I'm writing a module that displays graphs based on a selection of arguments (an array with items to display, a daterange and some other stuff). This results in a long and ugly url.

Is there a way to get the arguments to the page with the graphs without putting everything in the url for that page? I'm looking for something that can keep temporary variables with a short reference that I can pass in the url, but haven't been able to find anything.

I'm using Drupal 7.

2 Answers 2


You could use form submission or cookies to store values, but neither of these are a particularity good ideas.

I would recommend (if you don't like the URL showing) using AJAX to retrieve/update the graph. You still have the ugly url but you hide it inside the ajax request.

So your module displays


but the request could be


  • I am already using AJAX to get the actual graph data from a (Drupal) webservice. But I need some way to get the parameters selected by the user across to the page that displays the graph. Would you suggest to submit those via ajax and do a page reload?
    – Whiskey
    Aug 8, 2011 at 12:05
  • In this case, why not just use ajax to bring back the graph, rather than a page with it embedded. Aug 8, 2011 at 14:17
  • I could do that, but the layout of that page does not allow for the graph.
    – Whiskey
    Aug 10, 2011 at 7:00

The solution turned out to be a simple one: put the urls with an index in the session, pass the index as an argument to the next page and once there lookup the url again in the session.

  • 1
    Of course, this solution means that you can't use the same URL to always arrive at the same graph. That's the tradeoff.
    – rfay
    Sep 1, 2011 at 20:05
  • Agree with rfay, this precludes the ability for a user to send the graph page to a friend via hyperlink, for example.
    – Entendu
    Sep 1, 2011 at 20:17
  • True, but in this case that is not a problem. But well pointed out, thanks.
    – Whiskey
    Oct 22, 2011 at 18:17
  • you could use ctools object cache if you don't want to fool around with creating your own index: uppitywis.org/help/ctools/object-cache
    – acouch
    Jan 6, 2012 at 19:02

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