I'd like to write a small php application which if called edits the .htaccess file. From what I understand I would have to set the permissions of .htaccess to 666 (from 644 as they are now). Having a .htaccess file with permissions set to 666 compromises the security, doesn't it ?
Is there a way with PHP to change the permissions of .htaccess temporarily to 666, make the changes and then set back .htaccess to 644 ?
You shouldn't need to change the permissions of .htaccess to edit it. The script you use to edit the .htaccess file will have the authority to make the changes. You should be more concerned about securing the editing script.