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Hard link shows php source code


I have been getting more familiar with hard links lately.
But I remember having created a hard link to a php source file.
The link name did not have the .php extension. So when I 
used a browser to navigate to the link, the php source code
was displayed*. I figured out it was because the link name did
not have the .php extension. I thought that is a problem where
a php source code file could be read via an http request for a
hard link to it where the link name did not have the .php extension.

BUT; since, I have not been able to reproduce the same result.
I have been experimenting with hard and soft links to php code
files where the link names do not have .php suffix. Navigation
to these links produces blank pages; a good sign. I have also
used require(link name) with same results. No code is displayed.

The question is:
Does php anticipate this situation under the hood and recognize
the <?php tag even though it is reading a link to it with out the .php

* I am not sure that this won't happen again, sometime

Thank you