I am going to be embarking on a major project soon, and want to be sure that I know how to do it properly. I will be developping locally (on a Win7 machine with Xampp; however, I am open to doing it on Ubuntu if it makes a difference). Here is where it gets complicated, at least according to my level of knowledge: it will be a multisite install with mapped domains AND subdomains. Here's what it'll be like (fake domain names obviously):
Main/root domain: root.com (this will only be a static landing page; I'll also ideally use this as a roll my own link shortener domain which I will configure all my subsites to use, i.e. root.com/hYgTn)
Mapped domains: domain1.com, domain2.com (subsites )
subdomains: sub1.root.com, sub2.root.com (also subsites); I may also eventually have sub3.domain1.com etc, but that's not for sure yet.
So, a somewhat complex setup, but I have it all mapped out, and I think that I can make it work fine with the wpeBooks plugins, Networks+ and Professional Domain Mapping. But now, here's the crux of my question:
How do I develop this locally??? With mapped domains and all, I'm just not sure how I can get this to work locally. I want to be able to do a seamless deployment to a Linux Apache server (as seamless as possible, anyway), so that everything is set up and ready to go when I deploy (subsites are there, theme options are there, widgets are there, the works).
Any advice, walkthroughs, tips, etc will be highly appreciated. Let me know if I need to clarify anything!