PHP was created in 1994 for producing dynamic web pages through server-side scripting. Initially it was a very modest project for personal use by its author, but soon became a popular web development tool. The name PHP, originally an abbreviation for Personal Home Page tool, now is known to be a ‘recursive initialism’ for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

Noticeable influences to PHP were the C and Perl languages. The syntax of PHP is mostly that of C, but the names of the variables are, as in Perl, preceded by a $ sign. (Unlike Perl, however, there is no distinction for the names of arrays, hashes, and subroutines by prefixing them with @, %, and &. Neither there are Perl's special variables $_ etc. and the peculiar no-name denotation for procedure parameters.)

Links of Relevance

The home page for PHP

PEAR: a PHP Extension and Application Repository

The home page of ZF