Setting Up Proper WebDev Workflows

May 18, 2008

I have done web development for myself for many years and have also launched a very successful video game website. But I have NEVER used what I would consider a proper workflow for developing.

I have never used a test server and never used SVN. All of my work up to now I have done using Dreamweaver and Visual Studio. Using the pitiful source control in dreamweaver (essentially just marks files as read only) and always used a web host I pay for as my platform. Its takes a while to test things as uploading takes a quick second or 2 and I run into problems making test pages and then when it comes time to roll them out to the live version of my site...well...it can get complicated.

I'm taking it upon myself to start learning Ruby along with the Rails framework. And I want to clean up my act a bit. I'm would like yalls advice on how best to set up a better/more professional work flow. I have a number of computers and would like to set one up as a dedicated test platform. I would like to do my development and coding on my windows PC but run the webhost, mySQL server, a mySQL front end, PHP, Ruby, etc on my linux box. Whats the best way to manage this? Is the best way to just ftp them over to the right directories? Or am I totally missing the boat on a much better way to push new code to my test bed? Is there a linux distro of choice out there that comes bundled and set up with all those things pretty much out of the box?

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I am wondering if you can either:

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