PHP 5.4 at last

I often compare software with perishables like milk. Who wants sour milk? Mostly new software versions are better than the previous one. Not utilising new features is wasting money if you ask me. Of course you have to test new versions well before deployment, that goes without saying. This is especially true if you like me are prepared to throw Beta versions into production, and yes I have thrown in Alpha versions too. But only after careful and tedious testing. Not only can you give your audience a better user experience sooner, using bleeding edge software will give you a learning experience and sometimes direct contact with the developers.

I have used all beta versions of PHP since 2001 in production. During the years I have submitted about 5-6 bug reports of those about 2 have classified as bogus, 1 or 2 was fixed (in hours) I reported late night and had a fix in early morning, for the rest of bugs I was not able to give enough info, I’m sorry for that. I learnt a lot from my testing with early alpha releases. Of course you should only put in non-production releases into production if you are prepared to take the full responsibility for failures and burn a lot of midnight oil. It can be very lonely when  you screw up, and that is when  not if .

Anyway this was not the case with PHP5.4, only recently I finally put PHP5.4 (11) in production. I have had problems with SAPRFC and SAPNWRFC. They were not compatible with PHP5.4. SAPRFC I could fix myself, but SAPNWRFC was a too hard nut for me to crack. But recently I found out that the creator and maintainer of SAPNWRFC Piers Harding  had fixed the incompatibilities, so I just downloaded and compiled, tested ( I found one PHP bug, more of that later) and deployed PHP5.4.11 in production beginning of this week.

Thank you so much Piers and Axel Bangert  new maintainer of SAPRFC who have fixed the ‘official’ version of SAPRFC.

In the coming weeks I will upgrade to PHP5.4.12 and start work with PHP5.5.X, I’m especially interested in 5.5 generators, since my PHP job scheduling system ADAP utilize iterators a lot, hopefully generators can be of use.

I think I found a bug in PHP5.4.11, unfortunately I cannot bug report in PHP5.4.11, I have to upgrade to PHP5.4.12 first.

PHP5.4.11 thinks my array is a string and convert my string index to ‘0’ here it is:

This piece of code:


Gives the following result:  

The array index $ci=’LOTSIZE’ trigger the buggy warning message and the invalid result $nval=”” when directly indexing the array >>  $fce->$sapTable[$ci]  <<.  

Offloading the array to $nvalarr before indexing with ‘LOTSIZE’ gives the correct result $nval=16.000. Now I missed this error in my tests, we only found this in production. If you are a production planner you know the implications of nullify LOTSIZE, fortunately we stopped this before much harm was done.  

Apart from this small bug PHP5.4 works like a charm for me, so PHP5.5 here I come :))


I found another possible bug in php 5.4.13

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