In HP at 20: From pet project to powerhouse Ben Ramsey provides a look at the rise of PHP, the one-time ‘silly little project’ that has transformed into a Web powerhouse. When Rasmus Lerdorf released “a set of small tight CGI binaries written in C,” he had no idea how much his creation would impact Web development.
PHP stepped in to fill our need for a tool that would enable us to do dynamic things on the and has since grown up with the Web. The first version was a small CGI binary that provided form-processing functionality with access to request parameters and the mSQL database. PHP is now powering more than 80 percent of the Web, PHP has matured into a scripting language that is especially suited to solve the Web problem. The history of PHP is a story of pragmatism over theory and problem solving over purity.
With the first PHP 7 alpha release due out today and benchmarks showing performance as good as or better than that of HHVM in many cases, PHP is keeping up with the pace of modern Web development needs.