• Posted by admin


I would have to say that mod_rewrite is probably one of the most powerful features of an Apache web server.  It allows you to have an incoming http request:


to be re-written as


This is a powerful additional level of security for your web site, as visitors will not be able to see the inner workings of your web server through the query string or page headers.  It can even hide the scripting engine that your website is running on.

In this example, I will be using PHP as the scripting language.



mod_rewrite is a module that is by default, enabled in an apache web server installation.  You will want to check that the line:

load module mod_rewrite

is uncommented.

You’ll need your web server that you are hosting your site on to be able to allow overrides to Apache’s main settings.  You will have to edit your httpd.conf file.  For brevity, I only list the settings that are important to setting up mod_rewrite.

<VirtualHost *>

AllowOverride All


This tells the Apache web server, that for this particular virtual host, allow overrides to the default apache settings as specified in httpd.conf.


You will have to create a .htaccess file (if you haven’t already) in your website’s root (/) directory.  The .htaccess file is where all the magic happens with mod_rewrite.

Example code to get things working…

RewriteEngine on

RewriteRule ^old(regular_expression).html$  new.php?id=$1

Regular expressions

Regular expressions play an important part in mod_rewrite.  They allow you to specify the exact format of the document name request.  This is incredibly powerful and important for web sites and appications that have a database backend.  A common web server attack called SQL Injection, attempts to insert database commands via page headers or a query string into the database.  If proper security and form validation isn’t implemented on the site, the results of this attack can be disasterous.  Using mod_rewrite to modify query strings, and obstruficate the user’s ability to see what technology is on the server, highly improves a security risk like SQL Injection.

On a form submitted to the web server which interacts with a database - the intruder tacks on SQL code to one of the form fields using ‘;’.

By filtering the form submission using mod_rewrite, we can disallow at the server level, what is an acceptable character and what is not. 

Another important point in our example here is mod_rewrite’s ability to filter and copy string data from the first url we specify to the next.

In the first filename, the regular expression sub-string that is contained between the brackets will transfer to the variable value $1 in the second string.


RewriteRule ^([a-z]+).html$ index.php?article=$1

new.html would become index.php?article=new

Further Reading:

This tutorial only scratches the surface with mod_rewrite.  Here are some links to further your study with mod_rewrite.


apache official module documentation

regular expressions

Regular Expression Library

  • Posted by admin

I am on the board of directors for Digital Alberta and I would like to share with you, one of the workshops in partnership with the Banff Centre we are offering.

The Art of Visual Storytelling Workshop  - April 16 - 19, 2009


Past presenters have worked for Dreamworks, Pixar, Starz Animation and more!


As someone who has attended our previous storytelling workshops, I can certainly attest to the benefits of attending this workshop


If you are an aspiring animator, game designer, comic book artist or just really want to learn how to tell stories in the visual medium, you owe it to yourself to attend!

  • Posted by admin

The hotbox allows you to access all of the functions of Maya from a HUD-like interface.

Click on any viewport.  

Press <spacebar> 

This will bring up the HotBox.

The initial state of the hotbox will display the menuset that is currently being used.

There are five marking menus that are available also depending on what area of the screen you click.

click on:

center (over the words ‘Maya’) - will allow you to select the viewport that you wish to change to (perspective, front, top, side)

left  - change the selection mask to one of the following

  • NURBS mask
  • Object/Components
  • Rendering
  • Polygons
  • Dynamics
  • Deformations
  • Animation
  • Hierarchy

right - turn on/off user interface elements 

  • help line
  • command line
  • status line
  • time line
  • range slider
  • toolbox
  • attribute editor
  • channel box/layer editor

top - change your layout to one of the presets

bottom - change the viewport panel to a non-viewport panel

  • outliner
  • render view
  • hypershade
  • dynamic relationships
  • hypergraph
  • dope sheet
  • graph editor
  • set editor

You are also able to bring up all of the other menusets in the HotBox by selecting the ‘Hotbox Controls’ -> ‘Show All’

TIP: If you have a layout where you have multiple viewports open, you can put your pointer over one of them, hit  <spacebar> and it will maximize that viewport.

Next Page »