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PHP (now a recursive acronym for "PHP Hypertext Preprocessor", but originally "Personal Home Page Tools"; also often referred to as "Professional Homepages") is a widely used open-source programming language used primarily for server-side applications. It can be seen as an alternative to Microsoft's ASP/VBScript/JScript system and to the CGI/Perl system.
Its ease of use and similarity with the most common structured programming languages, most notably C and Perl, allows most experienced programmers to start developing complex applications with a minimal learning curve. It also enables experienced developers to get involved with dynamic web content applications without having to learn a whole new set of functions and practices.
PHP allows, among other things, easy interaction with a large number of relational database systems (Oracle, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.), while maintaining a simple and straightforward syntax. PHP runs on every major operating systems, including Unix, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.