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I'm trying to grasp apache mod_rewrite

When I add this to my .htaccess it silently (url doesnt change) shows page bob.htm

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule index.htm bob.htm

I.e. If I type this in the browser address: http://mydomain/test/index.htm, I get the content for page: http://mydomain/test/bob.htm

However if I change the .htaccess to use the full path ...

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule index.htm http://mydomain/test/bob.htm

It redirects, but not silently. Can someone explain what's going on please.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

When using relative paths Apache performs an internal rewrite (eg. index.htm becomes bob.htm). When using complete paths Apache performs an external redirect (eg. the url changes).

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