For anyones reference, I got it to work by adding this...
AddType text/html .php
AddHandler server-parsed .php
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes
That makes php files able to parse ssi stuff.
So all that may be a "messy" way of doing things perhaps? I dunno htaccess enough to know if it is or not. If you have any "cleaner" solutions, thanks.
Um... so that let me parse SSI commands using a PHP extension, so I was able to translate most of my SHTML pages over to PHP, but... I still have a few that cannot be changed over to PHP, so my original problem still exists...
How do I adjust the first posting code so that anyone accessing "whatever.shtml" will be sent over to "whatever.php" automatically PLUS be able to keep a few "whatever.shtml" pages available as is?
And just a side question relating to the extra code I had added shown in this posting... Does it really slow things down alot if only a few PHP pages will be using the SSI abilities? Oh well, I guess that will be a mute point if I get that first problem solved anyways wont it?
Sorry if that all sounds confusing. Its late here and my brian is a bit fuzzy