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Regex backreference availability

25.2.4. Regex backreference availability

One important thing here has to be remembered: Whenever you use parentheses in Pattern or in one of the CondPattern, back-references are internally created which can be used with the strings $N and %N (see Section 25.3). These are available for creating the strings Substitution and TestString. Figure 25-3 shows to which locations the backreferences are transfered for expansion.

Figure 25-3. mod_rewrite: The back-reference flow through a rule.

mod_rewrite: The back-reference flow through a rule.

We know this was a crash course on mod_rewrite's internal processing. But you will benefit from this knowledge when reading the following. mod_rewrite's behaviour can be controlled with numerous directives, they are all described in the Apache Documentation of mod_rewrite. Further, real world examples of mod_rewrite use are presented in the Apache URL Rewriting Guide.

But besides the directives available for mod_rewrite, you will also need a grasp of regular expressions (Section 25.3) and the .htaccess file (Section 25.4) to understand the solution for a search engine friendly PHP-Nuke site that we will present later on, in Section 25.5.

Not so fast! "Regular expression?" Right. If you've used "wildcards" with MS-DOS or Windows, somefile.* or some?.exe for example, you already understand the concept. But regex (regular expressions) are much more powerful. And complex. Read on!

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