You want to test out PHP scripts without worrying about bringing your web site down or contaminating your production environment.
Set up a test environment for your application on your desktop machine, using XAMPP.
The complexity of setting up a localized running environment for your web application frequently deters developers from taking that step. The result is often a breakdown in development best practices, such as editing files on the production web site as a privileged user'never a good idea!
The XAMPP project provides single-installer solutions for four platforms: Windows 98/NT/2000/XP, Mac OS X, Linux (SuSE/RedHat/Mandrake/Debian), and Solaris. The packages contain synchronized versions of Apache, MySQL , PHP and PEAR, phpMyAdmin, and eAccelerator.
With an easy, step-by-step installation procedure, the XAMPP project makes creating a web-application-running environment on your local machine a snap.
Dealing with a large dataset? Unfortunately, developers working with sites that deal extensively with content that changes frequently find that they let best practices development habits slip due to a lack of good test data to work with. Don't let this happen to you! Simply write a script that mirrors your data structure locally, and then peroidically update your local copy of data with a subset snapshot of the complete data set. That way you're easily able to pull in a current copy of relevant data that's large enough to be used for real testing and development purposes.
20.16.4. See Also
The XAMPP project home page at http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html.