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PHP is an open sourced scripting language that runs on your server. Its very useful for giving your web pages intelligence. Scripts that you write are stored on the server. When your web page calls for a script, the script is executed by the server and the results sent back to your browser. This is called server side scripting. The advantages over Javascript are that you only need to make the script work for one platform.. your server. Javascript has to work on everybody's browser because it is host side scripting. PHP is easier to learn than Perl, though arguably less powerful. If you are intending to have some clever tweeks to your pages and most definitely if you want database connectivity, I recommend you install PHP on your local machine and get it running with Apache. This should not be too tricky.

Installing PHP

1. Download the latest PHP from www.php.net and install it as per the instructions to c:/php.

2. Check that .php is associated with the PHP program: Copy the phpinfo.php code below and save it as a file called phpinfo.php (paste the lines into a text editor then save as phpinfo.php in the root of your web pages). In Windows Explorer find the phpinfo.php file and double click on it. If Windows asks which program to run this application with choose PHP and always to associate this program.

3. Double clicking on phpinfo.php should open a dos command window and produce a scree of information, then close the box. In this case its working.

4. Now with the server running and assuming that the phpinfo.php file is in your root directory click on hppinfo.php and a large amount of blue information should appear. You may need to re-start the server or the computer for things to work. If they don't, then read the documentation. One good line to look for in the apache conf file is this one... make sure its not commented out:

ScriptInterpreterSource registry



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Last modified: August 14, 2006