PerlWiz - Installation Details

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Read this page to find out how to install PerlWiz, and also how to install the ActivePerl tools and the MySQL database server to use with the PerlWiz IDE (if required) and also the PHP tools (if required).

Installation

To install PerlWiz, you will first need to obtain the latest release version of PerlWiz from the PerlWiz web site. This can be found at http://www.perlwiz.biz/download.html

Once you have downloaded the installation program, open the installation program (the latest version is called perlwiz_setup.exe) - typically by choosing the Open option when you download the program, or by double-clicking on it from Windows Explorer if you chose to save the program when downloading.

Here are two versions of the installation instructions - brief and comprehensive:-

Brief Installation Instructions

Comprehensive Installation Instructions

When you open the installation application:-

Registration

If within the thirty days trial period, you decide you wish to carry on using the PerlWiz application, you will need to register the product. To do this, you will need to visit the PerlWiz web site and pay a registration fee to obtain an unlock code. Click here to see how to do this, and the benefits that this gives you.

When you receive your unlock code, follow these instructions to unlock the program:-

registration confirmation dialog

Installation of ActivePerl tools

PerlWiz utilises the ActivePerl implementation of Perl from ActiveState software, the standard implementation of Perl for the Microsoft Windows platform.

In order to perform functions such as Syntax Check, and Execute to Text and Browser, you will need to install a copy of this software on your computer. Here are some brief instructions on how to do this:-

Linking PerlWiz to ActivePerl

In order for PerlWiz to pick up the location of the Perl tools, it needs to know the directory in which these tools are installed.

When you launch PerlWiz, the installation directory will be picked up automatically if you have not previously selected the Perl tools directory, or that installation is no longer active. The following dialog will appear (the location will depend on where you have installed ActivePerl):-

Alternatively, you can click on the Properties button () on the PerlWiz toolbar, open the Language heading, open the Perl sub-heading, and choose the Compiler / Tools sub-heading. You can select the Perl Executable location as follows:-

Use the ellipses button (...) to select using a file selection dialog box, or type the location directly into the text box.

If you ever wish to use the default ActivePerl location in the future, delete the contents of this box, save the Project, close and re-open the application to pick up the location again.

Installation of MySQL Server

Note that PerlWiz does not require you to have MySQL server installed in order to operate - this is an additional feature for anybody that requires the extra functionality that databases bring to application development.

MySQL is an open-source (distributed via the General Public License) database server product which is free to use for applications that will not have any part of MySQL distributed with them (e.g. great for people trying it out at home, or in a test environment).  If your ISP gives you access to database services, there is a good chance it will be using MySQL under this license. Commercial licenses are available if you wish to distribute any part of MySQL itself with your application, or if you would like to benefit from support from MySQL AB, the company that develops MySQL.

A database server handles the storage, retrieval and manipulation of structured data - for example a list of users and their associated details. It handles problems such as several users wishing to access / amend the data simultaneously, accessing portions of data from large volumes of information quickly, and transaction issues - e.g. what if you are half way through storing some details and the user shuts his browser, or the server on  which your data sits reboots itself mysteriously!  If you are seriously wishing to use a large-volume data storage / retrieval application on the web (or even within a company), you would be well advised to get to know the DBI, and a cheap and easy way to do this is to install MySQL on your computer, and try things out using the tools available in PerlWiz.  Perl can use data from a MySQL database using the aforementioned DBI library functionality. There is a separate tutorial in these on-line pages to help you get into DBI programming and executing SQL scripts (a standardised Database query / manipulation language also worth getting to know) directly on MySQL server.

You will need a tool for extracting from a .zip file archive program before performing this installation procedure – try the ShareWare product http://www.winzip.com for WinZip or the FreeWare product FreeZip from http://members.ozemail.com.au/~nulifetv/freezip/index.html

Follow these instructions to install MySQL Server:-

 

Note that if you chose to install MySQL to a path other than the default of c:\mysql you may need to change the path in the Project Properties of PerlWiz in order for PerlWiz to find the MySQL tool set. See the next section for details of how to do this.

Linking PerlWiz to MySQL

In order for PerlWiz to pick up the location of the installed MySQL database server, it needs to know the directory in which the MySQL tools are installed. This works very similarly to the auto-detection of an ActivePerl installation.

When you launch PerlWiz, the installation directory will be picked up automatically if you have not previously selected the MySQL tools directory, or that installation is no longer active, as long as you chose the default MySQL installation directory of c:\mysql\bin (n.b. c:\program files\mysql\bin and c:\phpdev\mysql\bin can also be auto-detected).

The following dialog will appear (the location will depend on where you have installed MySQL):-

 

Alternatively, you can click on the Properties button () on the PerlWiz toolbar, select the Language heading, then the SQL sub-heading, then the MySQL Tools sub-heading. You can select the MySQL tools (BINaries) location as follows:-

Use the ellipses button (...) to select a directory using a directory selection dialog box, or type the location directly into the text box.

If you ever wish to use the default MySQL location in the future, delete the contents of this box, save the Project, close and re-open the application to pick up the location again.

Installation of PHP

Note that PerlWiz does not require you to have PHP installed in order to operate - this is an additional feature for anybody that requires this method of embedding Perl-like scripts into web pages.

PHP (PHP: Hypertext Processor) is a scripting language, much like Perl to look at. It can be used as a server-side scripting language within HTML pages, so that the HTML page is output as normal, but the PHP script parts are replaced with the text that is output during the creation of the page.

This is in contrast to Perl, which is a program which can embed the output of web pages within the program (the opposite way around).

PHP has gained much popularity in recent years, as it allows you to concentrate on building web pages, and adding dynamically created content at the relevant places within pages as you go. This is a very interactive way of developing web pages, and very intuitive to many people.  If you like the object-oriented way of programming found in languages such as Java and C++, then PHP extends the syntax of Perl to include a proper treatment of objects and classes (especially with PHP5). 

Many ISPs now include PHP support as well as (or instead of) Perl support.

PHP is very similar to the Microsoft equivalent, known as ASP (Active Server Pages) in concept, but the language used is quite different.

At the time of writing, PHP was up to version 4.3.4.  An experimental version (PHP5 Beta 4) is also available. It is expected that PHP5 will become the standard very shortly.

You can either download the ZIP package of either version (which includes a lot of extra modules), or the Microsoft Installer version (which is CGI only but still includes support for MySQL). We would recommend the full ZIP package install for PerlWiz, as PerlWiz will update the required settings within PHP to interact with it. The following instructions detail this method:-

Downloading PHP Documentation

You can link to PHP documentation from PerlWiz by downloading the PHP Help file and placing it into a directory called doc in the root of the PHP installation directory as follows:-

This is highly recommended, as the PHP Documentation is not only a guide to the language, but has some very good selection of tutorials and links to other sites too.

Linking PerlWiz to PHP

In order for PerlWiz to pick up the location of the installed PHP toolset, it needs to know the file location for the installed PHP tools. This works very similarly to the auto-detection of an ActivePerl installation.

When you launch PerlWiz, the installation directory will be picked up automatically if you have not previously selected the PHP tools directory, or that installation is no longer active, as long as you chose the suggested PHP installation directory of c:\php-version-Win32 (n.b. c:\program files\php-version-Win32 can also be auto-detected).

The following dialog will appear (the location will depend on where you have installed MySQL):-

Alternatively, you can click on the Properties button () on the PerlWiz toolbar, select the Language tab, and then the PHP tab, and then the Compiler / Tools tab under this. You can select the PHP executable location as follows:-

Use the ellipses button (...) to select the php.exe file using a file selection dialog box, or type the location directly into the text box.

If you ever wish to use the default PHP location in the future, delete the contents of this box, save the Project, close and re-open the application to pick up the location again automatically.

The Ensure php.ini files updated to enable CGI execution should be kept checked to ensure that the php.ini exists in the right place, and is updated to interact with PerlWiz properly. If you wish to change any of the settings in this file manually, it may be a good idea to take this option off to ensure the settings will not be overwritten.

Using Auto-Update to obtain the latest version of PerlWiz

If you wish to check to see if there is a newer copy of PerlWiz available, you can either manually check the web site at http://www.perlwiz.biz/download.html or use the auto-update facility built into PerlWiz, described here.

To check for the latest update, ensure first that you are connected to the internet either through your network, using a cable modem, or using a dial-up adaptor (i.e. connected to a telephone line via an internal modem). Note that at present, this will not work with firewalls that require a userid / password to gain FTP access - check first, as many internal networks only restrict web access, but allow client access to external FTP servers.

To start the auto-update process:-

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This Page was last updated: 27 June 2004 05:53