I do a lot of web development on my laptop. I’ve got Apache and PHP there, so it’s really convenient, but I usually move projects off to other server before I get around to wanting to mess with mod_rewrite. Not so, recently, but I ran into a big stumbling block when I discovered OS X’s Apache comes pre-configured to ignore .htaccess files.
A couple points. First, Apache’s own mod_rewrite docs include the following quote:
Despite the tons of examples and docs, mod_rewrite is voodoo. Damned cool voodoo, but still voodoo.
So I’m not going to feel too bad about scratching my head for a minute before realizing I should check to make sure the httpd.conf file had support for .htaccess files enabled, but the second point, and I know this thanks to Richard Rutter’s Clagnut, support must also be enabled in the user’s http.conf file (located in /private/etc/httpd/users/). For full details, go read Rutter’s enabling .htaccess in OS X post.