For XAMPP I think you need to edit the php.ini at installation folder, (e.g: c:\xampp\php) looking for the line "short_open_tag" when you find it, below the line add like this "short_open_tag = On" without "".
And I think better if your create some vhost, I done have tutorial about vhost but, my be you can email me, so I give you the setting of vhost. Or your can googling with keyword "setting vhost" it very easy.
just edit file below:
- httpd.conf : just del # mark for mod_rewrite.so, mod_userdir.so, mod_vhost_alias.so
at directory extra: httpd-vhosts.conf, httpd-userdir.conf
and at %windir%\system32\drivers\etc: a file named "host" at add line below 127.0.0.1 localhost witt 127.0.0.1 yourdomain-vhostname.com
I hope it can help.