XAMPP Alpha version (1.7.2-dev4)

Problems with the Windows version of XAMPP, questions, comments, and anything related.

XAMPP Alpha version (1.7.2-dev4)

Postby Wiedmann » 10. May 2009 08:15

Sharley wrote:Where can we find or see the "current alpha"?

http://twitter.com/apachefriends#status_1639711670
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Re: Question about the setup script.

Postby Sharley » 11. May 2009 10:06

Hello Wiedmann,

Just had time to check out the Alpha version.

I love the new Control Panel with what seems to be all the required buttons to make it now a true control panel - it is better now that most setup and configuration buttons are located in the one place and at last a Help button that has some content - sweet.

Below is what I experienced doing what I assume would be a normal installation (have you got rid of that monstrosity of an installer version or should it be named the installer confusion version) - this alpha self extracting version would surely be all that is needed especially now it seems to have been created and developed by someone who knows what they are doing.

My main concern though is that the wording of the setup script has been created by someone who knows computers intimately and who also knows XAMPP with the same familiarity - IMHO developers and programmers should not be let loose on documentation as they tend to write the docs in geek speak which is normally well over the heads of the average new user, a good example of this geek speak documentation is the Apache, MySQL and the PHP documentation which are usually well and truly out of reach of most new XAMPP and new computer users.

If the documentation is not easily understood then it will invariably not be referenced when it should be, with the result that the learning process is severely crippled.

Documentation in XAMPP should be aimed at first time XAMPP users who are mostly also unfamiliar with their own computer, technically speaking.

Those of us, like the script's author, would not be concerned if the wording was below our technical expectations as we know what we are doing anyway.

Unless there is a simple explanation to some of the more technical terms used then a new user may well be daunted by this script.


So below is my attempt at writing notes by way of explaining in as simple a manner as I can and as best I can when I walked through the installation of this alpha version and the new setup script - which BTW can be run at anytime after installation if one has a need to changed the original or default installation setup.

---------------------------------


I extracted to my E:\ drive (not a network drive but a normal partition) which created E:\xampp and placed all the files in their correct locations.

This setup script opened automagically ready for my input.

I was immediately confronted with the first line:
I must relocate XAMPP
which gave me the feeling that I was being moved to another location for some unexplained reason, when in fact this was not the case, but the wording had me confused at first as I was not being relocated but actually being located.

############################################################################
# XAMPP 1.7.2-dev4 - Setup #
#--------------------------------------------------------------------------#
# Copyright 2009 Carsten Wiedmann (FreeBSD License) #
#--------------------------------------------------------------------------#
# Authors: Carsten Wiedmann <carsten_sttgt@gmx.de> #
# Kay Vogelgesang <kvo@apachefriends.org> #
############################################################################

I must relocate XAMPP.


Add this "current path" info like you have done below in the list of options:

I must locate the XAMPP paths correctly.
(my "current path" is: E:\xampp)


Add notes to clarify this setup item or confusion will reign.

NOTE:
You must answer y here so the setup script can add the locations (paths) correctly throughout the XAMPP configuration files.

Should I proceed? (y=yes/n=no): y


I answered y to test and it made no changes from the location of the "current path" selected during extraction and installation.
But if you answer n at this point then the script gives this error message:
ERROR: You must relocate XAMPP, before you can use it.
Press any key to continue . . .


When you press any key to continue it closes the script and the console window instead of returning to the question so you can then correctly select y to continue without the resulting hassle of starting over with the installation.

The word relocate is not correct here as it is not actually relocating xampp but is actually locating the xampp path locations.

Perhaps just locate would be a better word to use than relocate as you have not located anything (the paths in this case) in the first place to actually relocate anything.

Relocate would be correct if you had already located xampp but then you move the xampp folder to another location - this would then need the paths relocating.



Should I make a portable XAMPP without drive letters?

NOTE: - You should use drive letters, if you want use services.
- With USB sticks you must not use drive letters.

Your choice? (y/n): n
Answered n


See my forum reply to your poll question above but I have adjusted that reply here after seeing the script in it's true context.


This is my amended offering for your original question:
Should I make this installation of XAMPP portable by not using a drive letter?

NOTE: 1. You should have a drive letter inserted in the paths if you want to install an XAMPP component as a Windows service - answer n (the default if not installing to a USB stick).

NOTE: 2. With USB sticks you must not use drive letters in the paths if you wish to use the USB stick in another PC, for example, in a portable XAMPP installation - answer y

Your choice? (y=yes/n=no): n

NOTE: 3. The term "relocate" or "locate" in this script means editing the paths within XAMPP to reflect the locations of the various components.





relocating XAMPP...
relocate XAMPP base package
relocate Apache
relocate FileZilla FTP Server
relocate Mercury
relocate MySQL
relocate OpenSSL
relocate Perl
relocate PHP
relocate phpMyAdmin
relocate Sendmail
relocate Webalizer
relocate XAMPP Demopage (Demo Page)
relocating XAMPP successful. (relocating XAMPP was successful)


But relocate is incorrect here - it should be locate.
Like so:
Locating XAMPP...
Located XAMPP base package
Located Apache
Located FileZilla FTP Server
Located Mercury
Located MySQL
Located OpenSSL
Located Perl
Located PHP
Located phpMyAdmin
Located Sendmail
Located Webalizer
Located XAMPP Demo Page
Locating XAMPP was successful.


XAMPP is ready to use.

Press <Return> to continue:





1. Start XAMPP Control Panel
2. Relocate XAMPP (current path: E:\xampp)
3. disable HTTPS (SSL)
4. disable Server Side Includes (SSI)
5. enable IPv4 only (current: IPv4/6 (auto))
6. disable mod_perl
7. disable Apache::ASP

x Exit

Please choose (1-7/x):



Notes explaining the choices would be a big help in this section.
Remember that most will be new users and most may well be new computer uses.

This script has been written as if most users have advanced computer and advanced XAMPP knowledge - it needs dumbing down a little.

Relocate is correct in this list as you would be relocating from a previously located location.

An uppercase letter (a capital letter) should be used for starting a list's items.


My list with the addition of notes:

1. Start the XAMPP Control Panel
NOTE: Select this if you are happy with the installation and would like now to proceed to Start the XAMPP components and to test your installation and click on "x" to also close this console window.


2. Relocate XAMPP (current path is: E:\xampp)
NOTE: Select this option if you have moved the xampp folder to a new location from the current location of E:\xampp to perhaps J:\xampp or C:\xampp etc.


3. Disable HTTPS (SSL)
Enabled by default.
NOTE: Select this if you have no need of https:// secure web pages (SSL).


4. Disable Server Side Includes (SSI)
Enabled by default.
NOTE: Select this if you have no need of SSI.


5. Enable IPv4 only (current: IPv4/6 (auto))
IPv4/6 (auto) is the default.
NOTE: There are 3 positions for this switch
a) enable/disable IPv4 only
b) enable/disable IPv4/6 (auto) the default
c) enable/disable IPv6 only
If you have selected the wrong IP version then Apache will not start giving an error on line 46 (or near) of the httpd.conf file - the server's "Listen" directive.
You may have to keep pressing 5 until you have the correct IP version for your system so that Apache will start.
(Click on item1. above to start the XAMPP Control Panel so you can monitor the IP version settings in real time).

6. Disable mod_perl
NOTE: If your Perl scripts do not require mod_perl then select to disable it and disable it if you have any related errors.
You can run this setup script again if you install a script that requires mod_perl to have the script run without error.
Enabled by default.

7. Disable Apache::ASP
NOTE: Disable this if you are sure that you will not require this feature.
You can run this setup script again if you find that it is required.
Enabled by default.

x Exit
NOTE: This exits the setup script and closes the console window.
To run the setup script again either select it in the XAMPP Control Panel or run setup_xampp.bat file from within the xampp folder.

Please select 1 to 7 or x to exit this script.


---------------------------------

Wiedmann, if you want to discuss this further then please feel free to e-mail me because as a forum official you will have access to my e-mail address.

My apologies if you feel this post is overly large but there is no way to say all this in a small post.

What I am sure of is that the direction you are heading in with this setup script and the new control panel will hopefully allow new users to be up and running much quicker and with less issues than with previous methods, not to mention that there should be less requests for support on the forums from a faulting installation.

I will now try out the rest of this alpha version.

I have posted here rather than in the cramping small text box on the beta page, I hope you don't mind.
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Re: XAMPP Alpha version (1.7.2-dev4)

Postby Wiedmann » 14. May 2009 13:57

if you want to discuss this further then please feel free to e-mail me ... I have posted here rather than in the cramping small text box on the beta page

Forum is OK. So others can also be part of this discussion.

And feedback is always welcome. Or better: we need this, together with real tests (e.g. a common feedback to the last beta was often a "it's all working". Also fine, but I know thats not true...).

I love the new Control Panel with what seems to be all the required buttons to make it now a true control panel

Correct, I've add some buttons. But I have also removed some (e.g. "Service", which allows to install the CP itself as service). Just some minor changes to the original source code from "nat32.com".

(BTW: have you tried the "Shell"?)


(have you got rid of that monstrosity of an installer version or should it be named the installer confusion version)

Good question. For me this SFX is enough. You can extract it like a ZIP (e.g. winzip, 7zip, un-/winrar can do this), or use it like the installer with a double-click.


Now the thing with "locate"/"relocate" and the wording in the 1st setup page (and some other grammatical errors). That's easy to fix. Thanks. (It's always not easy to write in a foreign language...)

The word relocate is not correct here as it is not actually relocating xampp but is actually locating the xampp path locations.
Perhaps just locate would be a better word to use than relocate as you have not located anything (the paths in this case) in the first place to actually relocate anything.
Relocate would be correct if you had already located xampp but then you move the xampp folder to another location - this would then need the paths relocating.

My thoughts were:
- XAMPP is shipped with the preconfigured path "\xampp".
- so the user have the chance to change this to "x:\xampp"
- or if the installation path was not the filesystem root, it must change the path.
- and last but not least, there is a nice message with "xampp is ready to use" after this step. (and that's the main reason, I'm forcing this step in the first run of the setup script (even it's not necessary some times) ;-) )
--> this first screen is just the same, as if you move XAMPP after the first installation/configuration, and starting the setup script the next time.

I was immediately confronted with the first line:
I must relocate XAMPP

If this step is not necessary, we can change this to a question "Want you...". If you don't install XAMPP in "X:\xampp" (or if you move XAMPP after installation/setup), this message looks like:
| Current directory does not match configured directory.
| I must relocate XAMPP.


Should I proceed? (y=yes/n=no): y
I answered y to test and it made no changes from the location of the "current path" selected during extraction and installation.
But if you answer n at this point then the script gives this error message:
ERROR: You must relocate XAMPP, before you can use it.
Press any key to continue . . .

When you press any key to continue it closes the script and the console window instead of returning to the question so you can then correctly select y to continue without the resulting hassle of starting over with the installation.

That's just if someone extract XAMPP, but don't want configure it at the moment. And you must do the next step, or XAMPP can't work (that's the reason for the error message after answering with "no", and the user is warned, that it must do this, even if it exit the script now).

The "Press any key to continue . . ." is just from the OS, so people have a change to read the error message if the script ends with an error or an abnormal termination of PHP (it's just a "pause" command in the batchfile.

Well, instead of "n" we can also use "x=exit". So it's clear the script will stop if the answer is not "y".

Notes explaining the choices would be a big help in this section.
Remember that most will be new users and most may well be new computer uses.

That's right. But I have only 25 lines in standard shell (without scrolling). That's the problem. And also this list is not fixed. Each line is coming from a package_foo.php file. And if you install a new AddOn (e.g. the new Tomcat AddOn alpha), there is a new package_tomcat.php in the directory. And each package_foo.php can add one or more lines to the menu.

But we should put this explanations into the readme (and the webpage). (in fact, I'm not happy with the current readme...)

I will now try out the rest of this alpha version.

That's OK :-) . And we need people which are testing this alpha. A lot of things have changed (apart from the setup script).
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Re: XAMPP Alpha version (1.7.2-dev4)

Postby newbie2244 » 15. May 2009 00:40

Greetings-

It seems like Sharley is suggesting some more "formal" documentation. If there is some agreement(consensus) regarding this, I would be willing to help. I've been thinking that it may be worthwhile to use a simple "genetic" algorithm to diagnose and predict problems/and or bugs as part of testing and deployment. Although this would require a systematic approach on the part of the users/testers. For example:

When a user reports a problem such as an error message, the user should also state the steps that he/she performed immediately before the error message was received.

So the format could be maybe like action(step)1 || action(step)2 as key(s) to value=>error message and errormessage as key to => solution. (The key-value chaining obviously needs to be refined. ) The result would be a kind of fault diagnosis system. (Note: a fault is not necessarily a bug in the software.)

Although there exists an extensive archive on XAMPP problems and fixes(solutions to problems), it covers many versions of XAMPP and is not well indexed. There's a lot of information but not always easily(if at all) accessible and not always explanatory. So my suggestion my be hard to implement across the entire archive as well as current alpha version V.1.7.2.

Still, if the format suggested above is implemented in some form, if only for alpha testing, then it could form a basis for a "more formal" documentation on XAMPP useful to newbies and developers alike with an explanation of why some error message appears.

And yes, it is very difficult to translate from one language to another and then back again.
So if this idea were implemented, some of the linguistic ambiguity might be eliminated because there would be one set of semantics only across all languages.

Regards-
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Re: XAMPP Alpha version (1.7.2-dev4)

Postby Sharley » 15. May 2009 09:07

Wiedmann wrote:(BTW: have you tried the "Shell"?)
A most welcome XCP inclusion but I feel that once again you may have to give some clues for users that may want to use it, as the console window prompt does not appear the same in the Shell as it does in the Command Prompt.

BTW is there a switch/command when you call the Shell in the source of the XCP to have the console window open to a certain width and height which may help with the small "standard shell window size of 25 lines"? - I have configured mine to suit my needs for a larger width and length window in the properties configuration, which I believe stores those window size properties in the registry.

Wiedmann wrote:If this step is not necessary, we can change this to a question "Want you...". If you don't install XAMPP in "X:\xampp" (or if you move XAMPP after installation/setup), this message looks like:
| Current directory does not match configured directory.
| I must relocate XAMPP.
I think a question would be preferred if you need this step at all when first run during installation as really it would be difficult move the xampp folder location during the installation process, and why would you want to anyway.

You would only change the xampp folder location after installation in which case the list of numbered choices are presented to do this task.

Wiedmann wrote:That's just if someone extract XAMPP, but don't want configure it at the moment. And you must do the next step, or XAMPP can't work (that's the reason for the error message after answering with "no", and the user is warned, that it must do this, even if it exit the script now).

The "Press any key to continue . . ." is just from the OS, so people have a change to read the error message if the script ends with an error or an abnormal termination of PHP (it's just a "pause" command in the batchfile.

Well, instead of "n" we can also use "x=exit". So it's clear the script will stop if the answer is not "y".
IMHO that would be less confusing and less of a issue than the n alternative which breaks the flow of the installation without being warned.
At least this x=exit this installation would show that the alternative will break the installation if y is not selected (or even "Press any key to continue" may be linked to the letter y by default with no alternative to exit at all, just a flow issue really.

Wiedmann wrote:But we should put this explanations into the readme (and the webpage). (in fact, I'm not happy with the current readme...)
I am 100% with you on this and must surely be the major source of confusion for new users as is often reflected in the posts on these forums when members are trying to follow the web pages and the readme files.

Wiedmann wrote:And we need people which are testing this alpha. A lot of things have changed (apart from the setup script).
How about including the Alpha testing info in the Beta pages of the web site perhaps for ease of locating everything to do with development in the one location?

BTW is there a list of these "things that have changed", as in a change log perhaps to help with locating and testing them much quicker?



A NOTE to other forum members who may be interested in running a development version at the same time as their current release version - I currently have 4 different versions installed on my single PC. but using the installer version is not recommended, use the self extracting version or the zip version instead.

This is possible as long as you don't try and run more than one versions at the same time and can easily be installed to another drive or partition if you have one or simply install them to another folder like \xampp (current 1.7.1 version) \xamppdev (development 1.7.2 version) \xampp2 (1.7.0 version) \xampp3 (1.6.8 version) for example.

You will not be disappointed in being able to help with development process of what is by far the best AMPP offering on the Internet at this point in time and not to mention you get to see and use all the upcoming new changes and component versions.
(As pointed out elsewhere, like the Beta versions, there is usually no upgrade form a development version to final stable version releases).
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Re: XAMPP Alpha version (1.7.2-dev4)

Postby Wiedmann » 15. May 2009 10:37

First:
I know, I have done no work on the documentation. And also the demopage is mostly the same. Just tweaked some things (e.g. adding ipv4/6 to the status page).

A most welcome XCP inclusion but I feel that once again you may have to give some clues for users that may want to use it, as the console window prompt does not appear the same in the Shell as it does in the Command Prompt.

The intention was, that the user immediately sees that is not in the normal command prompt.

BTW is there a switch/command when you call the Shell in the source of the XCP to have the console window open to a certain width and height which may help with the small "standard shell window size of 25 lines"? - I have configured mine to suit my needs for a larger width and length window in the properties configuration, which I believe stores those window size properties in the registry.

The button in XCP is just starting the batchfile "xampp_shell.bat" (like a double click in explorer). And this batchfile is only starting "cmd.exe", setting some ENV variables and also enhancing the PATH. If you are already in your own shell, you can start the batch with "xampp_shell.bat setenv" to have the same effect (without changing the prompt).

The idea behind is:
The user can work with shell tools (like mysql, htpasswd, openssl, cpanp, ppm, pear) without changing paths. Especially for pear that's important (if you use the pear command line in this shell, it's (should be...) fully working. Always a problem in the past releases).

How about including the Alpha testing info in the Beta pages of the web site perhaps for ease of locating everything to do with development in the one location?

It was Kai's decision not to do so. (but I'm happy we can use the feedback form for the alpha.)

BTW is there a list of these "things that have changed", as in a change log perhaps to help with locating and testing them much quicker?

Hm, the main differences are in the step to 1.7.2-dev2 (see changelog). Almost all programs are now own builds.
- therefore Apache knows IPv6
- MySQL is shipped with the PBXT storage engine (and you have a libmysql.dll which is working with PHP)
- Especially all libs required for PHP are also own build. (just enable some extension and compare the versions with a official PHP Windows build)
- in PHP, the XML and OpenSSL extensions are build in and not shared.
- xdebug should work on Vista.
- I've ported the latest Webalizer to Windows, and therefore it can use (is using) GeoIP. I've also tweaked the batchfile which is starting Webalizer.

- Perl is included and not a separate add-on.
- some corrections to the xampp_cli (e.g. in the old version, a "xampp_cli.exe stop mysql" sometimes results in an error, even MySQL is stopped)
- cli and cp knows Tomcat
- the portcheck knows all Mercury and Tomcat ports (on vista you still not see the real binary name)
- you must not install FileZilla as service
- and of course, moving XAMPP should now work correctly (and leave pear intact). That's was my starting point for the new setup script. (for Mercury it's not working correct at the moment, because Mercury is the only app in XAMPP, with must use plain old 8.3 pathnames, as I've just found out.)

Well, and for now, all additional Apache modules, PHP Pecl extension, PEAR packages and Perl modules are removed. (at the moment we are trying the get list with /some/ basic packages/modules we can/should include in XAMPP.)

Hm, I guess I've forgotten something...
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