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From "Boyle Owen" <Owen.Bo...@swx.com>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] Aliases
Date Wed, 19 Feb 2003 13:54:50 GMT
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Warhurst, SI (Spencer) [mailto:S.I.Warhurst@rl.ac.uk]
>
>The problem comes in when setting up these aliases. I end up 
>having to have
>4 aliases for each list, as follows:
>
>Alias /mailinglistname "d:/www/lists/mailinglistname.html"
>Alias /mailinglistname/ "d:/www/lists/mailinglistname.html"
>Alias /MAILINGLISTNAME "d:/www/lists/mailinglistname.html"
>Alias /MAILINGLISTNAME/ "d:/www/lists/mailinglistname.html"
>
>Am I doing this right? Should I simply be educating users not to put in
>trailing slashes and always put the mailing list name in lower case? Or
>should my questions be directed at Apache itself.. ie: why is 
>an alias case sensitive when the rest of the URL isn't?

URLs *are* case-sensitive. http://www.apache.org/foundation/ and
http://www.apache.org/Foundation/ are different URLs. Or rather, case is
preserved when a request is passed to the underlying OS. If the OS is
case-sensitive then the two requests are different (maybe, if the apache
website was on a windows machine the example I quoted wouldn't work :-)
The conclusion is that, in general, URLs should be regarded as
case-sensitive. Incidentally, what about MailingListName etc.?

>Why in this day and age should it matter if you type a trailing 
>slash or not?

Because the slash is a directory delimiter. If you request
http://server/banana/mango how does the server know whether you want a
file called "mango" in the "banana" directory or a listing of the
directory banana/mango? In fact, apache looks first for a file called
mango in banana. If it doesn't find one but if it has a subdirectory
called mango, it issues a redirect to http://server/banana/mango/ (i.e.
it adds a trailing slash). The second request goes into the directory
banana/mango and returns either an index file (if one is defined and
found) or a directory lisiting (if allowed) or a 403 Forbidden.

However, all this is neither here not there as far as your problem is
concerned. Perhaps the answer is to use mod_rewrite. This allows you to
use case-insensitive pattern matching to rewrite URLs, e.g.

RewriteRule /mailinglistname.* "d:/www/lists/mailinglistname.html" [NC]

This will match all of the above aliases to the one resource (I think
:-)

Rgds,
Owen Boyle
>
>TIA
>
>Spencer
>
>
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