Recently, I created a bug at Meeting Planner which took some time to track down. Everything worked on my local development environment, but adding dates and times and places and making meeting choices failed on the live production server.

Ultimately, it was this code change:
const TIMELAPSE = (3*60); // three minutes

I’d recently changed this value from an integer to a calculated integer i.e. 300 for five minutes to (3*60) for three minutes.

It turned out that this functionality is supported in PHP 5.6.0 and my development environment runs 5.6.10:

$ php -v
PHP 5.6.10 (cli) (built: Jul 6 2015 14:28:54)
Copyright (c) 1997-2015 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.6.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2015 Zend Technologies

But, my production environment 5.5.9:

$ php -v
PHP 5.5.9-1ubuntu4.17 (cli) (built: May 19 2016 19:05:57)
Copyright (c) 1997-2014 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.5.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2014 Zend Technologies
with Zend OPcache v7.0.3, Copyright (c) 1999-2014, by Zend Technologies

I haven’t commonly run into PHP bugs (or perhaps “feature gap” in this case) like this that vary between incremental versions.

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a technology consultant based in the Pacific Northwest. Try scheduling a meeting with his new startup Meeting Planner (, simpler, faster scheduling for work or play and read his series about building it). Follow @reifman on Twitter.