Saturday, May 26, 2012

Web Development on Windows

As I've mentioned before, I've gotten spoiled as a Purdue student. Since we're provided with webspace on a root server that we can map to Windows as a networked drive, I can just edit files in a seemingly local folder. It makes for easy updating.

Since I'm no longer at Purdue, I have to use a VPN to gain access to this networked drive. This still works, but it's incredibly slow. Think 2KB/s speed. Slow to the point of being really unusable. Really the only way I've been able to do thinks is by creating mirrored folders locally, updating the local files, and then starting a sync and letting it run for a while, while I go do something else.

Additionally, my local machine isn't a web server, meaning that PHP files don't work. The browser will open them and display whatever HTML there is, but it will also display the PHP as the actual PHP code.

So today in the couple hours I have before heading out to a meeting, I've decided to set up a PHP web development environment. The other tech guy who was going to be working with me on KollegeKareer had mentioned it was easy if I found the right thing, and after looking around I think I've got what he was talking about. WAMP Server, standing for Windows/Apache/MySQL/PHP. I'm installing now, and we'll see if it works.

Well after cleaning two hurdles, I have gotten it all working. WAMP comes with no instructions unfortunately. And from Googling, it seems that a LOT of people had both problems I had. The first is that Windows machines come with a server that's already running, from Microsoft. You either have to disable it, or change it to a different port. I found a Youtube video that explained changing the ports so that both can run together. Then I started getting an 403 Access Denied error. Turns out that WAMP comes with an Apache installation that is locked down. You have to go in and find a config file to unlock it.

That said, it's working now! w00t.

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