Are there turn-key development webapp containers for evaluation?

In short: I want a ready-made webapp framework with a web server and a database in a container, such that I can edit files on my local drive and view the results through a browser pointed at the container – in order to get started with said framework. I want to be writing and viewing webpages within 10 minutes of starting. Seems achievable in theory.

If that’s clear, feel free to skip the rest…

Every few years I check in on the web development world, which I am not involved in. I always bail out because the tools take too long to set up and rarely work without lots of tinkering. I would think by now there should be some simple, turn-key docker-compose solutions that can give a reasonable working setup (ie. Node.js+MySQL, LAMP, etc).

Ideally it would look to a configurable directory on the local disk for the actual code to run, so I can just start working on a project. I am not locked in to any platform, but it should be up and running (serving pages) inside of 10 minutes. Shouldn’t have to configure more than a couple ports, passwords, and directories.

I have found tutorials that get halfway to setting it up, but not one actually works as advertised. After having spent the better part of the past two days trying solutions, I am about ready to give up yet again. My goal is not to get into the minutiae of setting up a deployment. I just want to mess around with the frameworks and languages and see what they are capable of and what I might like to use.

Is there something out there I am just not seeing? Is there something that prevents this? Wouldn’t this be the preferred method of starting a project for just about everyone, experienced or not?

It seems like a few of the common stacks would be really handy.

If I see something that requires making custom Docker files, I am out. I’ve been down that road (quite extensively in the supercomputing realm with Singularity), and it seems entirely unnecessary here. The official containers for these tools seem okay, they just need to be integrated and brought up together.

This and this (ignore the terrible politics splashed all over the site) seemed to get close in terms of the goal, but it did not work in practice and needs debugging. Even then, trying it required reading through a lot of unnecessary stuff and copying and pasting pieces of multiple versions of files.

I would think the maintainers of projects would have demo versions ready to go. It would probably attract new users.

In many cases, the final deployment very well may look like the development one, which would be a nice bonus.

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Author: ThisShouldBeSimpleNow