Many of us (myself included) often times take for granted that the technology that allows us to seamlessly access the Internet, stream music, email our colleagues, make new friends on social networks, and purchase items over the Internet is actually powered by complex backend code. While it’s not a hard and fast rule, often times the easier the technology is to use, the more complex the code powering the application is.
So what is this code everyone always refers to? Its technical name is source code, and it refers to the textual representation of the format and syntax of a programming or computer language. The essential function of a programming language is to communicate instructions to a computer, ultimately dictating and controlling the overall behavior of the machine.
There are typically two components of a programming language, the syntax which refers to the form in which the language is presented (including words, numbers, and punctuation in sequence) and the semantics which refers to the meaning (focuses on how words, signs and symbols relate to each other and what they stand for).
There are hundreds of different programming languages that web developers and computer scientists use in a variety of ways. For our purposes here at Plum, our software developers and engineers have rich backgrounds authoring all types of code. Two programming languages in particular stand out from all those used by Plum in developing our IVR systems, software, and website functionality: PHP and Java.
PHP is server-side language that is primarily used for web development and producing dynamic web pages. It interfaces with HTML and can be embedded into source documents. PHP is interpreted by a web server and produces the resulting web page from there.
Supported PHP versions currently include nine iterations of 5.3 and one newly released iteration of 5.4.0. One of the benefits of PHP is the fact that it can be deployed and processed by a myriad of web servers, operating systems, and platforms, making it multi-functional in many respects.
Java is another popular programming language and is unique primarily because it can run on any compatible machine, regardless of the computer architecture that is in place. Java is designed to serve a multitude of functionalities and can be utilized to fulfill many programming purposes. Java was designed with compatibility in mind and, once code is written, it can be deployed on any preferred platform.
Java takes its influence from other languages including C-language. As of 2006, Java is available as both free and open-source software, indicating that the software allows coders to use, copy, change, and even improve the design of the program. Pursuant to this, the source code for free and open source software is publically available.
Stay Tuned for PHP vs. Java…