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From Andrew Wilson <and...@www.elsevier.co.uk>
Subject .htforward anyone???
Date Mon, 03 Apr 1995 14:45:23 GMT

	[lots of untested pipe-dreamery follows.  I haven't got this
	working yet, so you could just ignore what follows until I have]

Hulloo,

Non-admin information providors should be able to determine the redirection
capabilities of the server.  [Er, because I said so.  No, well, actually
because it's not the server-admin's job to munge .conf files to redirect
access to my home-page subject to my whim.]

Would it be considered cool to have some kind of

	.htforward

capability under Apache?  sendmail has a .forward which contains various
scripty bits and pieces to allow incoming mail to be forwarded on to another
destination.  The people who decide what-gets-.forwarded-where are the 'owners'
of the e-mail (the recipients) rather then the root user or some other admin.

An .htforward (or .htredirect) could sit in a public_html directory and
would be read by the server whenever a file was accessed in the same directory.
If a single file were used to redirect accesses to my index.html file onto
my COMMA home-page then it could look like this:

--- cut here ---
# .htredirect
# 1)  I'm keeping my home-page on another site at the moment
index.html http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/User/Andrew.Wilson/
# 2)  All my apache documentation is held on hyperreal for the next few weeks
ApacheDocs/ http://www.hyperreal.com/apache/docs/andrew/
--- cut here ---

Ok, well that file establishes a mapping between:

	http://you.are.here.com/index.html

and

	http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/User/Andrew.Wilson/

but it could be a bit cumbersome to have to read and parse the .htredirect
each time the directory was accessed.  So how about another idea:

Let's say that the server sees all <filename>.redirect files as containing the
redirect-to URL for <filename>.  So:

	~andrew/public_html/index.redirect

would be :

--- cut here ---
http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/User/Andrew.Wilson/
--- cut here ---

And

	~andrew/public_html/ApacheDocs.redirect

would be:

--- cut here ---
http://www.hyperreal.com/apache/docs/andrew/
--- cut here ---

All this is semantically the same as specifying a cgi-script file-type in the
.conf files, and making each 'redirecting' script fool the server into issuing
a redirect.  I don't understand how the .map/.var thing works yet so I'll bluff.
Just assume that the server knows that when you 'ask' for index.html you really
mean 'index.redirect'.  index.redirect could look like:

--- cut here ---
#!/usr/local/bin/perl
print "Location: http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/User/Andrew.Wilson/\n\n";
--- cut here ---

Anyway.  There's a need for this (cuz I've been asked for it already so...),
is defining yet another custom file-type the best solution, bearing in mind that
I want the info-providors to have control over this functionality?

Cheers,
Ay.
     Andrew Wilson	     URL: http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/User/Andrew.Wilson/
Elsevier Science, Oxford   Office: +44 0865 843155     Mobile: +44 0589 616144



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