Setting up a Development Server

Contents

Text Editors for Windows/MacOS

When we start programming -- or even when we start coding web pages using HTML -- it will be important to use a good text editor with syntax coloring. Here are a couple of good ones:

XAMP: WAMP, MAMP, LAMP

XAMP is an integrated and full function setup for developing dynamic web applications in PhP. It includes a web server (Apache), database server (MySQL), and server-side programming language (PHP).

  • WAMP = Windows, Apache, MySQL, PhP
  • MAMP = Mac, Apache, MySQL, PhP
  • LAMP = Linux, Apache, MySQL, PhP

Installing EasyPHP on Windows

  • Follow the installation instructions on pp. 14-18 of the Nixon text.
  • Download EasyPHP from http://easyphp.org.
  • Run the installer, following the prompts and the default setup.
  • Double click the EasyPHP icon in the System Tray to start, stop, and restart Apache, and MySQL.
  • Click restart if something goes wrong.

Some possible problems (See page 14-16 of Nixon

  • Port blockaqe: If EasyPHP reports that a port is blocked, this usually means that a firewall is preventing access or an antivirus program or Skype is blocking needed ports. EasyPHP needs access to ports 80 (Apache) and 3306 (MySQL).
    • The Fix: Investigate the setup for those programs and make sure they aren't using port 80 (for Apache) or port 3306 (for MySQL).
  • File permissions: For Windows Vista there may be a permissions problem.
    • The Fix: Right click the EasyPHP folder and select Properties. Select the Securities tab and Edit mode and maker sure all users have write access to this folder

Testing Your Installation

  • To test that your installation worked properly, enter either of the following URLs into your browser to bring up the EasyPHP home page:

Setting up a Web Folder

  • Create a folder named c:\web.
  • Click 'Add' under the Apache section of the EasyPHP home page and fill in the form using 'web' as the Alias and 'c:\web' as the path to your directory.
  • Click OK to accept the default settings.
  • You can create other aliases. For example if you have a cpsc110 directory with path c:\web\cpsc110, you can create an alias 'cpsc110' that will map directly to that directory.

Running Hello World

  • Using Notepad or some other text editor, save the following text in a file named 'c:\web\index.html'.
<html><head><title>A quick test</title></head>
<body>A quick test</body></html>

Installing MAMP on Macintosh

  • NOTE: This assumes you have Mac OS 10.4 or greater
  • Download MAMP (currently 1.8.2) from http://mamp.info/en/download.html
  • You can also download from sourceforge: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=121134.
  • Unzip the zip file to create a disk image and double click on the disk image.
  • Double click the virtual drive MAMP_1.8.2.dmg, which will start the installer.
  • Install MAMP into your Applications folder.
  • Open the MAMP folder in your Applications folder. The htdocs folder is where you will store your web documents.
  • Double click on the MAMP app to start/stop Apache and MySQL servers.

Testing the installation

  • Using TextEdit or some other text editor, save the following text in a file named 'index.html' in your MAMP/htdocs folder.
<html><head><title>A quick test</title></head>
<body>A quick test</body></html>

Other Points

  • By default MAMP uses ports 8888 and 8889 for Apache and MySQL respectively. To avoid having to type the port number each time you access a page, use the 'Preferences' button in the MAMP control panel and click on 'Set to default Apache and MySQL ports'. This will set your default ports to 80 and 3306 respectively.

Credits

  • These useful instructions are based on Chapter 2 of Robin Nixon's <a href="http://lpmj.net">Learning PhP, MySQL, and Javascript</a>, O'Reilly, 2009.