(Click here if you have not read part 1)


Server-side programming languages: What are they?

So, we covered Javascript, which executes on your browser upon the website’s loading phase. Contrary to that, Server-side languages are compiled and ran on the server before showing on your browser. Basically, when you visit a website, the server compiles the code, and stores it in cache so it does not have to repeatedly compile the same code everytime someone visits. Once that is done, the server shows you the data.

Server-side programming languages: PHP

PHP stands forĀ PHP: Hypertext Processor. Now, when it comes to ambiguous acronyms, this one takes the cake! PHP is an Open Source, server-side programming language.

Before I go deeper into this language, let’s clarify the meaning of ‘Open Source’. The term means that alot, or most if not all of the source coding for this language’s program is freely available to the public for modifications, as long as it does not lead to those people making profit with the source code’s base.

Now, more about PHP. The language was loosely derived from Javascript, but has changed immensely over the years since it’s version 1.0. At the time of writing, PHP is now on version 5.4, and evolving every day.

Server-side programming languages: ASP, ASP.NET

ASP is one of the oldest server-side programming languages, and yet, still used widely around the world. Developped by Microsoft in 1996 with IIS on Windows NT, Classic ASP is a language based on Microsoft’s very own Windows programming language called Visual Basic which itself is based on DOS’s BASIC language.

ASP.NET is ASP’s successor with many more improvements. Released with Microsoft .NET 1.0, and still maintained today, ASP.NET provides developers with a platform to code rich and diversified applications. The bad side of those two languages are that they only run on Windows webservers.

More exotic programming languages: Perl, Coldfusion

Perl is an old UNIX programming language that has been used for a very long time. After the emergence of the internet at the end of the 90s, the language started being ported to make webpages. Unfortunately, that language is rather complicated to code for, so it never really became mainstream. Yet, many very big websites relay on Perl for their everyday operations.

Coldfusion is a rarely used programming language created by Macromedia (The company who created the Flash animations framework) used as a new and advanced coding engine. While there was originally alot of promise for this language, it never really became important, and especially died out when Macromedia got bought out by Adobe.


(Continued in Part 3: Database engines)