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why is there two different applications (xampp and mamp)

I use both PC and MAC and have always used xampp ...

But I've only been using MAC for 2 months now, but what is the reason that Treehouse use MAMP for MAC?

I would have an advantage by switching to MAMP on my iMAC

4 Answers

Lasse,

Functionally, they're about the same. Treehouse favors developing on Mac, that's all. Choose the OS you prefer and go. MAMP Pro costs $$; XAMPP and regular MAMP are free.

Chris Shaw
Chris Shaw
26,629 Points

Hi lasse,

MAMP is a vastly more advanced development environment compared to XAMPP which is a simple LAMP stack and nothing more and involves a lot more manual setup for websites whereas MAMP handles all this for us, it also has much more advanced functionality for switching PHP versions, logging, DNS mapping and my favourite feature LAN mapping via xip.io.

All round it's the number one choice if you need to get sites going quickly without hassle, did I mention it also has the ability to connect to 3rd party SMTP servers?

Hi Chris. thanks for a really good answer. I will try MAMP

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,195 Points

It's my understanding that XAMPP and MAMP offer roughly the same features. However, MAMP Pro which costs $59 offers many of the features mentioned by Chris Upjohn.

James is right. The free versions of XAMPP and MAMP are about the same.

If you want to buy MAMP Pro, you can get more features. I don't agree at all with Chris that MAMP is "vastly more advanced". Again, the key difference is the OS you're working on, not this tool.

Chris Shaw
Chris Shaw
26,629 Points

Sorry, I've done that twice this year, I've been using MAMP Pro for so long I just call it MAMP now.

In respect to the free version XAMPP has more functionality but the software is the same at the base level except for the versions of PHP, Apache and MySQL they use.

My comment above relates directly to MAMP Pro and it's functionality, not the underlying software which is PHP, Apache and MySQL.

Marco Otto
Marco Otto
5,342 Points

Hey Chris, sorry that I am so curious but you sound like reseller of the MAMP pro Version. MAMP(free Version) and XAMPP are practically the same. And having a sever use different PHP Versions and virtual hosts (different webserver configuration in one) require either a little configuration your self (which by the way gives you a better understanding how a webserver works) or you pay 40 bugs and get it mostly done in MAMP pro (like others think you might need it in most cases).

My recommendation: Which software to use depends alway (!) on what you planning to do with it (most beginners in web programming don't even know what SMTP stands for or want to use several PHP Version at once). So in my opinion XAMPP or MAMP (free Version) are perfectly fine for most beginners. No need to spend money there!

Chris Shaw
Chris Shaw
26,629 Points

Hi Marco,

Hey Chris, sorry that I am so curious but you sound like reseller of the MAMP pro Version.

I assure you I am not a reseller, I have tried several different options to local stacks on OS X but all have fallen short of MAMP in my personal opinion. Yes, the underlying technologies used by MAMP and XMAPP are pretty much the same, I look past that for:

  1. Ease of use
  2. An intuitive UI with lots of configurable options for Apache, PHP and MySQL
  3. The ability to easy test production-like settings without needing to manually change files
  4. Probably the most important for me personally, low memory and CPU usage

And having a sever use different PHP Versions and virtual hosts (different webserver configuration in one) require either a little configuration your self (which by the way gives you a better understanding how a webserver works)

Getting multiple versions of PHP working isn't a trivial process since it requires intermediate knowledge of setting up PHP-FPM and FastCGI, of course there are plenty of tutorials - but it's a slow and frustrating process for someone who has never set it up before.

Yes, it would give you a better understanding but it would be far better to do so within a Linux VM where the environment would be more predictable when getting set up.

[...] or you pay 40 bugs and get it mostly done in MAMP pro (like others think you might need it in most cases).

I didn't pay because it was already done, but because it saves a lot of time if I need to format my MacBook as the backup contains all vital data about virtual hosts, PHP versions and settings, SSL certificates etc.

Again, these opinions are my own based on software evaluations over the past 6-7 years.

Marco Otto
Marco Otto
5,342 Points

Hi Chris, thanks for the reply! maybe I was a bit provocative with my first statement. Others here, including you, made it clear that you where talking about the commercial version "MAMP pro" in you first replay stating that it is a more advanced development environment. Just some comments on your listed statements in your reply:

  1. Ease of use - Supposing that GUI and installation process on MAC and PC are similar (with Linux your bound to XAMPP anyway), I think there is not much differences in the ease of use if you just need to set up a local web server working on a web page on your local computer.

  2. An intuitive UI with lots of configurable options for Apache, PHP and MySQL I think both applications are intuitive enough to quickly click and switch on/off Apache and MySQL (now MariaDB*). By the way, does MAMP also support PHP 7 at the moment (March 2016)?

  3. The ability to easy test production-like settings without needing to manually change files Like you suggested, this should preferably be done in testing environments that simulate production servers environment (e.g. VMs, test-server) not on MAMP or XAMPP.

  4. Probably the most important for me personally, low memory and CPU usage As far as I know this is a Mac-related (not PC) problem with "mysql". This would be indeed a strong point for people using Mac, although not sure if the new DBMS (MariaDB*) on XAMPP produces the same issues ...maybe some one here knows?

*Since XAMPP 5.6 MySQL is replaced by MariaDB this might also be considered (use of PDO in PHP ....).

Again, these opinions are my own based on software evaluations over the past 6-7 years.

I truly respect that, and your actually made me learn more about MAMP, thx! :-)

And last but not least, here at treehouse there is still the "workspaces" you can use doing most of the courses content. I think this is a great start when beginning to learn programming for the web - so no need at all for most beginners to even bother with this topic here ;-).

Greg Wienecke
Greg Wienecke
20,765 Points

I agree with Chris, I started out with XAMPP and then a couple weeks later saw someone using MAMP and immediately switched to MAMP. For me, their UI is much nicer and way more intuitive.

It's okay Chris the information comes automatically ... PRO = PAY :) yes they are very similar but I prefer mac and visual MAMP is more user-friendly Treehouse prefer mac and MAMP I also believe it is the right path for me. thanks for many good answers.