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Spell Checking and URL Tricks Page 2

By Rasmus Lerdorf
on July 30, 2000

Now change the “bogus” part of the url to some other word. This is how this
was done:
In my Apache server configuration I have this:

<Location /s>

ForceType application/x-httpd-php3

</Location>


Then I created a file named simply ‘s’ and placed it in my document root. The file
contains:

<html><head><title>Simple Spell-Checker</title></head>

<body>

<h3>Simple Spell-Checker</h3>

<?php

    $aspell_link
=aspell_new("english");

    
$word substr($PATH_INFO,1); /* strip away first / */

    
if (aspell_check($aspell_link,$word)) {

        echo 
"Correct spelling of '$word'<P>n";

    } else {

        echo 
"Incorrect spelling of '$word'<P>n";

    }

    echo 
"Possible correct spellings include:<br>n";

    
$suggestions=aspell_suggest($aspell_link,$word);

    for(
$i=0$i count($suggestions); $i++) {

        echo 
"<li>" $suggestions[$i] . "<br>"

    }

    echo 
"</ol>";

?>

</body></html>


The trick here is that by telling Apache that the /s resource is actually of MIME type
application/x-httpd-php3 which is the magical MIME type which triggers PHP, the s
file will be run like a PHP script. Any text in the URL following the /s will be put into the
$PATH_INFO variable. So in my script I just strip away the first slash and then treat the
remaining text as the word I want to spell check.
A couple of other variables get set to useful things on a request like this. Our /s/bogus request
from above results in the following:

SCRIPT_FILENAME = /home/httpd/html/s

REQUEST_URI = /s/bogus

SCRIPT_NAME = /s

PATH_INFO = /bogus

PATH_TRANSLATED = /home/httpd/html/bogus


You can of course discover this yourself by putting a <phpinfo()> tag in your
script and loading it up.
Now, for the spell checking part of this. There isn’t much to it. You can read about
the functions used here:
http://www.phpbuilder.com/manual/ref.aspell.php
If you don’t have aspell enabled, download the aspell tarball and install it. Note that
version 0.27 does not work with PHP since the author did not include a C-callable library.
Version 0.26 works fine. The author has promised to bring back the C-callable library in a
future version.
-Rasmus