If you don't understand the meaning of a production environment or what constitutes one, I have to ask what it is you are attempting to accomplish?
Hopefully it is easier than trying to write a patch to shift everyone else to a new file structure without breaking everything
Everyone else? Applications? Break, break what??
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I would say "that" (having users that are reliant on services) constitues a production envirronment.
read down a bit here:http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/167 ... nment-mean
Can an XAMPP installation be used by IIS on the same machine as Apache (of course on different ports)?
I can't even guess what you are trying to ask here.
I will directly answer the question about establishing a proper IT-type production environment, nevertheless:
In general - it means properly installing and integrating the correctly scaled components needed to provide a reliable and effective platform.
So in this case, it would mean installing Apache, PHP and MySQL (plus since you seem to want to have users, likely an FTP server) in the correct versions (full installs) on a server OS designed to be used in that role and then configurubng all of them to operate as a whole -- Or you could learn an Open Source provisioning system (probably the 'right answer').
Why do that? Becasue in that scenario, all the 'real products' will operate with their full range of features, and be deployed in the manner suggested by the developers -- which will make getting help reasonably easy.
You are actaully welcome to do anything your heart desires with Open Source software. Just don't plan on things like XAMPP, WAMP and the ilk to become full-scale stand-ins for 'the real thing' (fully installed standalone products properly integrated)
Good Luck with your project.