Delete a variable #2

This is a follow-up to

I get this error if I use tvanek's code with a NAME attribute:

Attribute set validation error in tag CFLOCK

The tag has an invalid attribute combination: the most likely attribute combinations are

Required attributes: 'SCOPE,TIMEOUT'. Optional attributes: 'THROWONTIMEOUT,TYPE'.
Required attributes: 'TIMEOUT'. Optional attributes: 'NAME,THROWONTIMEOUT,TYPE'.
Other possible combination is
(No suggestions)

Here's the code:

<cfset session.fighter = 1>
<cfset foo = structDelete(session, "fighter")>

I've never used <CFLOCK> before, so I decided to read up on it.  I've got the "Mastering ColdFusion" book by Arman Danesh (good book).  He recommends to use the NAME attribute (page 479):

"Although [the NAME] attribute is not required, it is hightly recommended that you use it."
"If two CFLOCK tags share the same name, then only one tag can be accessed at a time.  If you do not name them in this manner, you could run into read/write access problems.
For example, if application.test is set in one template, but no CFLOCK name is specified, ColdFusion will automatically generate a random name to lock the code.  But say that in a second template someone is trying to read application.test and the lock around that code has no NAME attribute as well.  ColdFusion will generate a unique name, but it will not be the same name that locks the write access to application.test in the girst template.  So you could have one user writing to the variable and another user reading the variable at the same time.  This can cause the server to hang, or incorrect data to be  to the variable."

So, if it's so highly recommended to use the NAME attribute, how come I get this "invalid attribute combination" error?  What's the use of locking and area of code using a randomly unique name?  It'll still allows two clients access to the same data causing possible data corruption.

What's the proper syntax?
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Your code should look like this:
<cfset session.fighter = 1>
<cfset foo = structDelete(session, "fighter")>

When cflocking session vars you don't need to specify the name.

The only time you want to use the NAME option is when you are reading/writing files (then you don't need to specify the scope)

<CFFILE ACTION="READ" FILE="/files/#filename#" variable="filereadin">

SCOPE is a newer attribute to ColdFusion.  In previous versions, you had to use NAME.  Yes, you should be using SCOPE="session" for your locks and NOT specifiying a name for them.

And as CJ pointed out, you can use named locks for things like file operations.  For a simple file read, you wouldn't need a lock.  However, if you have any other ColdFusion code that writes or updates that file, it's a good idea to put a lock around both the WRITE/APPEND action and the READ action with the same lock name.  Here's an example.

-----[ writefile.cfm - creates the file from the database ]-----
<cflock name="lockCustomersFile" type="exclusive" timeout="30">
     <cffile action="write" file="c:\www\customers.txt" output="#qCustomers.customerInfo#">

-----[ readfile.cfm - reads the file ]-----
<cflock name="lockCustomersFile" type="readonly" timeout="30">
     <cffile action="read" file="c:\www\customers.txt" variable="#qCustomers.customerInfo#">

The read only requires a "readonly" lock.  This will allow other requests for the file read to run at the same time, which will not cause problems for you.  However, the exclusive lock will not let any other ColdFusion code with a lock named "lockCustomersFile" run until it completes.  You obviously don't want someone reading the file while it's being written.

Hope that makes sense,

Tyson Vanek
Senior Consultant
< a l l a i r e > Corporation

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Sorry, first line of my previous comment should read like this:

SCOPE is a newer attribute to ColdFusion's CFLOCK tag.


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Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

You may want to lock a file when reading so no one updates it when you try to read it.

Any progress here???

cpopinAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay.  Blame a combo of ExpertSexChange and my workload...
cpopinAuthor Commented:
Last time I added this comment, and quite a bit since then, EE keeps giving me a 500 error and a Java stack trace.  If you'll be patient with me, I'll be patient with EE and grade this question.


-=- cpopin
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IMHO, split btw tvanek and me.

cpopinAuthor Commented:
I'll give you both 50 points, tvanek here and cheekyci at


-=- cpopin
Thank you for coming back and taking care of this question.

I also thank you.  :)
cpopinAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay, but I must admit it was due to the lack of response from the EE server earlier on.  I haven't been using it lately that much, but it seems to be much more responsive.  Guess that's why their sentinal have been deployed.  I've been getting e-mails to clean up my posted questions.
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