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I’m looking for guidance on this. I use VS Code quite a bit. really what I’m looking for is an IDE that will allow me to test bits and pieces of a web app without uploading the files to a web server and pretending to be a user and going through the motions in a browser. how does everyone here go about this? I realize that a task like this is one of the purposes of an IDE anyway, but here’s some examples of what I want to test:

=> how a page looks with 3 fix-placed iFrames on it.
=> if a POST operation works properly on a contact page.
=> how a page looks with linked CSS and jQuery files in it.

and many other things too. I know about quite a few testing sites like jsFiddle.net, but none that I have found are consistent. actually, last time I tried the fiddle, js written perfectly errored out on me and didn’t display any output. Most menus and options in all of the IDEs I have ever used seem to be irrelevant. if I take, for instance, eclipse as an example, I’ve been in all the menus and 80% of the stuff in there I don’t think I would ever use. I work for small and medium sized businesses, not in corporate america. So does anyone have any advice on this? I’m also well aware that development in this day in age is becoming nothing more than a button clicking and drag-and-drop game. I believe the corporate buzz for that is called ‘‘devOps’’. thanks

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6 hours ago, requinix said:

Have you really gotten this far and not set up a local development server for yourself?

yep.  pretty much.  unbelievable isn't it?  by the way, nice new avatar.  I liked the old one better though.  so what are you referring to, that I should use?  XAMPP?  the answer is yes because, keep in mind, I'm not a professional developer nor have I ever been.

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1 hour ago, ajetrumpet said:

so what are you referring to, that I should use?  XAMPP?  the answer is yes because, keep in mind, I'm not a professional developer nor have I ever been.

XAMPP is fine, sure.

The point is that you're complaining about the hassle of having to upload files to some server somewhere every time you want to make a change. Well, you know what the easiest way to see changes is? If you don't have to move the files anywhere.
Don't bring the files to the server. Bring the server to the files.

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3 minutes ago, requinix said:

XAMPP is fine, sure.


Don't bring the files to the server. Bring the server to the files.

ok then.  I've never used a local testing server.  can you point me to any docs other than what I've already found, that can teach me like a 2 year old?

https://www.apachefriends.org/docs/

https://www.apachefriends.org/faq_windows.html

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2 minutes ago, ajetrumpet said:

ok then.  I've never used a local testing server.  can you point me to any docs other than what I've already found, that can teach me like a 2 year old?

Not really. Been many years since I've needed those kinds of docs. But the /docs/ stuff looks useless - the FAQ probably has everything you need.

XAMPP comes with just about everything. Install it, maybe configure PHP for special extensions you need or whatever, then put your files wherever it is you're supposed to put your files ("Where should I place my web content?").

If you're on Windows, WAMP (er, I guess it's "WampServer" now) is also popular, and it may be easier to work with.

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Alternatives to doing xampp is to use either virtualization and vagrant, or use Docker.  Most development teams have moved to Docker, since many sites are now using Containers to deploy their infrastructure.  Docker containers are like mini servers that run something for you, so you would have for example, an apache container, a mysql container and a php container.  It is also very easy to add other containers to the mix, like a redis container, or a reverse proxy with traefik or nginx.  Docker makes managing the internal networking for this very simple.  The containers can all be started/stopped with a single Docker-compose.  Since this is all running on your workstation/laptop/whatever it has the same advantages for iterative development/testing/debugging as doing xamp or mamp for the most part, as well as advantages you xamp doesn't have, like starting up multiple containers of a type to test out load balanced/clustered systems, or quickly testing a different version of php to see what breaks.   

There are a few different projects that have configurable/pre created packages aimed at PHP developers and make it easy to switch in/out different pieces (mysql vs postresql for example).  These attempt to make the use of docker similar to an xamp or mamp install.  In all cases you do have to start with installation of docker itself, but after that these packages can be a convenient way of getting started without learning much about docker. 

Here are a couple to look at:  

http://devilbox.org/

https://laradock.io/  

Laradock was created for use with Laravel framework apps, but also works great for other framework based projects or any LAMP/WAMP/MAMP based project.

Personally, I use Docker now, whereas in the past I used Vagrant files.

One last thing to note is that php has a built in server for a while now.  As I am frequently working with the Symfony framework, the symfony project makes it very easy and convenient to develop your apps, although this does assume that you would have a local mysql or mysql in a docker running.

Details for installation and use are here:  https://symfony.com/doc/current/setup/symfony_server.html

 

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