Serverside Webscripting [JLW384]

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URL Design

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URLs in the olden days

  • In the beginning
  • Then SEO and “nice urls” came along

Richardson Maturity Model

  • Model describing the principal elements of a RESTful API
    • Level 0: Use HTTP as transport system
    • Level 1: Identify and organize resources in a hierarchy
    • Level 2: Use HTTP verbs for operations
    • Level 3: HATEOAS
  • Level 1 is what we'll be focussing on

Identification & Hierarchy

  • Basic naming conventions
    • Verbs are bad, nouns are good
    • Use plurals
    • Respect the Hierarchy
  • Examples
    • /product/products
    • /product/1234/products/1234
    • /photos/product/1234/products/1234/photos
    • /photos/product/1234/5678/products/1234/photos/5678
This doesn't apply for “normal pages” of your site

Identification & Hierarchy bis

  • Use concrete naming, yet don't be too specific
    • /things
    • /animals
    • /dogs
    • /beagles


  • /
  • /movies
  • /movies/{id}
  • /movies/{id}/photos
  • /actors
  • /actors/{id}
  • /actors/{id}/movies
  • /about
  • /contact

Supporting Nice URLs

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Supporting nice URLs

  1. Let all requests to inexistent files/folders be processed by index.php
  2. Build index.php in such a way so that it loads the requested content based upon the URL

1. Howto: Apache

  • Possible using the mod_rewrite Apache Module
    • Wampserver: not enabled by default (instructions)
    • MAMP Pro: enabled by default
  • Put a file named .htaccess in your root to rewrite requests to non-existing files to index.php
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule ^ index.php [L]

1. Howto: IIS

  • Possible using the IIS Rewrite Module
  • Put a file named web.config in your root to redirect requests to non-existing files to index.php
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    				<rule name="Main Rule" stopProcessing="true">
    					<match url=".*" />
    					<conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAll">
    						<add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsFile" negate="true" />
    						<add input="{REQUEST_FILENAME}" matchType="IsDirectory" negate="true" />
    					<action type="Rewrite" url="index.php" />

1. Howto: Built-in PHP 5.4 server

  • All requests route to index.php by default
    • You'll need to add some extra PHP code to index.php to force non-404 requests route to the correct file
    $filename = __DIR__ . preg_replace('#(\?.*)$#', '', $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']);
    if (php_sapi_name() === 'cli-server' && is_file($filename)) {
    	return false;
    // rest of your code here
Note: You can start a server by running php -S localhost:8080 in your project www-root

2. Howto

  • Write something yourself.
    • Use the value in $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] to get started
  • Install a router library that does this for you.

2. Example


require __DIR__ . '/vendor/autoload.php';

$router = new \Bramus\Router\Router();

$router->get('/', function() {
	echo 'index';

$router->get('/hello', function() {
	echo 'hello';

$router->get('/hello/(\w+)', function($name) {
	echo 'hello ' . htmlentities($name);