CF9 PreserveSingleQuotes bug

This little bug comes courtesy of my boss at Contens. It appears that the function PreserveSingleQuotes() in Coldfusion 9 is unable to handle the results of a function that returns a string.

The Problem

You have a simple string, or list and wish to manipulate it, the results of the manipulation is then going to be used in a query so naturally you will want to use PreserveSingleQuotes() to make sure that your single quotes are not removed.

Take the following simple example below:

<cfset mylist = "one,two,three,four">

<cfquery name="getStuff" datasource="#request.dsn#">
select * from mytable
where numbers in (#PreserveSingleQuotes(listQualify(mylist,"'"))#)

Yes I could use cfqueryparam in this case, but for the sake of example lets pretend that I didn't. If you try this code or simply leave out the query and do the following:


ColdFusion 9 will throw an error:

 Complex constructs are not supported with function PreserveSingleQuotes.
Use simple variable instead.

Pardon me but a string or list is indeed a simple variable! PreserveSingleQuotes will also fail with the following:

<cfoutput>#preserveSingleQuotes(lCase("it's definitely a simple life!"))#</cfoutput>

Work Around

There is a work around to this ColdFusion 9 bug, simply store the results of the manipulation in a variable and then pass that variable to PreserveSingleQuotes() as I in the following snippet:

<cfset mystring = lCase("it's definitely a simple life!")>

Just a heads up if you are migrating to CF9 or developing for both Railo and ColdFusion 9 to always test your code thoroughly in both environments.

Happy Coding...

10 Comments to "CF9 PreserveSingleQuotes bug"- Add Yours
Sankalan Panda's Gravatar Yes - really an issue.
I feel this is because of the Call By Reference.
ListQualify() returns one copy of the original list with qualifiers. That might be a complex object.
I am thinking so because - similar thing happening with structCopy() as well because of Call By Reference.
But Duplicate() is Call By Value.
# Posted By Sankalan Panda | 2/2/10 2:36 AM
Gary Gilbert's Gravatar List Qualify returns a list with qualifiers, that is true, but it returns a list which is really just simply a string. If I save the returned list in a variable and then pass that variable to preservesinglequotes it works just fine. If it was a complex object that was returned from listqualify then saving it to a variable would not change it from a complex to a simple object.
# Posted By Gary Gilbert | 2/2/10 4:16 AM
# Posted By Adam Lehman | 2/2/10 7:21 AM
Gary Gilbert's Gravatar Yes I have posted a bug. #81940
# Posted By Gary Gilbert | 2/2/10 8:21 AM
Adam's Gravatar Brilliant. Thanks!

I'll track this one and ensure it gets into the 9.01 release (Sully).

# Posted By Adam | 2/2/10 8:42 AM
Justice's Gravatar From my recollection, this is just the way PreserveSingleQuotes happens to work. You may wish to file a feature-request, but it's not exactly a bug. PreserveSingleQuotes is not a function in the normal sense of the word. It does not accept an arbitrary input. It accepts only a string literal or a simple variable, but not an expression. For example, string concatenation is not allowed; neither is array indexing, struct lookup, or function calling.
# Posted By Justice | 2/4/10 4:36 AM
Gary Gilbert's Gravatar Just because preserveSingleQuote happens to work that way doesnt mean that its not a bug.

Most, I guess I cant say all, cf funtions can accept the results from another function as input so long as the function returns a datatype that is accepted.

I admit the signature for preservsingleQuote specifically states "PreserveSingleQuotes(variable)" and not PreserveSingleQuotes(string). So while you are technically correct this is, in my opinion, a shitty implementation.
# Posted By Gary Gilbert | 2/4/10 6:05 AM
Justice's Gravatar It is a shitty implementation, indeed.

I often resort to writing complex queries within a cfsavecontent (yes, with proper escaping), and then doing a cfquery with the saved query text afterwards, just so I can write the complex query in a straightforward way.
# Posted By Justice | 2/4/10 6:46 PM
rgmoon's Gravatar This is very nice info related to software. I understand a lot through these codes. I want ti get more such posts. Thanks for such nice info. It increases my knowledge a lot.
# Posted By rgmoon | 1/3/12 5:48 PM
Craig's Gravatar Thank you for this fix! I have spent hours trying to solve this thinking it was on my end.
# Posted By Craig | 8/8/14 6:29 PM

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