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From Chris Pepper <pep...@reppep.com>
Subject Re: pathnames in directives
Date Thu, 21 Jun 2001 21:04:29 GMT
At 1:46 PM -0700 2001/06/21, Joshua Slive wrote:
>One thing that I think confuses many people about the apache docs is
>trying to determine what kind of pathname each directive takes.  For
>example, should a pathname be
>
>1. Absolute
>2. Relative to the documentroot
>3. Relative to the webspace
>3. Relative to the serverroot
>etc...
>
>Some directives are clear about this, but some are not.  For example, the
>DocumentRoot directive says
>Syntax: DocumentRoot directory-filename
>
>I have actually seen several people try to point DocumentRoot at a
>particular file, rather than a directory.
>
>Does anyone have ideas/suggestions on how to clarify this?

	Perhaps define specific terms, and use them consistently?

absolutepath
documentpath
urlpath
serverpath

	Alongside the definition of these terms, we could have 
something like the following:

	Note: Apache uses several different kinds of paths. The first 
kind, the URL path or 'urlpath, applies to the URLs users send to the 
server. Logically, URL paths are used for cases where you are 
describing the abstract structure of a site. Absolute paths (aka 
'absolutepath') always start with a slash and are the same as 
absolute system paths you'd use in any other program. Apache tries to 
avoid these, in favor of the other types, but sometimes absolute 
specificity is worthwhile or necessary. Server paths ('serverpath') 
govern the location of administrative files (configuration files, 
apache programs, certificate files, etc.), and are in terms of the 
apache root directory, also called the 'PREFIX', as defined when 
Apache was compiled. Typically this is /usr/local/apache, but it may 
be different on your system.

	Document paths, represented in directive definitions as 
'docpath', are relative to the document root of a site. On sites 
using virtual hosts, the docroot may be defined separately for each 
virtual host, so be careful you know which docroot your docpaths are 
relative to.


						Chris Pepper
-- 
Chris Pepper:             <http://www.reppep.com/~pepper/>
NEW: Mastering Mac OS X:  <http://www.reppep.com/~pepper/mmosx/>

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