I’ve started using MAMP Pro to run local Apache and MySQL servers on my Macbook, mainly because they’ve got a rather more user-friendly front-end when it comes to controlling the most-commonly needed configuration settings. Being able to switch DocRoots and database directories is quite handy when you’re bouncing from project to project.
MAMP Pro is basically MAMP with a lot more of the configuration exposed through a GUI, and for $20 or so I figured it was worth it. Installation is the usual drag-and-drop Mac affair, and stopping and starting the servers is nothing more than a mouse-click.
The problem arose when I tried to run a MediaWiki install, whereupon it immediately fell over complaining of lack of memory available for PHP. By default PHP5 allocates a maximum of 8Mb, which is nowhere near enough for MediaWiki. Changing it is simply a matter of amending the php.ini file and restarting the servers - or so I thought. MAMP had other ideas - every time the server was restarted, it overwrote my amended file, started up PHP with the usual 8Mb and MediaWiki promptly fell over.
This was driving me nuts until I hit upon having a look inside the application itself. If you right-click an application in the Finder and select the ‘Show Package Contents’ option, you get to peer inside the app itself, or at least access the component and configuration files associated with it. In MAMP’s case, that allows you to get hold of the original version of php.ini and be able to edit it - it’s hidden inside the ‘Resources’ folder, but can be edited at will. Alter this to the required values, restart the servers again and away you go.