Zend View "Setting private or protected class members is not allowed"

Zend View, Partial and the dreaded “Setting private or protected class members is not allowed”.

This error started showing on my website the other day and I couldn’t figure out what it meant. Looking through the subversion logs, apt-get install logs and checking config file modifications showed this exception arrived seemingly autonomously. I couldn’t figure out where it came from.

A dig through the Zend Framework code (exception->getTrace() and looking at the line where the exception was thrown) came up with a curious piece of code:

public function __set($key, $val)
    if ('_' != substr($key, 0, 1)) {
        $this->$key = $val;

    require_once 'Zend/View/Exception.php';
    $e = new Zend_View_Exception('Setting private or protected class members is not allowed');
    throw $e;

So aparently in an effort to protect their member private or protected class members they put a simple “if first character == ‘_’” check.

This led me to my database and queries where I had discovered I had added a new column “_DataSource” to a table. This combined with some lazy “SELECT * FROM TABLE;” queries meant I was passing this through to a Zend_View_Helper_Partial which attempted to assign all the contained key->value pairs to a new temporary Zend_View_Abstract object triggering this code.

Can anyone say facepalm? :-(