I'm using Drupal 6, and I'm having problems retrieving a set of variables I set with variable_set() using variable_get(). I'm doing a dpr(get_defined_vars()) to see what's defined, and I don't see my variables; I see only the arrays $form and $form_state (this is inside hook_submit()).

Does get_defined_vars() show all the variables defined via variable_get()/variable_set()? I would just like to see a list of all of them. I just need to see if they've been set correctly, and troubleshoot why I can't retrieve them.


get_defined_vars is a PHP function, not a Drupal function. It basically shows you all variables that are in scope.

Drupal variables set by variable_set are not automatically within scope.

Variables are stored in global $conf; but I don't recall if non-variables are also stored here.

If you install the Devel Module there is a page for viewing and editing variables.


Curiosity got to me. The variable editor in the Devel Module queries the {variable} table and not global $conf; to build the form of all available variables, so that suggests that is the proper way to do it.


What you set with variable_set() are called "Drupal variables," or "persistent variables." They are not PHP variables, and get_defined_vars() doesn't return them.

During bootstrap, the content of the "variables" table is copied into the global variable $conf that contains also values set in settings.php, such as the string overrides.

$conf['locale_custom_strings_en'] = array(
  'forum'      => 'Discussion board',
  '@count min' => '@count minutes',

If you want to verify which Drupal variables are set, then you can use the global variable $conf, but I would suggest to do it only for debugging purposes, and not in code that you publicly distribute or use outside a test site.

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