Rare developer is the one who thrives on clutter – excess things, when one could suffice with less.
Especially if you want to get hands dirty quickly with development on a Windows laptop / PC. This is a real-world story of how I found the new fav toy! But what else? Find out.
Just as with alternatives, you get a Apache, PHP, MySQL stack with a single click. But Laragon is also a bit more:
- looks nice
- automagic virtual hosts: Laragon can update your HOSTS file
- also Rails stack installed
- seems to handle .dll dependencies well (I had trouble with alternatives)
Skip me if you know PHP
PHP is a versatile jack-of-all-trades. And it definitely holds its place with a firm grip. WordPress (blogging engine) and thousands of other well known apps are written in PHP. The power exists in a sturdy set of very central and useful built-in functions, which were chosen and developed by a real web admin for his own needs.
The true web pioneering technology
PHP evolved over the years. It had a very early start in 1994. PHP adopted very good ecosystem tools, such as linters, security checkers, and PHP was supported as a drop-in module in many kinds of web hosting environments. You could thus rely on the investment keeping its value.
I knew all this yet had barely written a few thousand lines of PHP in 2019. I felt that it was time to take mastery of PHP, even if I did it just at a rate of 20 minutes daily.
Peak to the neighbor: Node + Express
Node ecosystem has ‘express’ which is a light-weight development server. I’ll let the figures speak for themselves. Also, look at the setup of minimalist server-side code: couldn’t be easier?! The root ‘/’ is hooked to a anonymous function, that always returns the Hello world string. This is beautiful!
Idea across all of these is that whereas with Apache or nginx you usually handle more complicated real life dilemmas of web hosting; as developer you are interested in passing a single HTTP call, successively, to your code under development. You want button and menu item elements to fire action, and see what happens. As developer we’re more interested in the change of state of the app, as response to user input; rather than more complicated issues, kind of “..yet”. It helps to constrain the problem at hand to an understandable piece.