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It would be nice if fopen("http://www.mywebsite.com", "r"); used the value in http_proxy as a proxy server instead of always fetching the data directly. Using CURL is an option, but its a lot more complex. If this functionality isn't too difficult to achieve, it would be much appreciated.
For example, I have a PHP program that HTMLizes RFCs and displays them. It grabs the rfc###.txt directly from http://www.ietf.org/ but there's no reason for it to refetch them every time if they can be cached by our proxy server.
Note: blanking $http_proxy should disable the proxy.
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although the request should remain open, this specific problem can be solved using PEAR::Cache.
This feature has been added to PHP 5.0.0
$context = stream_context_create(
$contents = file_get_contents('http://www.somesite.com/pat/to/file', false, $context);