WAMP

Everybody knows what a lamp is, but how many have ever heard of a wamp?

For years I used one distribution of Linux or another as my primary operating system and mostly loved it. But Gimp isn’t Photoshop and I was tired of using my laptop to manage and edit my photo library. Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom are the programs I use most after Firefox. So I’m back to Windows XP on the desktop. *sigh*

I’ve been developing in Notepad++ lately and love it! The syntax highlighting and FTP functionality make it a wonderful environment. All I have to do is connect to the server, double-click the file to edit, make the modifications and save. The file is automatically uploaded back to the server and immediately available. It is wonderful.

Yesterday I decided, once again, to create a local development environment so I wouldn’t have to test and debug on live pages, even if those pages are in a sandbox directory. So I installed WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. LAMP is Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python)

Windows + Apache + MySQL + PHP
Windows + Apache + MySQL + PHP

At first I downloaded the binaries for Apache and MySQL and the zipped files of PHP and installed each on my system. Installing Apache and PHP was relatively painless. But I couldn’t see MySQL in my test phpinfo(); page. I couldn’t log in to MySQL from the command line, either.

While searching for the solution I discovered WampServer. A quick install comes with Apache, PHP, and MySQL and is configured automatically. The only gotcha I experienced was that short open tags were not turned on by default so none of my PHP includes worked. I found and easily fixed the issue after a bit of googling.

Voila! Now I can develop and test web sites in a local Apache environment before uploading to the server. That should give me an improvement in speed and efficiency and spare me from having to fire up FileZilla as frequently.

3 Comment

  1. Good idea! I could never be bothered, though. Test it live, I say!

  2. @Steven – The drawbacks of editing live are few and minor, especially with an editor like Notepad++ (unless you really foul things up). Notepad++ has fantastic undo capabilities.

    My plan is to start developing commercial sites for businesses with paying customers. Doing anything but minor style changes on those types of sites is a baaaaaad idea.

  3. (a) I like your plan! Do it! People need that stuff

    (2) agreed. If it’s your own dumb site, who cares? Breaking customers’ sites is, in the words of Samir Nagheenanajar, “a horrible idea”.

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