droidus wrote:when you say "by default", how can I change this?
It is bad practice to make the functionality of a scripts dependent of a specific php setting especially if that setting is just a code styling one and not a functionality itself.
With that dependency your script maybe don't run on some servers where this setting is deactivated and that without any good reason.
but this is just a hint from an experienced programmer.
if you want to change this setting, search for short_open_tag = Off
in your \xampp\php\php.ini
, change it to On and restart Apache.