Every developer’s toolbox changes and evolves over time, even the old Reluctant Developer’s. In fact, I go through periods where I spend way too much time trying to find the next app that’s going to get me over the hump from hack to rock star. I haven’t found it yet because it doesn’t exist, but it’s still interesting exchanging some of the tools in the toolbox now and then, and sometimes finding that app that really makes a difference in one’s workflow.
So here’s a list of what I’m using now, along with a brief (sometimes very brief) explanation of “why”:
So I just got my 5-year old Macbook Pro back from Apple* after it sat dead for several months (my kid killed it playing Minecraft). I decided I needed it for do some web work in the family room while pretending to watch the Real Lives of Whatever with the family.
I have the impression that real, tough guy developers don’t sissy their way into a local dev environment using MAMP. You gotta use the built-in version of Apache, and download, make, make test, make install, etc. etc. everything else. So that’s what I did.
The Apache part is easy because it’s already there. So is PHP (5.3.15 for Mountain Lion I think). However, it doesn’t include mcrypt, which is required for Laravel. To get that working, just follow the 20 or so steps here, which including getting the latest version of Xcode. Fun.
MySQL was fairly easy if you choose the package installer (sissy) over compiling it yourself (tough guy).
Once it’s finally working, you feel good about yourself, then realize that the mysql ports are different for the dev machines that are still using MAMP and share the same code, PHP CLI isn’t in your path, you don’t know how to switch between PHP 5.2/5.3 if you need to (easy with MAMP), etc.
So in the end, I just went back to using MAMP.
*Apple has a nice deal where they fill fix anything and everything for $310.