CHAPTER 1

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What Is PHP—And Why Should I Care?

Officially, PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It’s an ugly name that gives the impression that it’s strictly for nerds or propellerheads. Nothing could be further from the truth. A lighthearted debate on the PHP general mailing list (http://news.php.net/php.general) several years ago suggested changing what PHP stands for to Positively Happy People or Pretty Happy Programmers. This book aims to help you put PHP to practical use—and in the process help you understand what makes PHP programmers so happy.

PHP is a scripting language that brings websites to life in the following ways:

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