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PHP 5 Power Programming by Derick Rethans, Stig Sæther Bakken, Andi Gutmans

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15.1. Introduction

One of the main reasons for PHP's success is the large amount of available extensions. No matter what a web developer might need, he'll most probably find it in the PHP distribution, including extensions that support various databases, graphic file formats, compression, XML technologies, and lots more.

The big breakthrough for PHP happened in PHP 3 with the introduction of the extension API, which allowed the PHP development community to easily extend PHP with dozens of extensions. Today, two versions later, the API still very strongly resembles what existed in PHP 3. The idea was to hide the internals of PHP and the scripting engine itself as much as possible from the extension writer, and only require him to be proficient ...

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