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What is the difference between PHP modules and extensions?

In the context of PHP, the terms “modules” and “extensions” are often used interchangeably, but they can refer to slightly different concepts depending on the context. Generally, they both refer to pieces of code that add functionality to the PHP language, but their usage can vary based on the PHP version and the specific situation.

Extensions: In the broader sense, an extension is a compiled piece of code that adds functionality to PHP. Extensions are written in C and can provide access to system libraries, databases, networking protocols, and other low-level functionalities that might not be available through standard PHP functions. Extensions are loaded dynamically by PHP when needed and can be thought of as plugins that enhance PHP’s capabilities. Common extensions include “mysqli” for MySQL database connectivity and “gd” for image manipulation.

Modules: In earlier versions of PHP (prior to PHP 5.3), the term “module” was more commonly used to refer to what are now known as extensions. These are compiled pieces of code that extend PHP’s functionality. However, as PHP evolved, the term “extension” gained more popularity because it better described the concept of adding capabilities through external code.

In modern PHP documentation and discussions, the term “extension” is generally preferred over “module.” Extensions are typically installed using the php.ini configuration file by enabling or disabling them with directives like extension=example.so. These directives load the compiled extensions dynamically into PHP when it starts. In summary, while the terms “module” and “extension” can sometimes be used interchangeably, it’s more accurate to refer to these compiled pieces of code that add functionality to PHP as “extensions.” They enhance the capabilities of the PHP Assignment Help by providing access to lower-level functionalities that may not be available through standard PHP functions.

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