The answer is simple: create a local testing server with php, Apache, MySQL, and phpMyAdmin on your Mac. Connect to your local testing server/database (located on your Mac as localhost) and you'll be good to go as far as local development on your testing server. I can help you set it up in Leopard but Tiger is a little outdated so you'd have to Google info on that. If you decide to upgrade to Leopard let me know and I can walk you through the steps of setting it up!
Thanks buddy, that makes sense of alot of things..! but how would I go about upgrading from tiger to leopard?
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how would I go about upgrading from tiger to leopard?
Buy Leopard, insert disk, follow instructions.
You can instal php (which is built into Leopard) by renaming a file and uncommenting a line then enabling web sharing in System Preferences but I use entropy because it has the GD enabled for CAPTCHA and other features. There's a 10.4 version on their website but it mentions it's an older, unsupported and probably insecure version. You should use entropy Leopard version 5.2.9-7 for Leopard/ADDT development.
After you get php installed you need to install MySQL which is easy to find through searching and straight-forward to instal. Then instal phpMyAdmin and you'll be good to go!
As mentioned earlier I can walk you through the steps more thoroughly if you decide to upgrade to Leopard. There's some other steps involved: You need to configure virtual hosts so that it points to your Sites folder on your Mac and each folder in Sites folder are for each site you have so that entering site1 goes to ~/Sites/site1 on local testing server and entering site2 goes to ~/Sites/site2 in local testing server, etc. very, very easy to setup. Just edit hidden hosts file in etc folder and username.config file in apache2 hidden folder.
There's other tutorials out there that show how to do it but most don't have all the info. I'm working on a step-by-step tutorial on my website but it's not finished yet. Maybe it'll be ready by the time you decide to upgrade to Leopard.
lol you said a mouthful, will do...