I'm making a module that lets users manage database records for various organizations. I'm using Drupal 7 and an very new at it. I'm logged in as the admin user. I have a menu item 'cb' that checks args and returns content generated by various functions, here it is in the menu:

function org_menu() {
  $items['org'] = array(
    'title' => 'My Orgs',
    'page callback' => 'org_show_orgs',
    'access callback' => TRUE,
  $items['org/create_org'] = array(
    'title' => 'Create New Org',
    'page callback' => 'drupal_get_form',
    'page arguments' => array('org_create_form'),
    'access callback' => TRUE,
  $items['org/search_orgs'] = array(
    'title' => 'Find Orgs',
    'page callback' => 'drupal_get_form',
    'page arguments' => array('org_search'),
    'access callback' => TRUE,
  $items['org/cb'] = array(
    'type' => MENU_CALLBACK,
    'page callback' => 'custom_callback',
  return $items;

And this is the cb function that determines what I am trying to do, and calls the appropriate content function:

function custom_callback () {
  if ( arg(2)=="edit" )
    return org_edit_org();
  if ( arg(2)=="view" ) {
    return org_show_orgs();
  return "<H3>Invalid callback function: '".arg(2)."'";

and the actual org_get_orgs function:

function org_show_orgs() {
  global $user;
  if ( !$acctid && $user->uid==0 )
    return array('my_content' => '<H3>My Orgs</H3>Please log in to view your orgs.'.
                    '<BR><H3>Find Orgs</H3>', drupal_get_form('org_search'));

  if ( $acctid ) {
    //return "case1 arg0=".arg(0)."<BR>arg1=".arg(1)."<BR>arg2=".arg(2)."<BR>arg3="
    //              .arg(3)."<BR>arg4=".arg(5)."<BR>acctid=$acctid<BR><BR>";
    //return "case2 arg0=".arg(0)."<BR>arg1=".arg(1)."<BR>arg2=".arg(2)."<BR>arg3="
    //              .arg(3)."<BR>arg4=".arg(5)."<BR>acctid=$acctid<BR><BR>";
    if ( $account===FALSE )
      return "<H3>Invalid acctid "+$acctid+"</H3>";
      return "<H3>account was not FALSE</H3>";

cb() gets called correctly and the org_show_orgs() function gets called as expected. arg(3) is the user id, so I can allow a user to view another user's orgs.

I hit the url http://example.com/?q=org/cb/view/1 and it works - I see admin's orgs. If I pick a userid for another user, it works - I see their orgs as well. The problem is when I tinker with the url and pass in an id of a user that doesnt exist - then I get all kinds of weirdness. For example, if I hit


If I uncomment that case2 line, I clearly see all my variables are correct:

case2 arg0=org

but if I try to test if $account===FALSE, I get the maintenance page. If I change the id to 3, I get an 'access denied' page. If I change the id to 2, I see a 'page not found' page. If I try return print_r($account,TRUE); I get the menus and a completely blank content cell. No error, which I'd get it it was a non-array object. If I try get_class($account) after I retrieve it, I get the menus but no css, and everything is just listed down the left side, no regions, themes, nothing.

Besides the $account issue, is there a better way to be doing this than that callback menu, or is that the drupal way?

  • 2
    user_load() is documented to return FALSE if it fails. Can you verify that it doesn't work outside of your complex workflow? If you simply run $account = user_load(4); in a standard Drupal page callback does it return FALSE?
    – Clive
    May 29, 2013 at 15:37

3 Answers 3


The account test probably is working, but this is wrong:

return "<H3>Invalid acctid "+$acctid+"</H3>";

If the $acctid is an integer, it's evaluating that and returning an integer. The proper php concatenation operator is '.' (without the quotes), change your return statement to

return "<H3>Invalid acctid ".$acctid."</H3>";

It'll evaluate to the string you're presumably expecting.


Actually, the value returned by user_load() is an array. If the $id is not valid, it will return an empty array.

Try changing your test to if (empty($account)).

  • 1
    It returns FALSE for me when I run it with an invalid user ID, and a stdClass object on success (Drupal 7). I've never seen it return an array before, is that documented somewhere?
    – Clive
    May 29, 2013 at 16:04
  • @Clive - If you trace the function through the Drupal API, the actual return value comes from entity_load().
    – Triskelion
    May 29, 2013 at 16:08
  • 1
    user_load() takes the return value from user_load_multiple() (which uses entity_load()). That return val is an array, but user_load() runs reset() on it. Running reset() on an empty array results in FALSE.
    – Clive
    May 29, 2013 at 16:10
  • @Clive - Good catch. I missed it. However, empty() is a more generic method of testing for a FALSE value, and drupalnewbie for some reason is tryng to compare handles, not values. At least the comparison should be '==' and not '==='.
    – Triskelion
    May 29, 2013 at 16:17

These tests will not work in recent PHP, because account is an object array. Use the following condition: if (count($account) > 0)

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