List of *banned* class attribute names


I’ve came across a clash of variable names between my application and Yii framework.

Here is what happened:

  • I have 2 models: ‘DataVersion’ & ‘Attribute’

  • One ‘DataVersion’ has many ‘Attribute’

Then I created a form for creating data versions, added validation rules and finally a controller for validating and saving new records. The basic stuff everyone knows about!

public function actionCreate() {

        $model = new DataVersion;

        if ($_POST['DataVersion']) {

            $model->attributes = $_POST['DataVersion'];

            if ($model->save()) {

                $this->redirect(array('view', 'id' => $model->data_version_name));



        $this->render('create', array(

            'model' => $model,



And this didn’t work. I was staring at my monitor to only see error messages telling me my fields couldn’t be blank. My post was not validated. I checked my validation rules almost certain that there was an error somewhere, after all I’ve done this many times and this is a really well known process. Lots of debugging, pulled my hair, almost broke my desk with my head (or the other way round, I don’t quite remember)… I finally discovered that ‘setAttributes’ was working.


But I still couldn’t figure out why… but came the light. Everything because of what is quoted below, in DataVersion model:

public function relations() {

		return array(

			'attributes' => array(self::HAS_MANY, 'Attribute', 'data_version'),



attributes! $model->attributes was an existing variable and therefore the Yii setter (in CComponent) couldn’t do its magic and invoke “setAttributes”.

Failed :blink:

Can anyone think about other variable names which shouldn’t be used?

I’d say the list of properties being held by CActiveRecord were a good start.