I thought my pagers were broken (and to some extent, they still may be, see below), but I now realize it's my routing that is struggling (and maybe my httpd.conf?).
If i route the popular_questions as suggested (url: /index/:page), it works in frontend_dev.php, but NOT in the normal production environment - askeet/index/1 results in a custom 404. askeet/index.php/index/1 works. (YES, I HAVE CLEARED THE CACHE! a thousand times). IF I go into routing.yml and deliberately typo the rule url: indep/:page/, it works in the production environment!
SO, why won't the word 'index' work in a routing rule??
2nd question: when I go to askeet/recent/1 the initial page works, but the pager links all point back to askeet/index/X... How do I get the _question_list.php/QuestionHelper.php/pager_navigation code to recognize the difference between the normal question paging and the recent questions?
please HELP! Thanks