for some reason when I try to run a .php3 file it just echo's the entire document in my browser window..... anyone know why?
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Propably you haven't activated php 3in your web-server.  If  you use Apache, edit these two files and make sure the following lines are uncommented:

in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf:
   LoadModule php3_module      libexec/libphp3.so
   AddModule mod_php3.c

And in /etc/httpd/conf/srm.conf:

   AddType application/x-httpd-php3 .php3
   AddType application/x-httpd-php3-source .phps

(Uncommenting these lines means you need to remove the # character at the beginning of each of these lines)

Once you have done this you need to restart your server with a command like the following:

     /etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd restart


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