.htaccess: Redirect like new Facebook usernames with condition

Hi,

How can I do a Facebook-like redirect such that anything after the slash (e.g. mysite.com/[whatever] - EXCEPT if it contains a period (.) or hyphen (-) - will quietly redirect to http://mysite.com/index.php?user=[whatever] behind the scenes with the URL on the browser displaying mysite.com/[whatever] ?

Thanks!
NeedExpertHelpAsked:
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ravenplCommented:
RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ![\.-]
RewriteRule .* /index.php?user=%{REQUEST_URI} [L,QSA]
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
Hi ravenpl,

Thanks for the fast response.

Can you please explain what you did there and how it works?

Thanks again!
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ravenplCommented:
I don't know if it works <lol>

#if the request uri does not contain . nor -
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ![\.-]
#pass whole request uri to the index.php script (which actually contains the dot), L=last rule, QSA=query string append, user provided query string is appended to the user=[]
RewriteRule .* /index.php?user=%{REQUEST_URI} [L,QSA]

Should I go deeper with the explanation?
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the explanation.

What do you mean you don't know if it works?

I kind of need something that is sure to work! :)
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ravenplCommented:
> What do you mean you don't know if it works?
Haven't tested. My rules usually works, but from time to time first version needs patching :)
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I'll give it a try and report back.

In the meantime, if anyone else has another way of doing this (that is confirmed to work as needed), feel more than free to post it! :)

Thanks!
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
OK, good news, that seems to work almost perfectly.

However, it is returning the 'user' with a slash in front of it.

So mysite.com/whatever

is returning '/whatever'

How can I fix it so that it just returns 'whatever' ?

Thanks again.
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ravenplCommented:
Assuming it's main .htaccess (placed in the document root)

...
RewriteRule (.*) /index.php?user=$1 [L,QSA]
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks, where do I put that line?

(Yes, it's the main .htaccess)
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ravenplCommented:
Replace
RewriteRule .* /index.php?user=%{REQUEST_URI} [L,QSA]
with
RewriteRule (.*) /index.php?user=$1 [L,QSA]
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
OK, thanks.

I'll give it a shot and report back.
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
Working perfectly now, thanks!

You've already earned your points, but do you mind if I pick your brain a little bit more?

In the future, if I want to add more exceptions besides a period and hypen, what would I have to do or change?  For example, if I also wanted to ignore slashes ('/"), how would I do it?

Thanks again for all your help, I really appreciate it.
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ravenplCommented:
> RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ![\.-]
The characters in [] brackets are those stop-chars (dot is special char and needs escaping)
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ![\.-/] # to match slash also
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ![\.-\+] # to match plus(special ! needs escaping) also

In general, if request uri does not matches (! == not) the following regular expression, process ...
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info, that makes sense.

I'm having 2 problems though.

First, in the original script, if I don't enter anything after the slash (or if I do not even use the slash) as in 'mysite.com', it is still redirecting to index.php?user= and is therefore giving me an error that no user was entered.  How do I make it so that if nothing is entered after the initial slash (or if no slash is entered), it does not redirect?

Second, the RewriteCond you gave above to match slash makes the entire thing not work because I think REQUEST_URL always includes the beginning slash, so how would I do it so that it only matches a slash after the first slash (did that makes sense)?

You're been great, thanks again.
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ravenplCommented:
Replace
RewriteRule (.*) /index.php?user=$1 [L,QSA]
with
RewriteRule (.+) /index.php?user=$1 [L,QSA]
to match only non-empty URIs

As for the slash problem - You right, to solve it, we may require the matching character to be non-first (. == any char)
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !.[\.-/] # to match slash also
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
That worked like a charm, thanks!

Besides symbols, is it possible to exclude/match a word (such as 'php')?

Just out of curiosity...
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ravenplCommented:
Yes, please read more on regular expressions on google or wherever.
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NeedExpertHelpAuthor Commented:
Thanks!
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