Zend.gifMarc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape, has joined the board of Cupertino’s Zend, a company that provides software support for the open-source PHP Web language, which is one of the more popular programming languages being used today for building Web applications.

Andreessen and other developers say PHP is simpler and faster than Java, and so is replacing it. “When it comes to the Web and Web applications, Java is not the right language,” Andreessen tells the WSJ (sub required).

(No mention in the story of Ruby on Rails, the young programming language framework that is gaining steam in some quarters as a replacement for PHP.)

Here is the International PHP Magazine (we draw your attention to the name of this magazine, in case you’re wondering why the language is so, well, enthusiastic):

Web pioneer Marc Andreessen has joined the board of directors of Zend Technologies Inc., the Israeli-American company behind the PHP programming craze that has become one of the most popular tool for Web site development and is now making in-roads in big businesses. Zend said on Thursday that Andreessen, a co-founder of Netscape Communications Corp., the Web browser, and Gaurav Dhillon, former CEO of business software maker Informatica Corp. have joined Zend’s board. “Marc understands the Internet ecosystem better than anyone I know,” said Index Ventures’ Danny Rimer, a London-based investor in Zend and a Wall Street Internet analyst in the dot-com era. Andreessen is currently chairman and co-founder of Opsware Inc., a top supplier of datacenter automation software.

VentureWire also writes it up, here.

In extended entry are two more definitions of PHP, from Google, for you:

PHP is a server-side, cross-platform, HTML embedded scripting language that lets you create dynamic web pages. PHP-enabled web pages are treated just like regular HTML pages and you can create and edit them the same way you normally create regular HTML pages.

Self-referentially short for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, an open source, server-side, HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. In an HTML document, PHP script (similar syntax to that of Perl or C ) is enclosed within special PHP tags. Because PHP is embedded within tags, the author can jump between HTML and PHP (similar to ASP and Cold Fusion) instead of having to rely on heavy amounts of code to output HTML. And, because PHP is executed on the server, the client cannot view the PHP code. PHP can perform any task that any CGI program can

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