LAMP stack components have furnished the software building blocks for Web applications for almost as long as the Web itself has existed. Originally adopted by developers because they were open, free, easily configurable and robust, these tools evolved quickly as the open source community added features and functionality. Over time, the LAMP stack came to form a de facto platform as tens of thousands of developers polished the integrations and documented best practices. Individually, the core LAMP components are:
Linus Torvald’s 1991 announcement that he was coding a free UNIX-type operating system was a watershed event in the open source movement. Since version 1.0 was released in 1994, Linux has become firmly established as an enterprise-class alternative to proprietary UNIX and Microsoft products, largely through the efforts of commercial software providers like Novell that have extended the free Linux kernel and created the support and services infrastructure essential to enterprise users.
The Apache Web server traces its roots to the public domain HTTP daemon developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 1995, it was adopted and completely rewritten by a group of volunteers that eventually became the Apache Software Foundation. Apache has been the most popular Web server every year since 1996 and has a current market share of just over 68%, according to a February 2006 Netcraft survey.
MySQL is the world’s most popular open source database, with more than 8 million active installations. Many of the world’s largest organizations—including Sabre Holdings, Cox Communications, The Associated Press, NASA and Suzuki—are realizing significant cost savings by using MySQL to power Web sites, business-critical enterprise applications and packaged software.
PHP is a widely used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and that can be embedded in HTML. In recent years, its relatively simple syntax, ease of use and open source licensing have made PHP one of the most popular languages on the Web.