JavaServer Pages (JSP) is a technology that helps software developers create dynamically generated web pages based on HTML, XML, or other document types. Released in 1999 by Sun Microsystems. JSP is similar to PHP, but it uses the Java programming language.

To deploy and run JavaServer Pages, a compatible web server with a servlet container, such as Apache Tomcat or Jetty, is required. Architecturally, JSP may be viewed as a high-level abstraction of Java servlets. JSPs are translated into servlets at runtime; each JSP’s servlet is cached and re-used until the original JSP is modified. JSP can be used independently or as the view component of a server-side model–view–controller design, normally with JavaBeans as the model and Java servlets (or a framework such as Apache Struts) as the controller.This is a type of Model 2 architecture. JSP allows Java code and certain pre-defined actions to be interleaved with static web markup content, with the resulting page being compiled and executed on the server to deliver a document.

The compiled pages, as well as any dependent Java libraries, use Java bytecode rather than a native software format. Like any other Java program, they must be executed within a Java virtual machine (JVM) that integrates with the server’s host operating system to provide an abstract platform-neutral environment.

JSPs are usually used to deliver HTML and XML documents, but through the use of OutputStream, they can deliver other types of data as well. The Web container creates JSP implicit objects like pageContext, servletContext, session, request & response. Version 2.0 of the JSP specification added support for the Expression Language (EL), used to access data and functions in Java objects. In JSP 2.1, it was folded into the Unified Expression Language, which is also used in JavaServer Faces. JSP pages are similar to PHP pages and ASP.NET Web Forms, in that all three add server-side code to an HTML page. However, all three terms refer to a different component of the system. JSP refers to the JSP pages, which can be used alone, with Java servlets, or with a framework such as Apache Struts. PHP is itself a programming language, designed for dynamic Web pages.

ASP.net is a framework comparable to Struts or JavaServer Faces that uses pages called Web Forms.While JSP pages use the Java language, ASP.NET pages can use any .NET-compatible language, usually C#. ASP.NET is designed for a Microsoft Windows web server, while PHP and Java server technologies (including JSP) are fairly operating system agnostic.

PHP is an open-source server-side scripting language designed for Web development to produce dynamic Web pages. It is one of the first developed server-side scripting languages to be embedded into an HTML source document rather than calling an external file to process data. The code is interpreted by a Web server with a PHP processor module which generates the resulting Web page. It has also evolved to include a command-line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications. PHP can be deployed on most Web servers and also as a standalone shell on almost every operating system and platform, free of charge. PHP was a competitor to Microsoft’s Active Server Pages (ASP) server-side script engine and similar languages, but gradually received better acceptance and is now installed on more than 20 million Web sites and 1 million Web servers. PHP was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995. The main implementation of PHP is now produced by The PHP Group and serves as the formal reference to the PHP language. PHP is free software released under the PHP License, which is incompatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL) due to restrictions on the usage of the term PHP.

While PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, it is now said to stand for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, a recursive acronym. PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to server-side web development where PHP generally runs on a web server. Any PHP code in a requested file is executed by the PHP runtime, usually to create dynamic web page content or dynamic images used on Web sites or elsewhere. It can also be used for command-line scripting and client-side graphical user interface (GUI) applications. PHP can be deployed on most Web servers, many operating systems and platforms, and can be used with many relational database management systems (RDBMS). Most web hosting providers support PHP for use by their clients. It is available free of charge, and the PHP Group provides the complete source code for users to build, customize and extend for their own use. PHP acts primarily as a filter, taking input from a file or stream containing text and/or PHP instructions and outputting another stream of data; most commonly the output will be HTML. Since PHP 4, the PHP parser compiles input to produce bytecode for processing by the Zend Engine, giving improved performance over its interpreter predecessor. Originally designed to create dynamic Web pages, PHP now focuses mainly on server-side scripting, and it is similar to other server-side scripting languages that provide dynamic content from a Web server to a client, such as Microsoft’s ASP.NET, Sun Microsystems’ JavaServer Pages, and mod_perl. PHP has also attracted the development of many frameworks that provide building blocks and a design structure to promote rapid application development (RAD). Some of these include CakePHP, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Yii Framework, and Zend Framework, offering features similar to other web application frameworks.

The LAMP architecture has become popular in the Web industry as a way of deploying Web applications. PHP is commonly used as the P in this bundle alongside Linux, Apache and MySQL, although the P may also refer to Python, Perl, or some mix of the three. Similar packages are also available for Windows and OS X, then called WAMP and MAMP, with the first letter standing for the respective operating system. Although both PHP and Apache are provided as part of the Mac OS X base install, users of these packages seek a simpler installation mechanism that can be more easily kept up to date.

As of April 2007, over 20 million Internet domains had Web services hosted on servers with PHP installed and mod_php was recorded as the most popular Apache HTTP Server module. PHP is used as the server-side programming language on 75% of all Web sites whose server-side programming language is known, and PHP is the most-used open source software within enterprises. Web content management systems written in PHP include MediaWiki, Joomla, eZ Publish, SilverStripe, WordPress, Drupal and Moodle. All Web sites created using these tools are written in PHP, including the user-facing portion of Wikipedia, Facebook, and Digg.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the main markup language for creating web pages and other information that can be displayed in a web browser. HTML is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of tags enclosed in angle brackets (like <html>), within the web page content. HTML tags most commonly come in pairs like <h1> and </h1>, although some tags, known as empty elements, are unpaired, for example <img>. The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag (they are also called opening tags and closing tags). In between these tags web designers can add text, tags, comments and other types of text-based content.

The purpose of a web browser is to read HTML documents and compose them into visible or audible web pages. The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses the tags to interpret the content of the page. HTML elements form the building blocks of all websites. HTML allows images and objects to be embedded and can be used to create interactive forms. It provides a means to create structured documents by denoting structural semantics for text such as headings, paragraphs, lists, links, quotes and other items. It can embed scripts written in languages such as JavaScript  which affect the behavior of HTML web pages.

Web browsers can also refer to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to define the appearance and layout of text and other material. The W3C, maintainer of both the HTML and the CSS standards, encourages the use of CSS over explicit presentational HTML markup. The World Wide Web is composed primarily of HTML documents transmitted from web servers to web browsers using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). However, HTTP is used to serve images, sound, and other content, in addition to HTML. To allow the Web browser to know how to handle each document it receives, other information is transmitted along with the document. This meta data usually includes the MIME type (e.g. text/html or application/xhtml+xml) and the character encoding (see Character encoding in HTML). In modern browsers, the MIME type that is sent with the HTML document may affect how the document is initially interpreted. A document sent with the XHTML MIME type is expected to be well-formed XML; syntax errors may cause the browser to fail to render it. The same document sent with the HTML MIME type might be displayed successfully, since some browsers are more lenient with HTML. The W3C recommendations state that XHTML 1.0 documents that follow guidelines set forth in the recommendation’s Appendix C may be labeled with either MIME Type. XHTML 1.1 also states that XHTML 1.1 documents should be labeled with either MIME type.

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