Can anyone suggest a good web development stack for Windows? I've tried xampp, but I want to see what else is available; has anyone had any particular experience with any alternatives? I'm looking for something that will run PHP at the very least.
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There is no better development stack than the one that you intend on deploying to production.
I'm absolutely not kidding.
Make your DEV as close as possible to your PROD. You could debate on the validity of going as far as the hardware stack, but you certainly should have the OS version / edition / service pack as well as the app stack.
Practice like you're going to perform.
This lists out all the WAMP distributions.
Most wamps such as XAMPP and WampServer are free, but are not geared for production deployment. Some like WampDeveloper Pro are commercial and come with additional features.
WAMP is great. It is slim and has all the bells of and whistles. http://www.wampserver.com/en/