Monday, March 01, 2010

Linux LAMP raising jinn and exorcising demons

In the early nineties Linux was a hobby, which in the words of Linus Torvalds might never be professional like GNU. It took off and shook the foundations of empires aspiring to bleed every penny by selling server operating system. The contributions of open source community have caused severe headache for software companies. Apache Foundation is one such name. How much does it cost to setup a web server? Around the cost of a LAMP, compare this with the cost of aptly named vamp or is it WAMP?  What jinn did the lamp raise? What changes did it trigger? A very simple question is how come Ethernet and Networks were around in the seventies but it took just a couple of years after Linux for Internet to raise it head? The answers to all these questions is there was no LAMP earlier.

LAMP stands for Linux Apache MySQL PHP (Python / Perl).  This is open source combination which gives a head start to web development environment. LAMPs have been around for not very long but the LAMP was developed gradually. First came Linux and then after couple of years it was Apache, followed by MySQL and PHP. Apache web server became the default choice because number one it was open source (and free) and secondly it integrated pretty well with Linux. Just imagine telling a windows user that the configurations of Apache can be done via httpd.conf file. Now first question asked by the window's user is ok http is understandable but what is the “d” and secondly what is .conf extension? So the integration of Apache into windows as a service is pretty much artificial and although it works ok but Linux & Apache go together.

Next comes MySQL. MySQLis open source (and free). So that makes it the choice for database and its whole organization and architecture seamlessly fits into the Linux frame of mind. Just imagine having web interface for database management and then using ports to access databases. Windows does not deal in ports (until very late).

Now PHP is a completely scripting language which looks somewhat like C. Again C and scripts rings  Linux/Unix bells. PHP created circa 1995 so were Apache and MySQL. Internet boomed and growth quadrupled ever since.

This article  also deals with similar subject and associated history.

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