Setting up your workstation for web development

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This article provides detailed instructions for setting up your workstation as a PHP development environment, not only for Joomla! it also should work fine for PHP development in general.

Note There are many possible configurations for doing PHP development environments. Any environment that supports the basic AMP stack (Apache, MySql, PHP) and Subversion should work fine.

Choosing a code editor

The PHP language code represented just by plain text that can be edited with simple text editors like:

  • Geany (opensource cross platform text editor)
  • Gedit (opensource code editor for linux)
  • Notepad++ (opensource code editor for Windows)
  • Apple textEditor (Apple's basic text editor)

But when you are about to work in more advanced and complex projects and need some coding assistance there is a handful of development tools called IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) these are some of them:

  • Elcipse IDE (opensource cross platform IDE)
  • Netbeans IDE (opensource cross platform IDE)
  • UltraEdit IDE (closed source cross platform IDE)
  • Aptana IDE (opensource cross platform IDE)

All these advanced tools facilitate the development of PHP code, debugging, and the integration of other tools like SVN or GIT clients for source code version control under the same IDE, but for this article we are going to focus on how to configure Eclipse IDE for our PHP development environment, feel free to add more editors and document them in the following list.

Choosing a web server

To develop and test our PHP projects we need to execute the code in a web server capable of interpret PHP code and send the output to our browser, is good to know that we have a nice range of opensource tools to deploy a PHP webservers for our development environment such as:

  • XAMPP (Cross platform AMP stack implementation)
  • WAMP (AMP stack for Windows)
  • LAMP (AMP stack on Linux)

Also there is other commercial closed-source options such as:

  • IIS (Microsoft webserver, the PHP and MySQL services got to be installed manually)
  • others

All these options for web services can be used for the development of PHP projects, but for this article we are going to focus on how to configure XAMPP for our PHP development environment, feel free to add more web servers configuration and document them in the following list.

Debugging Tools