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PHP is a popular, reliable programming language at the foundation of many smart, data-driven websites. This comprehensive course from Kevin Skoglund helps developers learn the basics of PHP (including variables, logical expressions, loops, and functions), understand how to connect PHP to a MySQL database, and gain experience developing a complete web application with site navigation, form validation, and a password-protected admin area. Kevin also covers the basic CRUD routines for updating a database, debugging techniques, and usable user interfaces. Along the way, he provides practical advice, offers examples of best practices, and demonstrates refactoring techniques to improve existing code.
In this chapter, we're going to learn how to install PHP and MySQL on Windows. I'd like to start by giving you an overview of the process before we then walk through each of the steps together. There are a number of ways to get everything we need installed on Windows, so lets start by looking at the list of general requirements. We're going to need to have a web server. A web server is going to listen for page requests from the web browser, and then serve up pages back to web browser in response. While processing the PHP that's in those page at the same time. Apache's the most widely-used web server, especially for PHP development.
So that's what we'll be using. Of course, most importantly, we need to have PHP. That doesn't come installed by default on Windows. We're going to need to add it. Version 5.4 of PHP is the current version as I'm recording this, but version 5.5 is going to be releasing very soon. Now, version 5.4 requires Windows XP, Windows 2003, or something newer. Version 5.5 is going to drop support for Windows XP and 2003, and therefore, it will require Windows Vista or something newer. I'm going to be installing on Windows 8. The process for installing on any version of Windows is going to be very similar. Now, almost everything that I'm going to teach you in this tutorial about PHP, will work with any version of PHP 5, even future versions. And any time there is a difference between versions, I'll be sure to call it out and highlight it to you.
So if you have an older version of PHP than what I've got, or if you've got a newer version that's come out since, don't worry. The fundamentals and the essentials of PHP are going to work in all of these versions. The next thing we'll need of course is a MySQL database. The latest version of the MySQL database is going to be the best one used. But any recent version of MySQL will work just fine. The basic SQL syntax that we'll be using hasn't changed in decades. And then we'll want to have a text editor. That's different from a word processor. We'll talk a little bit more about the differences.
We're going to need to have a way that we can edit our web pages. And of course, we'll need a browser. That is a web browser that can issue requests to our web server and ask for web pages back. So, these are the requirements, now let's talk about how we're going to get them installed. For Apache, PHP, and MSQL, we can install the WampServer. WampServer is an all in one built in package that contains all three of these, so we can just solve all of our problems right there by installing the WampServer. It's available for download at wampserver.com/en.
And we'll take a look at that, and we'll actually download it together. That will allow us to have an environment where we can do our PHP and development. It makes it really easy. Now, for a text editor, I'm going to have us use Notepad++. It's very popular, you can find that online at notepad-plus-plus.org. There are a number of other text editors that we can choose, and I'll give you a few of the other options that you might want to consider. But then I'll show you how to download Notepad. And then for the web browser, we're going to be using Firefox.
Now, any browser will work. Of course, Windows comes with Internet Explorer, and you may want to just use that. There are sometimes some small differences in the way that different browsers display different HTML and CSS. So, if your HTML and CSS doesn't look exactly like mine on the screen, it could be because you're not using the same browser. I think most of the things we're going to be doing should be cross-browser compatible, so it should be okay regardless of which browser you use. But Firefox is what we'll be using, and if you want to make sure that yours looks like mine, that would be a good choice. So, now that we understand the steps that we're going to need to take, let's get started by downloading and installing the WampServer.
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