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We Now Can Jump

Let’s look at a different kind of language – not Indo-European or of lesser diffusion, but the one without which this blog would be dead as a doornail. You guessed it: PHP – Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP is a general-purpose scripting language for dynamic web pages and, according to Wikipedia, installed on more than 20 million websites and 1 million web servers.

The pages of this blog do not exist on the server the way you see them in your browser. Instead, they consist of a bunch of PHP scripts that are activated by the page request of the browser. The scripts, working server-side, combine content from other files or databases with HTML and CSS information and output a web page that is displayed in your browser window.

For example, the code to insert the body copy of this post looks like this:

<?php if ( is_home() ){ ?>
<?php the_content(__('more...','avenue')); ?>
<?php
} ?>

Scripting languages are tightly regulated by rules that govern operators, variables, syntax, and much more. In addition, they have to be logical. Steps that break logic can lead to loops that never resolve. With version 5.3, PHP seems to be changing course and is introducing a GOTO operator, which we all know so well from procedural languages.

GOTO in object-oriented PHP 5? What could go wrong?


Click image to embiggen. [From xkcd.com/292/]
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