So you just bought your copy of .threads installed it as per the instructions and it works just fine. Some time has passed, you are lurking here and reading about all the things other people do and want to participate actively. In addition to that you also want to make some modifications yourself. This might be a new stylesheet, changing the way things look and feel (templates) or even adding some code to give you that extra bit functionality that your board users want. But where do you start....
Installing another copy on your host which will be your dev forum will do the trick but then you need to have a second database. Some hosts will allow you to have more than one and others will charge you for it. Being on a slow 56K modem connection doesn't help either... So what do you do?
Well what you can do is install the whole software on your home computer and run things from there. What you can do is:
On a Windows system you can install Internet Information Server (IIS) a component that comes with Windows 2000 or Windows XP. This will give you the ability to display pages on your browser which reside on your home computer by using the address http://localhost.
Another alternative (which I favor personally) is to use Apache (http://httpd.apache.org
). It does exaclty the same thing as IIS but is more flexible in terms of starting/stopping/configuring. The choice is yours. Apache comes in an .msi flavor (windows executable) so all you have to do is click on next a couple of times and fill 3 fields. After that it is up and running.
But wait a minute... "When I tried to install the forum on my computer the install.php script showed up on screen instead of actually executing something" I hear you say. This is true because your web server is not configured to run php scripts. So off we go to install php support for your web server. http://www.php.net
is our target and we move straight to the downloads section. The site will detect where you are from your IP address and it will bring the closest mirrors to the top of your list so that your downloads are faster. PHP for windows comes in two flavors. One as an executable and one as a zip file. Download both because you will need them. Run the .exe file. This will install php on your box with a handful of clicks. I usually prefer to have everything nice and tidy so I change the destination folders to c:/program files/php instead of the default c:/php. The choice is yours... If you have IIS installed, the php installer will automatically configure it for you to use. If on the other hand you have Apache, you will have to do things yourself. There is a very good guide presented in the installation.txt file which is at the php root folder. Follow the instructions there and you will have everything installed! The last thing to do is unzip the php.zip file that you downloaded earlier in the same folder and with the preserved folder structure as it is on the zip file, to where you have installed php on your box. The reason for this is that the installer version doesn't come with all the possible extensions and additional goodies that php can offer, so you will possibly find yourself missing some things if you don't do this step.
Ok Php is setup and so is my web server. Let's install .threads!
The copy of the .threads has to be in the web folder that your web server executes scripts. For IIS it is usually c:/inetpub/wwww, while Apache defaults to c:/program files/apache group/apache2/htdocs. Both these locations can change to where you want them to. All you have to do is read the supplied documentation.
The install script starts running until you realize that it asks you about a database and some username and password information! Doh! We forgot the database where our data is to be stored!
OK no biggie there. Let's go to http://www.mysql.com
and straight to the downloads page. Download the latest stable version. It will take some time but when the zip file is downloaded, extract its contents in an empty folder and run the setup program. This will instll mysql in your box. Once this is finished go to the folder where you installed mysql (I prefer c:/program files/mysql) and navigate to the bin subfolder. In there there is a file called winmysqladmin.exe. Run this and for the first time it will ask you for a username and password. Type in administrator and a password of your choice. Once this is done your user is set up and you can see mysql running (through this tool). Now it is a good time to restart your PC after all these installations - just to be sure...
Once the system boots up again, you will need to create a database.... You can create one using the command line and executing mysql.exe from the c:/program files/mysql/bin - but then again you will have to know the syntax - or be smart and download either phpMyAdmin (http://www.phpmyadmin.net
) or MySQL Control Center (http://www.mysql.com
). Eiter of these tools will allow you to access your local databases. Create one - e.g. testubb - and you are nearly there!
Run the installation program of the threads again and you will find out that you have a working copy of threads for you to experiment with very quickly.
These three programs have a plethora of features that you will soon discover on your own by investigating and taking logical steps. However you might need to do all in one with no hassle for you to download this and that and then tweak this program so that the other one can work.
Don't worry. Help is at hand. Go to http://www.bigapache.org.
This is a project that combines tlatest versions of apache, mysql, php, jboss and perl in one downloadable package. It also includes the Mercury Mail server but you can skip this for the time being.
Installation and setup is really straight forward and all you have to do is decide which modules to install (leave Mercury out) and where to install them. The installation program will contact the download sites and download each component for you and set it up as needed. The beauty of this distribution is that it is all preconfigured for you and it will save you time until you get your bearings straight with the operation of Apache/PHP/MySQL and .threads.
For IIS information there is a plethora of articles on the Internet and also on the http://msdn.microsoft.com