Server-Side

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If CGI scripts were the start of interactive programming on the web, then PHP was the natural next step — at least on the server-side. Just a month after Brendan Eich created the JavaScript scripting language at Netscape, an independent developer from Canada named Rasmus Lerdorf released the first version of a toolset he called Personal Home Page Tools (PHP Tools). At this point, it wasn’t a scripting language (although it would eventually become one). As of June 1995, when Lerdorf announced the project to the comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi mailing list, it was a utility library and templating engine for the Common Gateway Interface (CGI). In modern terms, we can think of it as similar to a JavaScript library like React — although obviously much less complicated, since this was 1995.

Read More 1995: PHP Quietly Launches as a CGI Scripts Toolset

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A couple of years before JavaScript was invented, a specification called the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) enabled an early form of interactivity for web pages. While a CGI script wasn’t a dynamic component in the browser, like JavaScript was, it did allow early web users in 1993 and 1994 to run interactive programs. In many ways then, it was CGI — not JavaScript — that was the start of web applications.

Read More 1993: CGI Scripts and Early Server-Side Web Programming