Filefield seems to handle empty field values in inconsistent ways - sometimes returning an empty array...
$node->field_xyz[0] = NULL

... sometimes returning an array populated with empty values ...
$node->field_xyz[0] = array(fid => NULL, list => NULL, data => NULL,)

... and sometimes returning an array populated with default values ...
$node->field_xyz[0] = array(fid => 0, list => 1, data => 1,)

This is specifically causing problems with the Driven module: see #865388: Filefield reporting all files removed and added . The "fix" that I applied in that issue, as mentioned in comment #37, is to change line ~136 of to $items[$delta] = array('fid' => NULL, 'list' => NULL, 'data' => NULL,);. It's seems like there might be a better permanent solution to this problem though... what do you think?

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arhak’s picture


Dane Powell’s picture

Just FYI, it seems that a more appropriate "fix" for the issue I was having is to unset $items[$delta] at that line. At any rate...

obrienmd’s picture


quicksketch’s picture

Category: bug » task
Status: Active » Postponed (maintainer needs more info)

Sure I'd agree that handling NULL values would be a good thing. If you provide a patch I'd be happy to give it a look. Other modules can avoid this being a problem by using empty($file['fid']) as their check, since that will always work no matter if $file is NULL or if $file['fid'] is 0 or NULL.

Dane Powell’s picture

Status: Postponed (maintainer needs more info) » Needs review
482 bytes

Well there seems to be a number of possible solutions, but this one makes the most sense to me- simply calling content_set_empty on the $items array before it is returned from filefield_field_load

arhak’s picture


can avoid this being a problem by using empty($file['fid']) as their check

annoying when using foreach, the key exists and still pops up, also other functions fail (if not considered the nullified key) e.g: array_key_exists, array_diff_key, array_intersect_key, and so on
which would require an extra array_filter


Well there seems to be a number of possible solutions [...]

if CCK takes care of this on presave and view (the later only when previewing)

      // Filter out empty values.
      $items = content_set_empty($field, $items);

perhaps CCK should consider doing it on load as well

PS: how is it handled for D7?

arhak’s picture

@#5 patch

+  $items = content_set_empty($field, $items);

trailing spaces on empty line

Dane Powell’s picture

425 bytes

Sorry, no trailing space this time...

I agree that the problem seems to be that content_set_empty is never called on the load op, so we should do it manually. Maybe it would be better if CCK did this in core *shrug*. I'm just not familiar enough with CCK to say.

Dane Powell’s picture

Version: 6.x-3.9 » 6.x-3.10
Category: task » bug

The patch in #8 should still apply to 6.x-3.10