For Drupal newbies, Christmas has come early. Acquia released the Acquia Drupal Stack Installer nicknamed the DAMP (Drupal + Apache + MySQL + PHP) stack.
With this package, you can download one item, double click and install all of the necessary components to get the Drupal Web CMS up and running.
Acquia Drupal Stack Installer Details
The Acquia Drupal Stack Installer is currently available for Mac OS X and Windows users. When asked about the lack of a Linux version, Bryan House, Marketing Director at Acquia responded, "Since Linux folks like the ability to roll their own and are often more comfortable working with tarballs and checking code out of CVS, we concentrated on Windows/Mac first. We're targeting a Linux installer later this year."
If the beauty of this stack isn't quite apparent yet, let us break it down. Downloading this one file gets you Acquia's packaged version of Drupal, the Apache Web server, the MySQL database server, PHP, PhpMyAdmin and the Acquia Drupal Control Panel. Not having to go to five different places to download those individual pieces makes all the difference in the world.
Installing the stack involves downloading and launching the installer, agreeing to the license, changing the suggested stack install location and site files location if needed. Then you customize the Apache and MySQL ports if needed, assign the database information and specify the information for the Drupal administrator. All of these tasks are done step-by-step in a single installer, which then assembles all of the pieces.
Acquia Drupal Stack Installer on Mac OS X
When the installation's done, have the installer launch the Acquia Drupal Control Panel and you're off to the races.
Is the DAMP Stack All Wet?
Of course, there are some trade-offs for the convenience. The Drupal stack installs from Acquia and has reminders of this on all of the administration pages. The phrasing of the messages might confuse newbies who don't understand where the lines between Acquia and Drupal start and end.
As noted by other members of the Acquia Drupal community, the DAMP stack suffers from the lack of the expected Mac-y look and feel user-friendliness. Upon installation, it will not launch in your preferred browser, but will randomly pick Safari.
We haven't tried installing the stack on Windows. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.
All in all, though, it's hard to dismiss the chance for a newbie to try Drupal without having to deal with the entire XAMP stack as well.