mod_access confusion

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

I'm having difficulty in asking this question because I'm too confused
to figure out what the question really is.

The context is setting up a site on a new and unfamiliar shared host.

Having set up .htaccess to specify ErrorDocument 404, what I found was
that for most nonexistent files the 404 exit is invoked.  But for some
nonexistent files (those with a .PHP extension) the 404 condition is
not raised, instead a 403 Forbidden condition is raised.

In digging around I am led to suspect that the "order" directive is
causing this somehow.  It seems to me that if a file is not found it
should be "404 Not Found" and that permissions are moot, but that
isn't how it seems to be working.

Looking at the information output by phpinfo() I'm not seeing much on
apache configuration, so the first question is:  How does one find all
the settings for apache and in particular the mod_access settings?
I'm assuming that the shared host has provided some parts and my
.htaccess has provided other parts but without seeing the whole it's
tough to guess.

Second, in attempting to decipher the "order" directive documentation
for mod_access, I'm kind of bewildered.  I'm looking at the doc here,
and it isn't making much sense with the bit about everything being

I've looked at dozens of ".htaccess tutorials" but none seem to do
much to clarify the way the "order" directive works.

no aluminum siding offers today

Site Timeline