs on different platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.)
PHP is compatible with almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS, etc.)
PHP is FREE to download from the official PHP resource: www.php.net 
PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side
Where to Start?
Install an Apache server on a Windows or Linux machine
Install PHP on a Windows or Linux machine
Install MySQL on a Windows or Linux machine
PHP Installation
What do You Need?
This tutorial will not explain how to install PHP, MySQL, or Apache Server.If your server supports PHP - you don't need to do anything! You do not need to compile anything or install anyextra tools - just create some .php files in your web directory - and the server will parse them for you. Most webhosts offer PHP support.However, if your server does not support PHP, you must install PHP. Below is a link to a good tutorial from PHP.neton how to install PHP5:http://www.php.net/manual/en/install.php
Download PHP
Download PHP for free here: http://www.php.net/downloads.php
Download MySQL Database
Download MySQL for free here:http://www.mysql.com/downloads/index.html
Download Apache Server
Download Apache for free here: http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi
PHP Syntax
You cannot view the PHP source code by selecting "View source" in the browser - you will only see the output fromthe PHP file, which is plain HTML. This is because the scripts are executed on the server before the result is sent back to the browser.
Basic PHP Syntax
A PHP scripting block always starts with
and ends with
. A PHP scripting block can be placed anywhere inthe document.On servers with shorthand support enabled you can start a scripting block with <? and end with ?>.However, for maximum compatibility, we recommend that you use the standard form (<?php) rather than theshorthand form.
A PHP file normally contains HTML tags, just like an HTML file, and some PHP scripting code.
Below, we have an example of a simple PHP script which sends the text "Hello World" to the browser:
<html><body><?phpecho "Hello World";?></body></html>
Each code line in PHP must end with a semicolon. The semicolon is a separator and is used to distinguish one set of instructions from another.There are two basic statements to output text with PHP:
. In the example above we have used theecho statement to output the text "Hello World".
Comments in PHP
In PHP, we use // to make a single-line comment or /* and */ to make a large comment block.
<html><body><?php//This is a comment/*This isa commentblock*/?></body></html>
PHP Variables
Variables are used for storing values, such as numbers, strings or function results, so that they can be used manytimes in a script.
Variables in PHP
Variables are used for storing a values, like text strings, numbers or arrays.When a variable is set it can be used over and over again in your scriptAll variables in PHP start with a $ sign symbol.The correct way of setting a variable in PHP:
$var_name = value;
 New PHP programmers often forget the $ sign at the beginning of the variable. In that case it will not work.Let's try creating a variable with a string, and a variable with a number:

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