While the actual installation of XOOPS for development use is similar to the normal installation already described, there are key differences when building a developer ready system.
One big difference in a developer install is that instead of just focusing on the contents of the htdocs directory, a developer install keeps all of the files, and keeps them under source code control using git.
Another difference is that the xoops_data and xoops_lib directories can usually remain in place without renaming, as long as your development system is not directly accessible on the open internet (i.e. on a private network, such as behind a router.)
Most developers work on a localhost system, that has the source code, a web server stack, and any tools needed to work with the code and database.
Most developers want to be able to stay up to date with current sources, and contribute changes back to the upstream XOOPS/XoopsCore25 repository on GitHub. This means that instead of downloading a release archive, you will want to fork a copy of XOOPS and use git to clone that repository to your dev box.
Since the repository has a specific structure, instead of copying files from the htdocs directory to your web server, it is better to point your web server to the htdocs folder inside your locally cloned repository. To acomplish this, we typically create a new Virtual Host, or vhost that points to our git controlled source code.
In a WAMP environment, the default localhost page has in the Tools section a link to Add a Virtual Host which leads here:
WAMP Add Virtual Host
Using this you can set up a VirtualHost entry that will drop right into your (still) git controlled repository.
Here is an example entry in wamp64/bin/apache/apache2.x.xx/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf
You might also need to add an entry in Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts:
Now, you can install on http://xoops.localhost/ for testing, while keeping your repository intact, and keeping the webserver inside the htdocs directory with a simple URL. Plus, you can update your local copy of XOOPS to the latest master at any time without having to reinstall or copy files. And, you can make enhancements and fixes to the code to contribute back to XOOPS through GitHub.