To use the examples in this book, it is very helpful to have a system set up with a Web server and database server that you can test the code on as you read. This book aims to be as cross-platform as possible so that we can reach the widest possible audience. This appendix covers how to configure Perl, the Apache Web server, and the MySQL database for Linux and Windows systems. The reason Apache and MySQL are used is that they are both free, easily attainable, and very good at what they do.
This appendix covers only basic installation and configuration. If you need to do some customizing or if you have an odd configuration, you may have to crack some of the manuals open and figure out how to configure the way you want to.
The installations for Windows systems have come a very long way since I started working with these tools. For the most part, the installations are as simple as installing any other Windows program.
As I have learned while preparing this appendix, Apache for Windows32 systems may not run on Windows 98 or Windows 95. The documentation says that it “may” work, and one of my editors said it worked for him, but in my experience it did not. I have installed Apache on a Windows 2000 system. (Many thanks to kane from the #perl IRC channel for helping me get the tools I need for this section.)
Perl, Apache, and MySQL have great support available through the NNTP newsgroups and mailing lists. Community support for Open Source software is typically faster and more helpful than any sort of commercial-product support I’ve encountered.