Friday, January 21, 2011

Cool Tool for Web Developers: XAMPP

I'm currently reading PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide. So far I'm loving this book because it is straightforward useful stuff. I'll get more into why I like it so much when I post the review. One of the more useful things I've been introduced to through this book is XAMPP.

When I got the book I knew I was going to have to download a program to run PHP and MySQL. After I started reading I realized I would also need to run Apache for my server which makes sense if I'd thought about it beforehand. I don't really like configuring software. I feel like I should as a software person but it really just irks me. The idea of finding, downloading and configuring all these components and making them work together seemed daunting.

The book referred me to the appendix for installation instructions where it introduced me to XAMPP. The XAMPP website describes the product better than I can. "XAMPP is an easy to install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. XAMPP is really very easy to install and to use - just download, extract and start." They aren't kidding. It really is that easy. It took me about 15 minutes to download, configure, and start using the Apache server with PHP and MySQL! The ease of installation is the main cause of my excitement, but as a bonus it is also free (under the GNU GPL license). Where there's free there's me!

So obviously, I'm a believer so far. I'll make updates if I find some undesirable features. It is important to know that the default settings that XAMPP uses to install the Apache server are not recommended for a full production server. The security settings are just not secure enough. Take some time to educate yourself on security settings if you are creating a production environment. For me, I just want something for learning PHP and MySQL on my local computer. For that purpose, security is less of a problem. I realize that someone can type your IP to reach the server, so you probably shouldn't leave it running all the time even as a test only box.

If you are interested in checking out XAMPP, download it here.

If you are the type that likes to watch a video tutorial on setup check out Jimmy Ruska's YouTube tutorial.

No comments:

Post a Comment