Ideally, when we build web applications which generate files on demand, we will want our users to be able to use their browsers to save a copy of our files in their local harddisk. For instance, the tool for generating customized codes for countries in the world, which I had created earlier, will tell browsers to prompt a download dialog box after users had submitted the form.
However, this is not the default behavior of browsers. By default, browsers will show the contents of a HTTP response generated by our PHP script in the browser window. This behaviour can be seen when I point my browser to http://www.techcoil.com/robots.txt.
In this post, I will discuss how we can tell browsers to show a dialog box for users to save the contents generated by a PHP script as a file.