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From "Boyle Owen" <Owen.Bo...@swx.com>
Subject RE: Problem with .htaccess!
Date Wed, 17 Jul 2002 08:33:45 GMT
From: LongLegz1980@aol.com [mailto:LongLegz1980@aol.com]

> Thank you, it worked.. I AllowOverride All and Options All, and it worked. 
> I'm no Apache guru, and I'm not quite sure WHY it worked, but it did :)

It worked because that's the way it is supposed to work :-)

To explain why it is designed to work that way; Normally, all directives controlling apache
are contained in the httpd.conf file which is controlled by the webmaster. However, so that
users are not constantly phoning you up and asking you to tweak the config and restart apache,
the htaccess mechanism is provided. This allows a little "mini-config file" to be inserted,
by the user, into a directory and the directives in this file will be applied to that directory.
So the user is happy because he can tweak the config for his directory and you are happy because
you don't get called up all the time.

However, sometimes you don't trust all your users entirely, so you don't really want them
to be able to have unlimited power in their .htaccess files (e.g. allowing CGIs, setting up
password areas etc.) So you limit their powers with the AllowOverride directive in the main
config. This directive tells them what they can and can't do in a .htaccess file. If you check
the docs for this directive, you will see a big list of arguments to the directive and what
they switch on and off.

Note that AllowOverride is, by default, set to "All" which means that if you don't put an
AllowOverride in the config, users can put anything legal in a .htaccess file. However, once
you define it once, everything is disallowed except that which you allow...

Note also that not every directive can be used in a .htaccess file (e.g. you can't set the
ServerRoot) - you have to check the "Context" in the docs to see if it is permitted. 

Rgds,

Owen Boyle

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