This is Part 1 of a series of three articles. In this article, we'll look at the basics of building a dynamic web page using PHP, including the basic structure, variables, looping, conditional statements, and form values in the building of a simple calendar. Part 2 shows how to read and edit data in a database, and Part 3 discusses user-defined functions and the creation and use of objects in PHP.
PHP is an open-source scripting language that enables you to build pages that access form values, extract information from databases, and basically do all the things you could do with Java servlets or JSPs, Active Server Pages, Cold Fusion, or similar platforms. It's growing in popularity among web hosting companies, so you're bound to run into it sooner or later, and when you do, programmer or non-programmer, you'll likely be struck by the simplicity that belies its power.