Views, Dates, and Arguments


This is work done in Drupal V6. Drupal is an Open-Source Content Management System. More information is available at

I needed to create a View for a Custom Content Type that took an optional date (year) as an argument. I followed the normal process for defining the various fields of a View. The argument was defined with my custom content value (field_event_season). The definition included creating a 'Summary, sorted ascending' action if no value was present. Since I wanted to display the entire list, this is the appropriate setting.

I saved the argument definition and got the error:

user warning: Unknown column 'node_data_field_event_season.field_event_season_value' in 'field list' query:

SELECT DISTINCT DATE_FORMAT(STR_TO_DATE( node_data_field_event_season.field_event_season_value, '%Y-%m-%dT%T'), '%Y') AS node_data_field_event_season_field_event_season_value, COUNT(node.nid) AS num_records FROM node node LEFT JOIN content_type_lasig_event node_data_field_event_public ON node.vid = node_data_field_event_public.vid WHERE (node.status <> 0) AND (node.type in ('lasig_event')) AND (node.nid != 2) AND ((node_data_field_event_public.field_event_public_value) = ('Yes')) GROUP BY node_data_field_event_season_field_event_season_value ORDER BY node_data_field_event_season_field_event_season_value ASC LIMIT 0, 15

in ***/sites/all/modules/views/includes/ on line 771.


It is not necessary to understand the SQL statement above to see the two important parts: "user warning: Unknown column" and "***/sites/all/modules/views/includes/ on line 771". The first part is the problem. The second one indicates that it is in the Drupal system code. This means there is an error in something that I didn't write.

I am using Drupal V6.22, Date V6.x-2.7, and Views V6.x-2.12. There are a number of other modules installed, but these are the relevant ones for this discussion.

After a bit of researching I found an article on the Drupal site ( that describes the same problem. The posted solutions are:

  1. Downgrade the Date module to V6.x-2.6. This is reported to not have the problem, but there are features in V6.x-2.7 that are needed to Calendar.
  2. Upgrade to the 'dev' version (V6.x-2.x-dev). Of course, you are running a risk using a 'dev' module on a production site

It turns out that this error is present for any type of sub-setting of the available data (summary or default values).

As of the writing of this post, the team has not yet made a decision as to which option we are going to use. We are not running Calendar; however, we are concerned about giving up the bug fixes in V2.7. There is also a patch for this error; however, some people claim does not work.

We also ended up providing a default argument through PHP code (so it didn't need to be changed on a regular basis).

The attached file are the slides for a presentation on this topic.