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.


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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