My Brother has been nagging on at me for a while about XAMPP. “Wassat?” you ask. It’s a brilliant bit of software that I got working on my mac this morning that installs an Apache server, Mysql for a database and PHP which lets you do cool stuff with databases on the web. It works on PC and linux too.
But this is not on the web. It is a local web server for web development, which means I can try out lots of stuff on my computer and not screw up my website in the meantime. I mananged to set all this up before. It took me the best part of a day and everything stopped working when I upgraded to Mac OsX Snow Leopard. I couldn’t be bothered to work out what to do.
But This morning, I went over to www.apachefriends.org, downloaded the package and I was up and running in about two minutes – amazing! Ten minutes later, I’d worked out what was going on and had a new install of the Joomla! content management system running locally on my desktop. How brilliant is that?! Well, it is. Fiddling about with a live website on line can be quite dangerous. Yesterday, I wanted to see how permissions worked for registered users. Before I knew it, I’d lost a whole menu. I had to spend half an hour rebuilding it. Much better to experiment on a local site that can be trashed and rebuilt at will.
I am not a programmer nor a techy, but with something this simple, I’ll be happy and confident to learn through making mistakes on a site that isn’t live or critical and that no one else can see.