htaccess rewrite rule - optional trailing slash

Hello,

I'm using this rewrite rule:

RewriteRule ^/artists/(.+?)/?$ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA]

So I have the option to go with or without a trailing slash in my URL - for example both of these URLs work AND pull the content from the database

http://ikonltd.com/artists/abakanowicz
AND
http://ikonltd.com/artists/abakanowicz/

My issue is when I click on either of the thumbs on the above URL, the content does not get pulled from the database on the next page:
http://ikonltd.com/artists/abakanowicz/1276/1/

If I don't allow the no trailing slash option:
RewriteRule ^/artists/(.+?)/ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA]

everything works fine. the client, however, wants the option of going with or without the trailing slash after the artist last name (permalink).

Here's both rewrite rules - again both work if the first one is
RewriteRule ^/artists/(.+?)/ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA]
INSTEAD OF
RewriteRule ^/artists/(.+?)/?$ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA]

CURRENT REWRITE RULES:
RewriteRule ^/artists/(.+?)/?$ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA]
RewriteRule ^/artists/(.+?)/(.+?)/(.+?)/ /artists/artwork_detail.cfm?permalink=$1&AutoArtID=$2&PageNum_newaqimages=$3 [QSA]
phillystyle123Asked:
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sjklein42Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I see two changes are needed at least - the first to properly handle the naked /artists/ path.

Also /artists/index.cfm/  -  presumably this should not be rewritten.

Assuming that real artist names do not have embedded dots, this version should be better.  It will only rewrite paths that start with /artists/ and have a single subfolder (with no dots in its name) followed by an optional trailing slash.

RewriteRule ^/artists/([^\/\.]+)/?$ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA]

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This may not address your issue with content not showing.  When you say "content", do you mean images?
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Ray PaseurCommented:
The client is asking you to make two different things mean the same.  A trailing slash means that the server should look for a directory.  The absences of a trailing slash means that the server should look for a script.  It's been this way since about 1989 and while I normally agree that the client is always right, this request just does not make sense.
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sjklein42Commented:
The way it the first rewrite rule was written, any URL that starts with /artists/ will be matched, so it is unfortunately also matching the content URL, which is http://ikonltd.com/artists/abakanowicz/1243/2/

Try this version instead, which should only match if there is a single subfolder after /artists/:
:
RewriteRule ^/artists/([^\/]*)/?$ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA] 

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phillystyle123Author Commented:
sjklein42 - this works great

RewriteRule ^/artists/([^\/]*)/?$ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA]

the only issue i'm having is now the database content is not being outputed on this page:

http://ikonltd.com/artists/index.cfm

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phillystyle123Author Commented:
perfecto - thanks so much!

if you have a minute - could you break down the logic for the rewrite rule so i know what means what?

RewriteRule ^/artists/([^\/\.]+)/?$ /artists/artist.cfm?permalink=$1 [QSA]
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sjklein42Commented:
Breaking down this pattern:

^/artists/([^\/\.]+)/?$

The ^ means match start-of-string.
Then match exactly /artists/
Then the parenthesized part (...) will go into the $1 variable to be used in the substition.
Within the parens, we have:

[^\/\.]+

 the [^\/\.] means match anything EXCEPT (that's what the ^ does) a slash or a dot.  By habit I use the \ to "quote" the special characters / and . even though in this case the / probably does not need the \ before it

 the + means match one or more of them

 so together it matches everything up to the next dot or slash, whichever comes first and puts that string into $1.

Then back to the /? which matches an optional slash (or not)

Followed by $ which means match end-of-string.  So if there is anything unmatched left over at this point, the pattern fails (which is what we want it to do).

On the right side we use the $1 variable to plug the artist name we picked up with ([^\/\.]+) into the rewritten URL
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phillystyle123Author Commented:
thanks tons for the explanation!
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