If you've done any work with PHP frameworks, the concept of a "front controller" should be a familiar one. If you haven't, the idea might be new to you and PHPMaster.com has started off a series that will introduce you to the basics of the Front Controller design pattern in a few different parts.
Some are now grumbling about newer concepts that have recently made inroads in day-to-day PHP development, saying Front Controllers are a redundant "reinvention of the wheel" which should be discarded ipso facto. [...] In this two-part article I'll be exploring in depth a couple of straightforward approaches that you might find appealing, especially if you're trying to implement an expandable front controller from scratch without sweating excessively during the process or having to cope with the burdens of a bloated framework.
This first part of the series introduces you to some of the basic concepts of routing and URL handling and shares the code for a basic front controller. It parses the URL and sets up the controller and action to hand the request off to. Also included is the contents for the .htaccess file you'll need to include to route all requests back through this controller instance.