Anyway, after reading a bunch of the information at onLamp.com, I downloaded and installed MySQL 5.0.27 and enabled the PHP module in apache. There was a some confusion in all the documentation I was following as to how to set the mysql socket to the right location... apparently the binary I installed from MySQL.com (for Mac OS X 10.4 (x86)) sets the socket to /tmp/mysql.sock, but PHP expects it to be at /var/mysql/mysql.sock. Two Apple docs here and here indicate that /var/mysql/mysql.sock is better for security purposes, so I attempted to change the MySQL defaults to move the socket by making a MySQL configuration file at /etc/my.cnf that contained
[mysqld]Unfortunately, this didn't quite fix things immediately, but with some very non-scientific, uncontrolled fiddling and reconfiguring, I got the the server online. So now we have a pretty cool forum. Oh, also, for the record, I tried hardening the default install of MySQL by removing anonymous access and defining real, encrypted passwords for the remaining accounts... but I have no idea what gaping holes I'm leaving open.
Next up, extensions for Vanilla and choosing a blog content management system.