A bit later, in 1998, a cousin brought a magazine about writing Perl CGI applications which caught my attention so I started learning about CGI and Perl and all the related stuff. Back then I always used my own,custom data formats for storing data. But my brother had mercy and introduced me to MySQL. I knew Paradox (and BerkeleyDB) from my Delphi programming but the powers of SQL were amazing. So I was happily building my stuff Perl+MySQL till ... yeah till the server broke down. CGI didn't work anymore for some reason.
My brother, who setup our Linux box at home but didn't know much about Apache, had the pragmatic solution: PHP worked. So what did I do? - Learn PHP. And I loved it. That was in 1999. After that many tings happened. PHP evolved and became a strong player in the web market. I worked for companies like Mayflower, MySQL, Sun Microsystems and, most likely, soon Oracle. And even though I'm using way more C and C++ these days most of it is still directly related to PHP and this all due to some Greenlandic guy who published hist Personal Home Page Tools and my brother who couldn't configure CGI.
Due to a recent discussion on IRC I just found out that it's now exactly three years since I first wrote a mail, including a patch, to the PHP internals list. The patch tried to use STDERR instead of STDOUT for error messages with PHP CLI. As you can see in that thread the patch was way from being perfect and wasn't accepted and somehow I didn't improve it - even so I got a few good hints... Instead of such a, possibly, useful feature the next thing I did was implementing things nobody really needs in PHP: Operator overloading. The main idea behind that was to learn about PHP internals. That patch got some attention from Marcus who later on helped me by answering my stupid questions about PHP internals and meanwhile became a good friend of mine. Since then I created, with Marcus help, the -a-readline-mode, improved the reflection API and did some other tiny things. My newest toy project, related to PHP internals, is a lua extension - more information will follow when the first release is being published.