SR11 Error Handling Changes

SR11 introduces two changes to error handling that you should be aware of.

The first change is that syntax errors marked with the “red squiggle” in the expression editor will always generate a status message of “Errors in expression”. This was not the case prior to SR11.

In SR10 and prior there could be a difference of opinion between the red squiggles and the status message. Valid syntax such as this–


in SR10 could be marked with squiggles but the “Expression OK” message would reassure us that this was just a syntax checker bug.

In SR11 the status message will always be “Errors in expression” when a red squiggle appears — even when the syntax is valid.


This applies as well to the very common squiggles that appear when using set expressions with variables. Again, this is a functional expression:


So now the squiggles and the status message are in alignment. I’m not sure this is a good thing. We  can no longer say “Ignore the squiggles. If it says ‘Expression OK’ then it’s fine”. If this change sticks then we will have to get more aggressive about reporting and fixing syntax checker bugs.

The second Error Handling change you should be aware of is documented in the SR11 release notes. Charts that contain invalid expressions will now fail to render. In SR10 they assumed some sort of default and the chart was rendered. This new behavior applies to chart expressions,  dimension attributes and expression attributes such as Text Color. If any of those expressions are in error, you will get various error messages in the chart frame. I don’t understand  the pattern of the messages yet.

The good news is that this behavior is not implemented in Server until you explicitly turn it on with a Server Settings.ini switch. By default, Server charts will continue to render as they did in SR10. When you turn the setting on, the Server will log the “bad charts” to the event log. Unfortunately, the logging does not happen until you activate the new behavior. This means your logs and your users see  the problem at the same time. Pity we can’t log before we turn the option on.

So what’s the combination of these two changes? If the syntax checker declares a perfectly good expression to be bad will the chart render? Yes, it will render. The syntax checker’s opinion and the actual evaluation of the expression are not connected.

I’m still trying to understand how these changes will affect my customers and I am holding off recommending SR11 until I can experience a few upgrades. If you have some experience good or bad with these changes please leave a comment.


14 thoughts on “SR11 Error Handling Changes”

  1. Some of the syntax error bugs are ridiculous, and I have become totally blind to red underline in expressions now as it is often more misguiding than helpful. Whilst I can kind of see it with variables, the set analysis syntax of *= always throwing an underline is crazy. Especially as I think that *= is generally what you want to use rather than a straight = anyway.

    Takes deep breath…

    We shall have to see how this pans out in practice.

  2. Rob

    Thanks for the warning.

    We hold our database connections externally and use dollar expanded variables populated from them for all database connections, and they “red squiggle” the next script line.

    So if my understanding of your blog warning is correct SR11 would make all our QlikView QVD generators System Dead.

  3. Bill,
    This change will not impact your QVD generator scripts. The change applies only to the UI expression editor. Further, as I noted in the second to last paragraph of the post, “Errors in Expression” from the syntax editor does not prevent a valid expression from executing.

  4. Anyone ever used P() in set expressions. Everything after it always fails the syntax checker despite being perfectly valid. So a massive THANK YOU Rob – will definitely hold off on the upgrade.

    Qlik are due a stupid update now anyway…SR5, then SR8 now SR11… Pretty much true to form 🙂

  5. Thank you, Rob. Qlik should’ve been made the dollar-sign expansions a part of syntax, rather than just allowing blatantly pasting them in various, sometimes unexpected places. But even in this case they could’ve implicitly inserted actual values of variables into expressions before syntax checking — first, usually variables inserted in expressions contain valid syntax elements that would make entire expression correct. Second, if such a variable contains incorrect syntax elements then syntax checker would show the squiggles which again would be helpful as it indicates that the expression is wrong. In the worst case it would be just what it is now.

  6. This has just become a bit more interesting with the security fix announced yesterday. It would look like upgrading has now become the more sensible path?

    1. @Steve, Interesting yes. The security vulnerability applies to all SR levels, so I imagine many sites will feel compelled to upgrade. And they will acquire these error handling changes as part of the package.

      I’ve been using SR11 for a couple weeks and have found that I now just tune out the “Error in expression” messages.

  7. Like with getcurrentfield(group), it’s been happening since ever, but do the give a dime? I mean QlikTech.

  8. @Steve ..and still the old annoying problem that no fix branch exists! Is this software? Why in the world deliver new features (including new bugs) with a SERVICE release?

    1. At the last Qlik Dev Group event Qlik let us see their intentions on this. They will have parallel branches running for bugs and services (finally!) It was a little confusing though so we’re hoping for more clarity tomorrow night. Couldn’t quite tell how and when the streams would merge….watch this space though!

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