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Web Design and Hosting Creating sites, scripting, and hosting discussions.

Setting up Web Development Environment on new Mac

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Member Since: Aug 28, 2007
Posts: 6
forgueam is on a distinguished road

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So, I've been a LAMP web developer for quite a long time and have always done my development on Windows machines. I've just made the switch to an iMac and am ready to delve back into programming.

I was wondering what your recommendations are for setting up a nice development environment in OS X. Some of the base things I would need:

Apache, PHP, MySQL, subversion, etc...

Do most of you Mac web developers install these apps independently, or do you recommend something like XAMPP? Also, what is your preferred editor? TextMate? Coda? Something else? Are there any development work flow best practices that I should be aware of?

Thanks! I can't wait to hear your comments and suggestions!!

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giulio's Avatar
Member Since: Mar 19, 2007
Location: NY USA
Posts: 1,813
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Mac Specs: iMac 5.1 | iMac 7.1 | iPod Touch | iPod Nano

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I'm somewhat of an oddball. There is method to my madness though. 10 years of experience, trials, errors, honing. I've been through MSSQL, ASP/.net, VB, PHP, PY, ColdFusion.
I found my groove about a year ago. And it goes a little something like this:

Server: Windows / IIS
Server Language: ColdFusion
Database: MySQL

OS: Mac (whatever's current)
Programming: Coda
Synchronization: Automator + Transmit + Time Machine
Database: Navicat

VMware, XP+IE6
VMware, XP+IE7

What's possible with this combo?
You should see the two sites I'm working on right now... ooooohhhh mmaann

If you use coda, DO NOT use it's built in preview. That uses WebKit. You'll want to develop with Firefox since it renders more like Windows IE. Then of course you need to test on a true IE. Thats where the virtual machines come in handy. Create an XP with IE6. Then duplicate the image and install IE7 on it. You can then go back and forth testing between IE6 and IE7.

schweb This has to be one of the best threads ever in MF history...
Cherokee This gets my vote for most innovative thread on Mac-Forums... ever.
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Member Since: Mar 30, 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 4,744
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Mac Specs: 12" Apple PowerBook G4 (1.5GHz)

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If you're looking for an out-of-the-box server stack, then there's MAMP
Though you can do things "the hard way" if you like. I would, just to get things as similar as possible to my deployment server's configuration (whatever that may be.)

I use TextWrangler as my editor. Dreamweaver when I need something visual.
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Member Since: Aug 25, 2006
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 1,395
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Mac Specs: MacBook Pro Unibody

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I guess I am old school, I do all my php development in emacs on my Linux server.... then again, I came from Linux, and for the most part we didn't have them there fancy IDE's.

My host uses Linux servers, so my Linux server basically mirrors what they have, makes it really easy.

masakatsu agatsu

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Member Since: May 10, 2007
Posts: 502
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Mac Specs: Mac pro quad 2.66 / G5 1.8

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I have 2 different setups on 2 hard disks, which is a complicated way to keep things simple - one of then boots php4 and the other php5.

I run Apache2, mysql and aforesaid php. I did everything 'manually', rather than use one of the packages, primarily because I wanted to know/learn exactly what was happening so I could fix it when it broke.

I also installed all the toys, like GD support, imagemagick etc. That was a fair amount of work, as it also involved installing the compiler/xtools an so on.

For actual development I'm afraid to say I use Dreamweaver. As well as having the spiffy graphics, you can go hardcore and just code it, if you want. I like the choice, but I do acknowledge it doesn't force me to be as disciplined as a plain text editor would.

Lastly, grab a copy of diffmerge for whenever you want to splice in updated code / custome addins. rarely used, but for me the best of the crop.

Quite a lot of work in the end - as you'll no doubt already know 'installing' a lot of stuff like that involves a fair amount of headscratching and Googling.

Have to say though, the end result I'm pretty pleased with. The Mac makes a great webserver. Attach it to a UPS and it's rock solid. Mines a 4x2.66 mac pro, with just about everything that can be expanded stuffed to the gills.

Just as an aside - if you want to run Apache through a router, as I do, the httpd.conf file and port forwarding on the router take a little tweaking. If you need any help, holla.
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Member Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posts: 1
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Different sites need different tools. Starting a new site, inheriting a mess from someone else, need speed or security, want to block hacker, how many languages, want to change CSS or graphics often?

For 2 sites that serve languages, PHP, MYSQL and Navicat, BBEdit and PHPmyAdmin: Note: language for every page can be switched instead of redirecting to the language home.

For a quick simple NEW site I use Site Assist or Coda:

For HTML only, Dreamweaver and Coda:

For managing stats AWStats, PMWiki, Automator and iCal.

I generally have 2 versions of Dreamweaver open since one private site has 100,000 docs and take to long to cache. I also us both BBEdit and Text Wrangler simultaneously. BBEdit can Tidy, check code and Preview but Text Wrangler is faster for Find and Replace and I also use it for non web text.
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