OJS 3: what is the field "gossip" in "users" table for?

after a lot of troubles, I upgraded my installation from 2.4.8 to 3.1.1-4.

I solved most of the issues about the DB charset and mysql version, and it seems that everything works (despite some remaining errors in the upgrade process).

Now I’m going to fix errors manually.

I still have a problem on login.

After credentials submission, there is a blank page with some error messages.
Those messages refers to the file:

lib/pkp/classes/user/PKPUserDAO.inc.php at line 464


the problem is that the result of this function is an array, and there is a query that tries to set this value in the “gossip” field in the “users” table.

I patched the problem changing the line with a:


but I don’t know if this solution affects the software and how to patch it in the right way.