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.htaccess:  Redirect like new Facebook usernames with condition

Posted on 2009-07-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
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!
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Question by:NeedExpertHelp
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24796067
RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ![\.-]
RewriteRule .* /index.php?user=%{REQUEST_URI} [L,QSA]
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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24796096
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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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24796138
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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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24796160
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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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24796190
> 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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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24796216
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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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24796326
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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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24796495
Assuming it's main .htaccess (placed in the document root)

...
RewriteRule (.*) /index.php?user=$1 [L,QSA]
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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24796512
Thanks, where do I put that line?

(Yes, it's the main .htaccess)
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24796519
Replace
RewriteRule .* /index.php?user=%{REQUEST_URI} [L,QSA]
with
RewriteRule (.*) /index.php?user=$1 [L,QSA]
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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24796524
OK, thanks.

I'll give it a shot and report back.
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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24796558
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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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24796682
> 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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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24796837
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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LVL 43

Accepted Solution

by:
ravenpl earned 500 total points
ID: 24797033
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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Author Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 24797256
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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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:ravenpl
ID: 24797412
Yes, please read more on regular expressions on google or wherever.
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Author Closing Comment

by:NeedExpertHelp
ID: 31600677
Thanks!
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