September 9, 2002

Web Scripting language PHP takes center stage

Linux Magazine and PHP Journal announce the emergence of PHPCon 2002,
the first US based technical conference to focus on this popular, open
source scripting language for the web. PHPCon 2002 will be held at The
Clarion Hotel SFO in Millbrae, California on October 24 and 25, 2002.
PHP, a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, is a freely
downloadable, server-side scripting language that creates dynamic web
pages and is particularly applicable for e-commerce. Its friendly
interface with nearly all the major platforms in use today has made it
one of the fastest growing web technologies, in use by nearly nine
million domains and over one million IP servers in the world.

"PHP was designed for web development and it does the job exceptionally
well," said Jeremy Zawodny, Engineer at Yahoo! Finance and a speaker at
PHPCon. "There are tens of thousands of PHP users today and there's
little sign of a slow-down in growth for PHP. A conference like this is
overdue."

Although it has been in use for nearly a decade, PHP has never before
enjoyed the spotlight at a technical conference in the United States.
PHPCon 2002 seeks to change that through a robust three track technical
conference: Enterprise PHP, Applications Development, and XML/CMS. The
program has also attracted some of PHP's heavyweights such as PHP
Inventor Rasmus Lerdorf as keynote speaker, authors John Coggeshall and
Christian Wenz, MySQL Community Advocate Zak Greant, Rackspace's Dirk
Elemendorf, and ActiveState's Shane Caraveo.

PHP's popularity stems from its application to a variety of platforms,
its flexibility, and ease in which it can be learned. Its syntax is
similar to C and Perl and its platform neutrality makes it possible for
dynamic web pages to draw tailored customer information directly from
databases or other internal sources, making it particularly suited
toward e-commerce. PHP is widely used in conjunction with Apache,
Microsoft's SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Informix, Sybase, and ODBC.

"PHP simplified the web problem to the point that the people with the
actual problem have a shot at solving it themselves as opposed to
hiring
professional programmers to do it for them," said Rasmus Lerdorf, PHP
Inventor and PHPCon 2002's Keynote Speaker. "PHP does not hide the
intricacies of either the problem or the solution, allowing people to
learn to program along the way. Other web development tools solve only
a
subset of problems you might encounter on the web. Once you hit the
boundaries of that subset, you are stranded and have no idea how to go
beyond that point. With PHP, the learning curve is fairly shallow and
there is no upper boundary on how complex a system you can develop
using
it."

Like Linux and GNU, PHP is the progeny of the vigorous open source
community and enjoys extensive development and technical support. Bugs
are found and repaired quickly and the code is continuously updated
with
improvements and language extensions that expand PHP's capabilities.
Like the community it represents, PHPCon 2002 focuses on the prevalent
technology and topics, offering attendees tips and tricks from the
experts as well as practical, timely discussions on MySQL, SOAP, PEAR,
Rapid Applications Development with Dreamweaver, Benchmarking
Techniques, and PostNuke. Attendees will also appreciate the informal
atmosphere of the conference and the opportunity to meet and mingle
with
web development veterans.

"People who like to learn directly from the people creating the
technology should enjoy the highly technical talks at this conference,"
said Lerdorf. "They will pick up more tools and different approaches to
solving the web problem. A lot of speakers and attendees, like myself,
have been doing this for about 10 years now, which translates into a
lot
of little tricks of the trade that don't show up in books or magazine
articles."

PHPCon 2002's technical program and registration information is
available on the web at http://www.php-con.com. Members of the press
are
entitled to complementary access to all technical sessions and attendee
events. To register for a press badge, log on to
www.php-con.com/2002/press.php or email Monica Ortiz at
monica@mktgevents.com.

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