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From "Boyle Owen" <>
Subject RE: [users@httpd] RE: IndexIgnore list
Date Thu, 30 Mar 2006 13:07:19 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stuart McGraw [] 
> Sent: Donnerstag, 30. März 2006 11:41
> Please take my comment in the context on someone using Apache 
> for the first time, starting yesterday.  I am pretty clueless.
>  I said "surely" because without the ability to override the 
> list in subdirectories, it seems like its usefulness is hugely 
> limited.  

No problem, I completely understand your position :-)

I understand that you have a particular application in mind and have found that apache doesn't
easily support it. So from your POV, that's obviously a limitation. All the same, I've been
on this list for a few years and you're the first person to ask this question so I wouldn't
say people are exactly clamouring for it...

Whenever you run up against a brick wall like this, it's always worth checking if you're really
going the right way. I guess that you have a large directory hierarchy and you want to use
apache as a file-system browser. But, you want to mask certain files in certain directories
on a fairly ad hoc basis. As we see, you can't switch on and off IndexIgnore on a per-directory
basis so maybe you have to think about the directory structure and/or the filenaming conventions?

For example, AFAIK, IndexIgnore is additive going *down* the hierarchy but resets itself going
*across* the filesystem, eg:

  IndexIgnore .abc
    IndexIgnore .def
	--> .abc and .def ignored in /dir1/subdir1
  IndexIgnore .uvw
    IndexIgnore .xyz
	--> .uvw and .xyz ignored in /dir2/subdir2

So maybe by re-arranging your files, you can get the result you want?

> There is no natural reason that subdirectories would 
> always want to have more restrictions on what files are shown, 
> than their parent's directories is there?  And it seems unreasonable 
> to require a directory hierarchy to be determined by which ones 
> have the most restrictive ignore lists.  So, the ignore list is 
> in generally only going to be useful if it is a global setting, 
> applied to all directories.  To me this seems unnaturally 
> restrictive, 
> to a degree that I found it hard to believe that a product as 
> mature as Apache would have a restriction like this. 

It sounds a bit like you think that the main reason apache was invented was to allow filesystem
browsing :-)

In fact, this functionality is almost a bonus feature... I guess the ignore feature was added
in emulation of the similar feature in CVS, and that's additive too :-(

BTW, I wouldn't really call it a restriction - rather, you desire a functionality that isn't
present. Apache can't make tea either, but I wouldn't say it has a no-tea-making restriction...

Owen Boyle
Disclaimer: Any disclaimer attached to this message may be ignored. 

> But perhaps 
> I misunderstand it's purpose...I am a very much a newbie.
> > Wacky off-the-top-of-my-head, untried, untested "workarounds":
> > 
> > - Make a separate VH, on port 8080 for example, with 
> docroot set to the target dir and have no IndexIgnore in this VH. 
> > Then, in the main VH, proxy requests for that dir to the 
> port 8080 VH. Maybe that would work? 
> I'll look into this tomorrow but it seems like driving 100 miles up 
> one side of a river, crossing, and driving back down the other 
> side, because there is no local bridge.  :-(
> > - a one-off hack to suit your situation: Extend the 
> add_ignore method so that if it encounters a certain pattern (eg, 
> > CLEAR_INDEX_IGNORE_LIST), then it empties the array. You 
> could then put "IndexIgnore CLEAR_INDEX_IGNORE_LIST" in the 
> > directory you want to free up. [NB - no idea if this would 
> really work - it might clear the list for all dirs!)
> You're talking about modifying the code and rebuilding?
> Hmm, I think I will rethink my requirements.  But I do very much 
> appreciate getting your thoughts on this.
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