Populating the 'send a message' dropdown list with users instead of friends

So, I have a small company, and I want the 'send a message' dropdown list to include all members, not just the friends of whoever happens to be sending the message.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to change /mod/messages/views/default/messages/forms/message.php somehow, but I'm not sure about the script (I'm new to php).  Can anyone help me out?


  • LJ.. I sent you a message about that earlier today.

    Yes, that's the file you need to change, particularly the (send_to) input.



  • I'm looking at the following code:

      foreach($vars['friends'] as $friend){
                        //populate the send to box with a user's friends
                        echo "<option value='{$friend->guid}'>" . $friend->name . "</option>";

    Somehow, I need to change the friend variable to a 'user' variable.  Do I need to create that, or is there a built-in one I can use?

  • Hi Long John,

    As you can see, the $friend is populated by iterating over an array that's passed in as $vars['friends']. The elgg framework usually populates the $vars associative array, so you would need to find out what is being passed in $vars['friends']. 

    Trace the code upwards and figure it out.

    If it's a view, you will have to override the view.

  • FINALLY figured it out.  Here's the solution (edit /mod/messages/views/default/messages/forms/message.php):


                    //make the first option blank
                    echo "<option value=''></option>";

    //The following returns the 25 newest members; the number can be changed

            $users = get_entities('user', '', 0, '', 25, 0, false, 0, null);
                    foreach($users as $user){
                        //populate the send to box with a user's friends the members of the site :)
                        echo "<option value='{$user->guid}'>" . $user->name . "</option>";


  • In case anyone stumples upon this like I did: I just made a simple Elgg 1.8 plugin out of these ideas. (the code above seems like for Elgg 1.7 (?)