To fix this and many other problems, a new iteration of XAMPP's launcher is in the works. It's still a beta product, but a copy of the beta edition is supplied with the current version of XAMPP, so you can use it interchangeably with the original launcher. The beta warns you about port conflicts and provides you with quick links to the log files for each component. It can also launch an instance of the Netstat tool to see which programs are using which network ports on the local machine.
XAMPP's second main drawback is that it doesn't have a culture of add-ons to expand its functionality. What you see is all you get. What few add-ons were created for it (Tomcat, Perl) have since been rolled into the main package. Those interested in any languages not supported directly in XAMPP (Ruby, for instance) are probably better off with another stack that has a richer collection of products. There's also no direct integration with any development environments, so you're entirely responsible for your own code maintenance.
For those of you who use the PortableApps collection of programs, there's a version of XAMPP packaged for PortableApps. It omits some of the packages found in the original distribution for the sake of a smaller installation, but it's got all the most crucial pieces.
Recommended for: Beginners and those who want a "server on a stick" setup.
The new beta version of the XAMPP control panel includes port checking and a more detailed interface than its predecessor.
This article, "Review: WAMP stacks for Web developers," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest news in programming at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
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