Bug 57148

Summary: EL type conversion of empty string when there is a PropertyEditor (ELSupport.coerceToType())
Product: Tomcat 7 Reporter: Konstantin Kolinko <knst.kolinko>
Component: JasperAssignee: Tomcat Developers Mailing List <dev>
Severity: normal    
Priority: P2    
Version: trunk   
Target Milestone: ---   
Hardware: PC   
OS: All   
Attachments: 2014-10-27_tc8_57148_v1.patch

Description Konstantin Kolinko 2014-10-26 22:10:28 UTC
(Noted when reviewing org.apache.el.lang.ELSupport.coerceToType())

My expectations are that ELSupport.coerceToType() method follows the type conversion rules specified in Expression Language specification.

There is the following phrase in specification 3.0 ch.1.23.7 Coerce A to Any Other Type T:

"If A is a String and T's PropertyEditor throws an exception:"
"If A is "", return null"
"Otherwise, error"

The same phrase in present in EL 2.2 and EL 2.1 specifications (ch.1.18.7) as well.

Consider the following case:
- A is an empty string ("")
- T has a PropertyEditor

Expected behaviour:
- Call PropertyEditor with value of "".
- If it throws an exception, return null.
- Otherwise use the converted value.
try {
} catch (RuntimeException e) {
 return null;

Actual implementation:
- It skips calling the PropertyEditor and immediately returns null.

 if (obj instanceof String) {
   if ("".equals(obj))
        return null;
   PropertyEditor editor = PropertyEditorManager.findEditor(type);

The PropertyEditor.setAsText(String) method is documented to throw IllegalArgumentException on invalid values. I think that EL API expects an ELException, so it is to be wrapped somewhere.
Comment 1 Konstantin Kolinko 2014-10-26 22:49:27 UTC
Created attachment 32147 [details]

Patch for current trunk. Not tested.
Comment 2 Mark Thomas 2014-10-29 23:03:07 UTC
Added some unit tests that confirm the patch is correct and applied to 8.0.x for 8.0.15 owards.

This needs to be back-ported so changing version.
Comment 3 Mark Thomas 2015-02-09 10:53:00 UTC
Fixed in 7.0.x for 7.0.6 onwards.
Comment 4 Mark Thomas 2015-02-09 10:53:21 UTC
Correction. 7.0.60 onwards.