Hi iseabail, welcome to the forums.
For years I got along using my remote server, plain old notepad, and a few browsers (IE, NS, Opera and Firefox)
Having a localhost server is a big improvement over needing to FTP every time you tweak.
I use Notepad++ now, much better.
I still test in several browsers, though chrome has replaced NS
I used to have XAMPP but now I have each (Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl) installed separately.
BTW - "foo" is only a generic "whatever" same as "bar" and "baz".
I am just getting used to using Workbench after years of phpMyAdmin, but a db tool is essential even if only the command line.
Other than those basics, I guess an IDE like Netbeans or Eclipse would help.
uh, what were you asking?