This morning, I needed to troubleshoot an error that was occurring in my Feed Statistics plugin when running on a Windows machine as well as under PHP 5. Since I normally do all of my development in *nix environments, I didn’t have such an environment readily available. Having installed Apache, MySQL, and PHP on Windows XP before, I knew that I could do it, but it would probably take the better part of an hour.
I did a quick search for WAMP (Windows Apache MySQL PHP) and found the WAMP project – a single-file download that ostensibly installs Apache, MySQL, and PHP 5 in a Windows environment. I had tried this kind of package before with little luck, but this one literally took 3 minutes to set up, and after 5 minutes of debugging, I had found and fixed the bug in the plugin. Total time spent was less than 10 minutes when I had expected that it would take more than an hour – definitely one of the best software experiences I’ve had in recent memory.
(As for this post’s title, I think all of the comic references at Brian’s blog are rubbing off on me.)