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Mapnik SVN trunk appears to drop the whole style or even the whole layer when a filter references a non-existent column in a PostGIS DB. It should at least warn the user about that occurring, and maybe still try to render as much as possible from that style/layer.
(jonb helped me finding that out.)
[springmeyer] pushing off to 0.6.1
[Ldp] Perhaps something like an optional modifier on Filter, to control the behaviour, with the default being to throw an error?
[highway]='something' and [some_nonexistent_column] = 'some_value'
would then still succeed and only test for the first term.
[springmeyer] ya, that seems like a good idea
[springmeyer] moving to 0.6.2 for further discussion
[springmeyer] what was actually failing was the postgis query.
now that error reporting/throwing has been in the postgis driver you'll get:
ERROR: column "foo" does not exist
LINE 1: SELECT AsBinary("geometry",'NDR') AS geom,"foo","region" fro...
Full sql was: 'SELECT AsBinary("geometry",'NDR') AS geom,"foo","region" from world_worldborders WHERE "geometry" && SetSRID('BOX3D(-180 -78.1219177246,180 83.6235961914)'::box3d, 4326)'