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[EP-tech] Bug in Subject.pm?

I've just upgraded an old EPrints site to 3.4.3.

I'm now getting an error from the EPrints::MetaField::Subject function 

It gets the value of the field from the dataobj and immediately 
dereferences it as an array without checking. In this particular case my 
field is not multiple so no results returns as NULL not [] and so it 
dies with an error

The field configuration is just:

 ??????? { name=>"country", type=>"subject", top=>"un_geoscheme", 
browse_link => "country" },

Wrapping the offending code? in an if(..) {..} to test if it's not null 
worked OK but is a horrid hack.

 From looking at DataObj->get_value, it returns a [] only if the field 
is multiple.

However if the Subject field is not multiple then $dataobj->get_value( 
"country")? will return "string" or NULL (not [] or ["string"] as the 
code assumes).

I could easily write a fix to make it check the value was set and if the 
field was non-multiple, turn it into a loist

Is there a known work around for this? I don't like working with patched 
code unless there's no other choice.

My hotfix is to check the block at Subject.pm line 129 to

 ??????? my $field_values = $obj->get_value( $self->{name} );
 ??????? if( defined $field_values ) {
 ??????????????? $field_values = [$field_values] unless( 
$self->get_property( "multiple" ) );
 ??????????????? foreach my $value ( @{$field_values} )
 ??????????????? {
 ??????????????????????? foreach my $pair ( @{$allpairs} )
 ??????????????????????? {
 ??????????????????????????????? if ( $pair->[0] eq $value )
 ??????????????????????????????? {
 ??????????????????????????????????????? unshift @{$pairs}, $pair;
 ??????????????????????????????????????? last;
 ??????????????????????????????? }
 ??????????????????????? }
 ??????????????? }
 ??????? }

(the scary part is this might be code I wrote in ages past and I can't 
actually remember!)


Christopher Gutteridge <totl at soton.ac.uk>
You should read our team blog at http://blog.soton.ac.uk/webteam/

Industrial Action

Sadly my trade union is currently in dispute over pay, pensions and 
casualisation. You can read more at 

The Southampton branch is currently working on "Action Short Of a 
Strike" (ASOS). This means only doing work we are contracted to do, so 
no working on any additional voluntary tasks. It's frustating, but so 
are below inflation pay rises.

As a result, so far I've had to turn down or stop working on:

  * Coordinating the iSolutions Communities of Practice program
  * Coordinating the System Documentation Community of Pracice
  * Helping with a workshop on data visualisation
  * Providing a Minecraft activity for the Archaeology family day
  * Helping another team recruit someone for a post
  * Not helped a colleague debug something in a service I'm an expert on
    but is no longer my responsibility

I look forward to getting back into these kinds of activity as soon as 
the industrial action permits.

Please do not cover for people taking ASOS. If it causes problems, it is 
helpful to make management aware. The most unhelpful thing is for people 
to mitigate the impacts of industrial action or hide it from management. 
The best thing to help is to join the union and the action and/or donate 
to the strike fund.
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