Solar

a simple yet powerful web server





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Solar is a front-end for the PHP built-in web server. Solar is designed to be easy to use yet powerful, so that beginners and professionals alike can debug their PHP code.





Why Solar?

Easy to Use
Start and stop your server with the press of a button!

Powerful
Solar provides many useful features for testing and debugging your websites. With the press of a button, you can instantly view the phpinfo() page, or easily view syntax highlighting for your PHP code

Open Source
Solar is 100% open source. That means anybody can view the code and help improve it. That way, you don't have to worry about bugs or glitches; you can just focus on the more important tasks at hand.





How it Works

Solar uses Python's subprocess class to run the PHP process in the background with the options you specified in the GUI.





Backstory

I am an intermediate PHP web developer, and I remember that when I was beginning to learn PHP, I didn't understand why I couldn't view a PHP file in my web browser like you can HTML files. I was unable to setup Apache to debug my PHP code, and I had no idea that the PHP built-in web server existed. I still wanted to learn PHP, so I setup a free web hosting account with x10 Hosting. (Note - I am not receiving a commission for linking to x10; I just like their hosting and thought I would reccomend them to everyone reading this page.) I would upload my PHP files to x10 after each change and test them there. Now that I know about the existance of the PHP web server, I am able to easily debug my web apps using PHP. I haven't tried to setup Apache since; PHP works fine for me. Even though the PHP web server is relatively easy to use as-is, I decided to write a front-end for the PHP web server to make it even easier. I use this regularly in my web development, and I hope that you can, too!

I originally wrote Solar in C#, but I recently decided to switch from Windows 10 to Linux, and I wanted to be able to develop apps for both Windows and Linux. I decided to learn Python and PyGUI (a cross-platform GUI framework for Python). As my first Python project, I decided to rewrite Solar in Python so that I can use it again now that I use Linux instead of Windows.

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