Hex only uses the most widely supported and established web technologies. All of the technologies used are open source and have the support of tens or hundreds of thousands of professional programmers worldwide.
What is HTML?
HTML or "HyperText Markup Language" is the bedrock of the World Wide Web.
When you write a normal document using a word processor like Microsoft Word/Office, your text is saved in a file with a special format. It is not simply saved as the string of words you typed since the document needs to preserve things like the font you chose, the size of the text, which words are in bold, which italics, and so on. The special format includes not only your words, but all these extra information so that the next time Word opens your document, it can display the document with the exact appearance you created earlier.
In the same way, web pages are simply strings of words put in a special format that web browsers are able to display. While the format of Word documents is simply called "Word format" (or "doc format"), loosely speaking, one might say that web pages are formatted using "HTML".
(HTML has been thriving since 1993)
What is CSS?
CSS is a cornerstone technology used by most websites to create visually engaging website pages, user-interfaces for web applications, and user-interfaces for mobile applications.
CSS or "Cascading Style Sheets" allow you to specify things like the font you want on your page, the size of your text, whether the page is to have 2 columns, whether your text is to be in bold or italics, and so on. In other words, it is the part that lets you control the appearance of your web page.
You may be used to the Microsoft Word "doc" format, where everything from the text you type to the appearance of the document is specified in a single file, transparent to you. On the web, the raw information is specified in HTML and most of the appearance is determined by the CSS.
(CSS has been thriving since 1996)
What is PHP?
PHP is a "server-side programming language" designed for website application development. PHP does the "heavy-lifting" on the server. It sends and receives information from the "Front-end".
Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo and many of the most powerful websites ever created were built using PHP.
(PHP has been thriving since 1995)
What is Zend?
Zend is a fully "object-oriented" PHP framework. One of the functions of Zend is to ensure that all PHP code is "object-oriented". Object-oriented programming has been the "industry-standard" for more than thirty years. It replaced the previous "procedural" programming paradigm in the 1980's. However, "procedural" programming still exists. This is partly because there are many self-taught "hobbyist" programmers who do not have sufficient training to create proper websites.
One of the main advantages of Zend is the ability to make code re-usable, and since nobody likes to repeat themselves, this is a very good thing. Websites created using object-oriented programming are easier to maintain because there is less repetition; any changes would only need to be done in one place instead of many. This is especially helpful when websites are are highly interactive and require the option to develop further (i.e. "to scale").
Technical alliances with companies such as Abobe, Microsoft, and IBM, have strengthened the support and stability of Zend. Zend is now used by startups and Fortune 500 companies around the world.
Unlike Zend, for example, Wordpress was created using the now ancient "procedural" programming paradigm.
(Zend has been thriving since 2006)
What is MySQL?
MySQL is an open-source "relational database".
Originally, databases were "flat". All of the information was stored in one long text file, called a tab delimited file (you may have seen or used a ".csv" file). Flat databases are similar to Excel spreadsheets.
The relational database originated in the 1970's and are the standard today. In a similar way to "object-oriented" programming, relational databases eliminate the need for duplication.
MySQL is an open-source relational database management system. As of 2013, it is the most widely used open-source relational database in the world. The "SQL" acronym stands for Structured Query Language.
(MySQL has been thriving since 1995)
The "client-side" VS the "server-side"
The "server-side" is where the database and the bulk of the calculations are done.