Typing the Wrong Timezone in php.ini Creates Strange Issues

I’m not that type of programmer who remembers all of the mundane details associated with a given language. I rely heavily on the language documentation to get through my day. I just don’t have the bandwidth, or the desire to store in my brain, for instance, PHP’s timezone values.

Even though I’ve been using one timezone exclusively for the past six years, and even when I look it up, I still get it wrong. I live on the east coast so my timezone should be America/New_York.

I always forget whether it’s supposed to have the underscore or not. So today, I looked it up, yep, it needs the underscore and so I typed in American/New_York as the timezone in my php.ini and rebooted my server.

What happened? Now I’m getting these strange 500 errors, but nothing is showing up in my PHP or Apache error logs. It must be that damn timezone. Yep, I typed American/New_York instead of America/New_York. I fixed it, rebooted my web server and I was back in business.

But it’s worth noting that if you change your timezone in PHP, and if you mess up and type the timezone incorrectly, you will get some strange errors. Whenever I’ve done it wrong, none the errors appear to be related to the timezone being wrong.

For my own reference, here are the America timezones for PHP.
America/Adak
America/Anchorage
America/Anguilla
America/Antigua
America/Araguaina
America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires
America/Argentina/Catamarca
America/Argentina/ComodRivadavia
America/Argentina/Cordoba
America/Argentina/Jujuy
America/Argentina/La_Rioja
America/Argentina/Mendoza
America/Argentina/Rio_Gallegos
America/Argentina/Salta
America/Argentina/San_Juan
America/Argentina/San_Luis
America/Argentina/Tucuman
America/Argentina/Ushuaia
America/Aruba
America/Asuncion
America/Atikokan
America/Atka
America/Bahia
America/Bahia_Banderas
America/Barbados
America/Belem
America/Belize
America/Blanc-Sablon
America/Boa_Vista
America/Bogota
America/Boise
America/Buenos_Aires
America/Cambridge_Bay
America/Campo_Grande
America/Cancun
America/Caracas
America/Catamarca
America/Cayenne America/Cayman
America/Chicago
America/Chihuahua
America/Coral_Harbour
America/Cordoba
America/Costa_Rica
America/Creston
America/Cuiaba
America/Curacao
America/Danmarkshavn
America/Dawson
America/Dawson_Creek
America/Denver
America/Detroit
America/Dominica
America/Edmonton
America/Eirunepe
America/El_Salvador
America/Ensenada
America/Fort_Nelson
America/Fort_Wayne
America/Fortaleza
America/Glace_Bay
America/Godthab
America/Goose_Bay
America/Grand_Turk
America/Grenada
America/Guadeloupe
America/Guatemala
America/Guayaquil
America/Guyana
America/Halifax
America/Havana
America/Hermosillo
America/Indiana/Indianapolis
America/Indiana/Knox
America/Indiana/Marengo
America/Indiana/Petersburg
America/Indiana/Tell_City
America/Indiana/Vevay
America/Indiana/Vincennes
America/Indiana/Winamac
America/Indianapolis
America/Inuvik
America/Iqaluit
America/Jamaica
America/Jujuy
America/Juneau
America/Kentucky/Louisville
America/Kentucky/Monticello
America/Knox_IN
America/Kralendijk
America/La_Paz
America/Lima
America/Los_Angeles
America/Louisville
America/Lower_Princes
America/Maceio
America/Managua
America/Manaus
America/Marigot
America/Martinique
America/Matamoros
America/Mazatlan
America/Mendoza
America/Menominee
America/Merida
America/Metlakatla
America/Mexico_City
America/Miquelon
America/Moncton
America/Monterrey
America/Montevideo
America/Montreal
America/Montserrat
America/Nassau
America/New_York
America/Nipigon
America/Nome
America/Noronha
America/North_Dakota/Beulah
America/North_Dakota/Center
America/North_Dakota/New_Salem
America/Ojinaga America/Panama
America/Pangnirtung
America/Paramaribo
America/Phoenix
America/Port-au-Prince
America/Port_of_Spain
America/Porto_Acre
America/Porto_Velho
America/Puerto_Rico
America/Rainy_River
America/Rankin_Inlet
America/Recife
America/Regina
America/Resolute
America/Rio_Branco
America/Rosario
America/Santa_Isabel
America/Santarem
America/Santiago
America/Santo_Domingo
America/Sao_Paulo
America/Scoresbysund
America/Shiprock
America/Sitka
America/St_Barthelemy
America/St_Johns
America/St_Kitts
America/St_Lucia
America/St_Thomas
America/St_Vincent
America/Swift_Current
America/Tegucigalpa
America/Thule
America/Thunder_Bay
America/Tijuana
America/Toronto
America/Tortola
America/Vancouver
America/Virgin
America/Whitehorse
America/Winnipeg
America/Yakutat
America/Yellowknife

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