WordPress 2.0 blank install.php

Yesterday I ran into the strangest bug while trying to install WordPress 2.0 on our production server. When I tried running the install.php script, Firefox was prompting me to save or open the php file rather than display the webpage. If I saved or opened the file it was completely empty. Internet Explorer just gave me a page can not be displayed error, but I wasn’t getting any kind of error from the script.

So, I began disecting the script. I found it odd that if I only left in the code that would execute upon running the first step of the install, it showed up just fine. If I put the rest in, I got the blank page. Well, I began including small sections back into the script until finally I got a Fatal Error out of memory message.

My production server had a memory limit of 8M. When I changed it in my php.ini file to allow 16M, the script ran perfectly.

I hope this helps someone else who is trying to solve the blank install.php script problem. It is extremely hard to debug when the program gives you no error.