What is a good Local Development Environment setup?

I have a few dozen php4/php5 era projects I want to ressurect. I haven’t written any PHP or any other code since like 2019.

I used to use XAMPP (php5.5) in OSX - It was not a good experience because several OSX terminal commands were overridden by commands in xampp with the same names. This prevented me from using things like Homebrew properly because the command to update Homebrew triggered another command that had been overridden by a command in XAMPP that did not behave as expected.

So I thought I’d be better off using a virtual machine for a server and I tried Laravel Homestead (vagrant) but there is no documentation about how to properly run an Apache served site inside of Homestead. What few projects I have that are still live are hosted on servers running Apache.

I also tried a more recent version of xampp on osx that runs in a virtual machine. My problem with that is any time I destroy and rebuild the VM I lose my databases. I could never find a way to store my mysql data outside of the actual virtual machine. I’m not that good with mysql outside of running queries from within php so the thought of having to manually export and import all the data in all the databases if I want to upgrade to a newer xampp release was offputting. I have at least 80 databases. I already have to do that on a few of the live sites every few years and it never ever goes smoothly.

Also some of these sites expect to be running on the same server with access to each other’s files and databases so an apache based shared hosting setup would be the easiest thing for me to work with initially as I ressurect these projects.

Another problem I had with virtual machines is when using something like SASS “watch” feature. I’d run sass watch within the VM and use my preferred text editor in OSX to edit the files but when saving the changes there would be no signal sent across the host-os/virtual-os barrier that would make sass auto compile the changes. That was super annoying. I spent months looking for a way to fix that but never did.

I need help/advice desperately. I’ve basically been telling this same story and asking for advice all over the place since 2020 and haven’t gotten anywhere. I would not be surprised if I go look at my profile on this site right now and see where I’ve said all of this already back in 2021 or something.

Try Netbeans. Find a course or book and check how to use it. A good book is Murach’s PHP and MySQL.

Bump? Bumpity bump bump.

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