[drupal-devel] [bug] Tablesort and $_REQUEST array handling

Steven drupal-devel at drupal.org
Fri Jul 15 16:25:57 UTC 2005

Issue status update for 
Post a follow up: 

 Project:      Drupal
 Version:      cvs
 Component:    base system
 Category:     bug reports
 Priority:     normal
 Assigned to:  mathias
 Reported by:  mathias
 Updated by:   Steven
 Status:       patch

If we're going to have an array2uri() function, we might as well add
urlencode() calls in there... this would centralize a lot of existing
urlencode() calls, I think.


Previous comments:

January 23, 2004 - 18:07 : mathias

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/tablesort_and_REQUEST_arrays.patch (652 bytes)

Tablesort tries its best to rebuild the URI from which it was called.
The problem is when  $_REQUEST holds arrays such as $edit. Tablesort
will process this as:


This can be problematic since many module conditions rely on whether or
not the $edit array is set.  My patch disallows tablesort to append
"array $_REQUEST variables" to it's new query string, since it serves
no purpose.


January 31, 2004 - 13:00 : Dries

I'd like to hear Moshe's take on this as I'm not sure this is the proper
fix.  I'd think that the tablesort code knows exactly what fields it
should add to the URL.


January 31, 2004 - 15:24 : moshe weitzman

I don't think this is the proper fix either. For example, 

- browse to the Drupal.org issue search page [1].
- press Search button
- On the results page, look at the links in the table header and the
pager. The query state gets passed along by tablesort. This patch would
break this behavior.

Changing Status to 'Active', since this patch shouldn't be applied
without modification.
[1] http://drupal.org/project/drupal/issues/search


January 31, 2004 - 19:01 : mathias

I'm pretty sure the project system is hacking the request object just
like I am before sending it to tablesort:

if ($_SERVER['REQUEST_METHOD'] == 'POST' && is_array($_POST['edit'])) {
  foreach ($_POST['edit'] as $key => $value) {
    if (!empty($value) && in_array($key, $fields)) {
      $query->$key = $value;
      $_POST[$key] = is_array($value) ? implode(',', $value) :
  unset($_POST['edit'], $_POST['op']);

Basically, we're both moving the edit array into separate name / value
pairs and then destroying it before handing it off to tablesort.  I
don't understand what the benefit is of passing an array into a GET
query string since the key/value pairs aren't retained. We could set an
option in tablesort to ask it to decompose the array into it's key/value
pairs for us and pass them back in the query string.  For example an
edit array such as:

$edit['a'] => 1
$edit['b'] => 2
would have a query string of:
instead of the currently meaningless:


January 31, 2004 - 19:12 : Goba

You mean:

$edit['a'] => 1
$edit['b'] => 2
would have a query string of:
instead of the currently meaningless:

This reuses the wonderful array handling provided by PHP (as long as
nested arrays are handled properly).


February 1, 2004 - 17:02 : Kjartan

Indeed project module hacks the request data. I don't really like this
as a general fix as it is a hack, but for now it is the best way. I
dont think the original patch will break this as it just ignors
arrays(). Project module loops through the array and converts them to
normal array string elements; $_POST['edit']['status'] = value becomes
$_POST['status'] = value, then I think I unset the edit array to clean
up the urls.


February 5, 2004 - 15:42 : moshe weitzman

After feedback from Matias and Kjartan, I now consider this patch to be


August 12, 2004 - 17:10 : killes at www.drop.org

Patch doesn't apply anymore.


October 8, 2004 - 06:14 : mathias

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/tablesort_and_REQUEST_arrays_0.patch (2.55 KB)

This patch resolves the hacks project module and the ecommerce package
use to rebuild the $_REQUEST arrays when implementing paged resultsets
and/or tablesorting. I know some other developers have ran into this
bug as well usually after form submissions.

Tablesort will now fully handle multi-dimensional $_REQUEST arrays and
convert them to a valid querystring and preserve user-submitted data.


October 8, 2004 - 06:34 : moshe weitzman

very nicely done ... bonus points for converting pager to use the new
array2uri() function ... tablesort's poor handling of arrays frustrated
me in a recent client project.

this will simplify almost all cases  where a form post leads to a
sortable "results" table, such as in project.module.


October 15, 2004 - 16:01 : mathias

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/tablesort_and_REQUEST_arrays_1.patch (2.99 KB)

Moved the new array2uri function to live with its array2* counterparts
in common.inc and cleaned up the function documentation a wee bit.


December 21, 2004 - 18:43 : moshe weitzman

this is a nice code consolidation IMO


December 22, 2004 - 12:50 : Dries

This patch adds more code than it removes.

That aside, it would be nice if the function's PHPdoc comments were
extended.  Looking at the patch, it is easy to see how/when this
function is being used, but reading the PHPdoc comments it is not.  I'd
add a simple example and some context information.  Also, it is unclear 
what $current_key is used for without inspecting the function's code. 
For readability, maybe rename $array to $attributes?  If that makes
sense, maybe rename 'array2uri' to 'attributes2uri'?  Which makes me
wonder: how does this stack with the existing drupal_attributes()

Do we really need the recursive array handling?


March 13, 2005 - 22:25 : killes at www.drop.org

Doesn't apply anymore.


July 13, 2005 - 00:49 : mathias

Attachment: http://drupal.org/files/issues/tablesort_and_REQUEST_arrays_2.patch (3.19 KB)

Updating this patch since I've been bitten by this issue again. The new
array2uri() function really shines for tablesorting and/or paging
search results after a $_POST request. The only coding change involved
for developers is to use $_REQUEST['edit'] and $_REQUEST['op'] instead
of $_POST['edit'] and $_POST['op'] within their function callback where
this functionality is desired. As an added benefit these pages could
also be bookmarked.

Dries, I've updated the documentation to hopefully makes things a
little easier to understand. I don't think renaming the $array variable
to $attributes or calling the function attributes2uri instead of
array2uri would make the function and its purpose more transparent. 
It's not used for HTML attributes like the drupal_attributes function,
but rather for form submitted data (e.g., the $edit array) that needs
to be tablesorted/paged.

Project module and the ecommerce package still currently hack the
$_POST vars to circumvent this problem. Not sure if other modules are
also doing this.

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