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PHP is truly the language that will not die. It's ancient and seen as archaic by a lot of modern so-called “developers,” but it's easy to use, and relatively easy to troubleshoot.

I taught myself PHP in the summer of 2005, when I interned at Cummins Engine Company for the summer. I was tasked with figuring out how to consolidate a bunch of department-wide information that was still maintained on paper and as local files belonging to various business admins and managers. I ended up designing a PHP-based CMS for them. It was very rudimentary, and very insecure by modern standards, but it's what they needed, and the department ended up using my site for years after I left, right up until they were forced by corporate IT to shut down all their own stuff.

Dokuwiki is written in PHP, and I still find myself hacking at PHP stuff to this day, usually to make a Dokuwiki plugin do what I want it to do.

Articles in this section

  • PHP: Browser identificationplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigPHP: Browser identification

    Not too long ago, I wrote a short tutorial on using ColdFusion to identify the user’s browser and add extra browser-specific CSS files. Today, I found myself in need of similar functionality for PHP. The code isn’t quite the same – PHP doesn’t have a direct clone of CF’s contains decision operator; you have to use the
  • PHP: Dynamically generating images from textplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigPHP: Dynamically generating images from text

    If you’ve visited my site more than once, you might start to notice that the silly little tagline next to the logo in my header changes, in both content and appearance.

    This is accomplished by way of a fancy little bit of PHP. The image generation uses the GD library (with FreeType support), and the fonts are all TrueType.