Setting Up Your Workspace
Your computer needs to be able to run as a web server with PHP and MySQL. XAMPP is a package of software that installs the web server, PHP, and MySQL for you. You learn how to download and install XAMPP in this lesson.
If you already have a web server with PHP and MySQL running on your computer, you do not need XAMPP. Other packages that fulfill the same need are WAMPServer and MAMP.
You also need a text editor that can produce plain-text files. You learn how to download and install Eclipse PDT in this lesson. Some other text editors that you can use are Adobe's Dreamweaver in code mode, Notepad, TextWrangler, or NetBeans.
XAMPP stands for whatever operating system you have: (X), Apache (A), MySQL (M), PHP (P), and Perl (P). Separate packages are available for each of the different operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. This lesson covers installing the Windows and Mac versions.
Perl is another programming language. It's popular for housekeeping tasks and for communications between different programs and programming languages. You won't need to use it for the lessons in this book.
XAMPP is intended for local development work. It is not set up for running production websites.
Do not use XAMPP to host websites ...