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  1. #1

    Apache, MySQL and 403 errors

    I've been trying to run mediawiki on my local computer for a while now, in preparation for putting it live on the internet. Following the instructions at, I've been trying to use .htaccess to have nice urls like localhost/Main_Page instead of localhost/w/index.php?title=Main_Page or whatever.

    I've finally got it to work--sort of. If I try to go to a page with a colon in the title, Apache throws a 403 Forbidden error. That means that the Special: pages, User: pages, and all those, are all inaccessible.

    After a bit of research I've discovered that Apache doesn't like colons in URLs because that's the symbol used to specify the drive. I'd like to know if you think there's a way to get around it. After all, Wikipedia does it.

    My .htaccess looks like this:
    # first, enable the processing - Unless your ISP has it enabled
    # already.  That might cause weird errors.
    RewriteEngine on
    # prevent it from looping endlessly
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/favicon.ico
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/robots.txt
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/w/(stylesheets|images|skins)/
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !^/w/(redirect|texvc|index).php
    # do the rewrite
    RewriteRule ^/?(.*)$ /w/index.php?title=$1 [L,QSA]
    I'm running xampp with Apache 2.0.54 and PHP 4.3.10.

    Also, I've been getting some weird error messages in the Apache error log. They look like so:
    File 'c:\mysql\share\charsets\?.conf' not found (Errcode: 2)
    Character set '#48' is not a compiled character set and is not specified in the 'c:\mysql\share\charsets\Index' file
    (that's two different errors there)
    This is with MySQL version 4.1.12

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    I'd like to add that it worked perfectly without the htaccess, but with ugly urls. Is it a problem in mod_rewrite or what?

  3. I haven't studied the rewrite rules, but I have a feeling you're going in a loop somewhere.

    Enable logging via the ``RewriteLog'' and ``RewriteLogLevel'' directives in Apache.

    Philip Reynolds
    Value for money dedicated servers
    at Rack365 -

  4. #4
    I just did that, at RewriteLogLevel 9, and looked through the log. It doesn't even say anything about the page requests with a colon in them--it has all of the info on everything but those requests.

    I can post the log if you'd like.

  5. It's possible this is a Windows-ism, in which case I'm out of my depth here!

    I thought it might be a mod_rewrite problem, but if it's not even seeing the URL's, it's some problem underneath mod_rewrite.

    Apache has no problems with colon's on any UNIX servers I've ever used, but I just don't have the experience with Windows unfortunately.
    Philip Reynolds
    Value for money dedicated servers
    at Rack365 -

  6. #6
    In an old Apache Week I found on google:
    The subject of using the colon character in a URL arose after Jeff Trawick discovered that such URLs elicit a 403 error on Windows but a 404 error on Unix platforms. On Windows the colon is forbidden as it is used as the drive letter separator; there was some discussion about how the colon could be allowed when passed as PATH_INFO to a PHP script, for instance.
    I'll have to check and see if it's possible for me to hack MediaWiki into using a semicolon or something. Unless, of course, someone can give me an idea for something else.

  7. If that is the case then MediaWiki is broken or simply not compatible with Windows. A colon is a silly separator if ever I saw one, I'd file a bug report with the developers, although how accomodating they'll be is anyones guess.

    Philip Reynolds
    Value for money dedicated servers
    at Rack365 -

  8. #8

    Well then, I'll just have to stick with the ugly ones.

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