You may have also heard of…
(Can also be WIMP with IIS as the webserver instead of Apache)
|M||Mac||Apple OSX Operating System|
This collection of “stacks” is ubiquitous because so many of the Internet’s websites run on PHP and MySQL. Even before “Web2.0”, a movement which started in the late 90’s / early 2000’s with the advent of freely available MySQL, Apache was the de facto web server standard. Before PHP, there was just HTML. The development of PHP (recursive acronym standing for “PHP Hypertext Preprocessor”) allowed dynamic generation of page content, “templatization” and the development of interactive portals (like forums, content management systems, etc.). Once MySQL hit the scene and PHP was updated to include extension for querying the database, web hosts all over the world began standardizing what we now call the LAMP stack.
This isn’t to say that the technology for dynamically coded front-ends running on database driven back-ends did not exist in other ecosystems. What is key here is the term “Open Source” combined with worldwide ubiquity. This allowed for developers and web hosts to build websites and hosting infrastructure free from draconian licensing standards which could have held back the advancement of “Web 2.0” (dynamic, database driven, AJAX-front-end websites).
It should be noted that Microsoft was responsible for slowing progress on the web by keeping it’s finger on the second-hand for nearly 10 years as IE6 through IE8 fostered non-compliant web standards through vendor lock-in while ignoring security and performance issues.
Mozilla Firefox and Chrome (along with lesser known players like Opera, Konquerer, etc.) brought standards-based consistency to the playing field, creating a fertile environment for Open Source projects to build commerce-ready, enterprise grade and highly secure** Web Applications.
*Requires another story about RSA, SSL and open encryption standards.
**Today, many PHP projects can also run on Windows servers via IIS and MSSQL database.