Opened 17 years ago

Closed 17 years ago

#3458 closed (worksforme)

Blankable, non-nullable CharFields have a strange default behavior

Reported by: hmason@… Owned by: nobody
Component: Validators Version: 0.95
Severity: Keywords:
Cc: brosner@…, paul@… Triage Stage: Accepted
Has patch: no Needs documentation: no
Needs tests: no Patch needs improvement: no
Easy pickings: no UI/UX: no


If you create a create a CharField in a model like so:

some_field = models.CharField(blank=True, null=False)

then create the database via syncdb, the model/validation layer considers None to be a valid value even though it just created the database table with NOT NULL as an attribute for the some_field column. This leads to some trouble. For starters, if you neglect to include some_field in a form, the field will not produce any POST data, but the lack of a value won't trigger a model validation error. This is made worse by the fact that Fields seem to default their default values to None. Defaulting to None will always produce database errors here unless you somehow go behind Django's back and modify the database to allow NULL values while keeping null for the field equal to False. Thus, an invalid insertion will be sent to the database, causing a nasty exception...

Since the preferred method for storing blank values in CharFields is to use an empty string, I feel this should really be handled by default differently. Some ideas:

  • For CharField, blank=True when used together with null=False could imply, unless otherwise specified, that the default value is an empty string (The documentation already says that empty strings are the preferred method of storing blank values in a CharField, so why is it defaulting to a bad value?)
  • When null=True for a field, Field.validate could raise an exception and warn when asked to validate None, since it is not, after all, a valid value for a field where NULL is not allowed.

Change History (5)

comment:1 by Michael Radziej <mir@…>, 17 years ago

Triage Stage: UnreviewedAccepted

IMO, both your ideas apply. The default should simply be the empty string in such a case, and the validation should reject None for it.

This bug belongs to both 'Validators' and 'database wrapper'.

comment:2 by brosner@…, 17 years ago

Cc: brosner@… added

Is this bug saying that if a database field is set with blank=True and default=whatever and the value is not present with a form submission then it should fallback to the value of default? I am running into this problem with a few of my forms and I have to manually add in a default value right before the object gets saved.

comment:3 by hmason@…, 17 years ago

I think brosner's bug is slightly different, and I believe it's being addressed in newforms. My bug is a bit simpler...when blank=True and null=False, [] and None are still accepted as valid values.

comment:4 by Paul Hummer, 17 years ago

Cc: paul@… added

After taking a look at this bug, this appears to be fixed. I could not duplicate it on rev 6289 or 6299. If you're still having this problem, could you please post some more example code and more information on your environment?

comment:5 by James Bennett, 17 years ago

Resolution: worksforme
Status: newclosed

I can't duplicate this either; I've seen it work properly on various versions of Django.

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