On my way to learning about web servers and their corresponding applications, I have decided to play around with running my own local web Apache server just for myself. For most nerds, this is no big deal, for linux guys this is nothing. But I'm a Windows guy. I love to fully understand what I need to know, and leave the rest alone. To me a web server has meant, the IIS windows service is running. That's it. Everything else is taken care of.
The communications between the servlet and the web service is done through SOAP. This is a black box to me. I don't understand anything here. Somewhere in the stack is TCP/IP, but I'm not sure where. Then when things get to the server they are actually run in the server and the other associated applications to produce results. I know about a small portion of this stack.
So when you need to learn something, what do you do? You start learning more about the layers. I decided to start at the base. I knew Apache was free, and I have read about a package XAMPP. It will install everything that you need to run an Apache server with SQLLite, MySQL, and Perl. And then I ran across a post at LifeHacker about How to Setup your personal Wiki. It's great, because it's the same Wiki software we use at work.
One day over lunch I downloaded and installed XAMPP from PortableApps.com. to go along with the the rest of the ones that I already have.
The next day over lunch, I followed the instructions from LifeHacker and had my own personal Wiki up and running.
I still have a long way to go, but I learned a little something about MySQL, and the Apache server that I have running from my thumb drive now. The coolest thing is that I can take my own web server and wiki along with the rest of my tools wherever I go. And if I just happen to have the desire to build a new website, I can get it all up and running, as long as I have my thumb drive with me.
How did you stretch your mind today?