I have a custom form with this field in it:

$form['first']['field_city'] = array(
    '#title' => t('Woonplaats'),
    '#type' => 'textfield',
    '#size' => 25,
    '#autocomplete_path' => 'taxonomy/autocomplete/field_city',
    '#element_validate' => array('taxonomy_autocomplete_validate'),
    '#required' => TRUE,

I'm trying to use the autocomplete tagging widget to use with an existing taxonomy vocabulary on this form. It works fine tags are loaded when I start typing but if I submit the form I get the following Warning:

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in taxonomy_autocomplete_validate()

resulting in this error and the wsod (white screen of death)

   PDOException: SQLSTATE[42000]: Syntax error or access violation: 1064 You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '))' at line 2: 
SELECT base.tid AS tid, base.vid AS vid, base.name AS name, base.description AS description, base.format AS format, base.weight AS weight, v.machine_name AS vocabulary_machine_name FROM {taxonomy_term_data} base INNER JOIN {taxonomy_vocabulary} v ON base.vid = v.vid WHERE (base.name LIKE :db_condition_placeholder_0 ESCAPE '\\') AND (base.vid IN ()) ; Array ( [:db_condition_placeholder_0] => Amsterdam )

I think I'm missing something in the form decleration or made a mistake somewhere. So what's wrong with it? Thanks!

some suggestion is that the machine_name of the field might be wrong. ( the machine name is actually stad when I look in the taxonomy in the admin UI).

2 Answers 2


I'm pretty sure this error will be coming from the following loop in taxonomy_autocomplete_validate()

 // Collect candidate vocabularies.
    $field = field_widget_field($element, $form_state);
    $vocabularies = array();
    foreach ($field['settings']['allowed_values'] as $tree) {
      if ($vocabulary = taxonomy_vocabulary_machine_name_load($tree['vocabulary'])) {
        $vocabularies[$vocabulary->vid] = $vocabulary;

which is collecting the vocabularies allowed for the field, check:

  1. Field is set to be a term reference
  2. Field has at least one allowed vocabulary set
  3. field_city is the correct machine name of the field in question
  • thank for your answer. Yes you are right line 1585 of the taxonomy module throws the error. 1. I think so otherwise fields would not be loaded? 2. Yes Amsterdam in this case? 3. This one I know for sure, the machine name is correct.
    – FLY
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 14:41
  • 1
    You could still create the form item without any of the above being true, but the auto complete wouldn't know what vocab to check
    – TCLopez
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 14:45
  • I've put in watchdog("fieldtest", print_r($field), array(), WATCHDOG_ALERT); on line 1584 of taxonomy.module resulting in a 1 printed in the log files out of print_r($field)
    – FLY
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 14:58
  • so It could be 1 or 2 as you suggested but how do I check that? I'm guessing setting the field to ` '#type' => 'taxonomy_term_reference',` in the form is not it ( done that and the field disappears )
    – FLY
    Commented Apr 27, 2012 at 15:25
  • 1
    oke so it was the machine name, the machine name is stad but if I change the 'taxonomy/autocomplete/field_city', to 'taxonomy/autocomplete/stad', or 'taxonomy/autocomplete/6', (vid) I still get the error but now as an alert box and none of the terms are shown in the auto tag widget textfield.
    – FLY
    Commented May 1, 2012 at 11:54

It works without validation and also by changing the machine name of the taxonomy field using the UI from stad to field_city:

$voca = taxonomy_vocabulary_machine_name_load('field_city');
$form['first']['field_city'][$voca->vid] = array(
    '#type' => 'textfield',
    '#title' => $voca->name,
    '#required' => TRUE,
    '#field_name' => $voca->machine_name,
    // '#language' => 'nl',
    // '#field_parents' => array($voca->machine_name),
    // '#element_validate' => array('taxonomy_autocomplete_validate'),
    // '#default_value' => 'test_default_value',
    '#autocomplete_path' => 'taxonomy/autocomplete/' . $voca->machine_name,
    '#size' => 25,

Also removing the #element_validate prevents the error from showing, so I guess I'll have to write a custom validation for it to really fix it.

Source: OP edit.

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