Bug #886

Access violation on IptcData::operator[] when key is invalid

Added by Robin Mills over 8 years ago. Updated over 6 years ago.

Target version:
Start date:
04 Mar 2013
Due date:
% Done:


Estimated time:


Christian has been kind enough to let me know about the following:

Using an invalid key, that exiv2 does not know, this function leads to an access violation.

    Iptcdatum& IptcData::operator[](const std::string& key)
        IptcKey iptcKey(key);
        iterator pos = findKey(iptcKey);
        if (pos == end()) {
            pos = findKey(iptcKey);
        return *pos;

Thanks, Christian. I'm not certain that this is a bug. I think the software has to throw an exception as he has no other way of saying "not found". Maybe you have to defend your calling code by using findKey(), or catching the exception.



Updated by Christian Klinger over 8 years ago

Maybe it's better to return a pointer than e reference. The pointer could be checked on NULL;
Yet the NULL pointer pos is dereferencd, which is not good. Another way is to check the pos, if it is NULL, then
to return an empty Iptcdatum.

But first once, I think I will use the findkey ()
To solve this problem is not urgent.


Updated by Robin Mills over 8 years ago

Christian. I'll investigate this after work this evening. I want to:
  1. Be sure that findKey() is safe and does not crash.
  2. Look at changing the API to return a ptr, however I think that'll ripple through the Exiv2 code and disturb client code.
  3. Find out if we ever take the if ( pos == end() ) branch. Maybe that's a possible source of pain.

However I will investigate and update this report.


Updated by Christian Klinger over 8 years ago

Robin, thanks. But it is really not urgent. You should also enjoy your evenenig
after hard work.


Updated by Robin Mills over 8 years ago

  • Target version changed from 0.24 to 0.25

Deferred to 0.25.


Updated by Robin Mills about 7 years ago

  • Status changed from Assigned to Resolved

I'm going to mark this as resolved. Christian has a good idea that changing the API to returning a ptr (instead of reference) would enable the client test for NULL. However this involves changing the API which is very undesirable as it would disturb existing applications compiled against the existing API. There are two workarounds: 1) use an exception handler or 2) use findKey() before calling =.


Updated by Robin Mills over 6 years ago

  • % Done changed from 0 to 100

Updated by Andreas Huggel over 6 years ago

  • Status changed from Resolved to Closed

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