What is 'XAMPP'? Do I need it?
XAMPP is a (software) infrastructure - a backbone of the Net.
XAMPP is a software set put together to provide web server services. The name XAMPP comes from the first letter of the core packages. But X stands for one of popular computer operating systems: Linux, Mac OS, Window. So LAMPP, MAMPP, and WAMPP are each a tailored set of XAMPP for Linux, Mac, and Windows.
XAMPP set consists of
X-os (e.g. Linux: Debian, OpenSuse, Fedora, Ubuntu,...)
Apache (currently 2.2.17)
MySQL (currently 5.5.8)
PHP (c 5.3.5)
phpMyAdmin (c 3.3.9)
FileZilla FTP Server (c 0.9.37)
Tomcat (c 7.0.3 with mod_proxy_ajp as connector)
Do I need XMAPP?
If you are like me using a computer to read news and facts, to write documents, blogs and email, to manage photos and to keep some records. You don't know about XAMPP. You do not need to know about it. Though, you may be using it very often. When you write something on Gotoknow.org, you actually use XAMPP on an Gotoknow.org computer (also called a server). Your interactions with Gotoknow.org servers is managed by Apache and some utility routines. What you write is a record. The record gets stored in a database, managed by MySQL. If you ever have enough curiosity to look at a webpage's source (select 'view'.'page source' on the menu bar), you will see among HTML tags, some PHP language program code. PHP is a computer language used to process content of web pages. And phpMyAdmin is a utility software suite, written in PHP to help in management of servers' operations.
I have not used any of these packages directly for over 5 years. I don't need to know any of these to use any of these. We have technical support programmers on Gotoknow.org to make 'gadgets' (easy to do controls/forms/buttons/...) for us. We only need to give necessary data and to 'click' a button. The gadgets will then do everything that needs to be done for us. That why we have servers! ;-)
If your are a computer programmer, we would expect you to know how to 'manipulate' all these packages. So, they work well for some purposes. We expect you to make them work, fast, reliable and at low cost. You are the master of the servers. But remember the servers are there to serve people's needs. (Many programmers forget this and try to show their 'smartness' instead.)
Finally, XAMPP is 'free' (and open-source). So, everyone can use XAMPP for any purpose. Every can help to make XAMPP work better. Everyone can be XAMPP friends and friends of XAMPP friends.
Note. This post is written in English because I believe that Thai programmers would benefit greatly if they can master English and become 'international' in their work. Programming languages are more or less 'English' already. Extending applications to English would make them useable by more than 50% of the world. Making them 'international' are a much shorter step to take. Much shorter than a step from 'Thai' to 'English' ;-)