filtered by container when looking for owner

Hi all,

I'm new here, so sorry if this isn't the right place or if the answer was easy to find.

I'm looking for all objects of a certains subtype, say JrobinssSubtype, that belong to a given user. Here's how I proceed:

    $objects = $user->getObjects('JrobinssSubtype', 0); // 0: no limit

There's no result, even though I know that there should be (I created the object and checked its owner guid). By going into Elgg's source code and tracing the SQL request, I found that the request tested for owner_id and also for container_id. Here's an extract of the (longish) request (let's say that user->guid=2):

[...] AND (e.owner_guid IN (2)) AND (e.container_guid IN (2))[...]

The result is empty, because the objects are contained in something else than the user.

I found this code in entities.php:

01573             if (is_null($container_guid)) {
01574                 $container_guid = $owner_array;
01575             }

If I run the SQL request without the container, I get exactly the result I want.

Question 1: I don't understand why container_guid should default to owner_guid. I thought container was a fairly straightforward concept.

Question 2: assuming this is not a bug, how can I get all objects for this user and this subtype?

My current workaround is going to be: write my own SQL request. X-p

thanks for any help!

  • Is this in 1.7? The functions used for the OO methods are very outdated and have been deprecated for 1.8. I opened a ticket to address the OO methods themselves:

    Use elgg_get_entities() to grab the objects instead.

    $objects = elgg_get_entities(array(

        'type' => 'object',

        'subtype' => 'JRobinssSubtype',

        'owner_guid' => $user->getGUID(),

        'container_guid' => 1234


  • Here are some code snippets from users.php

        public function getObjects($subtype="", $limit = 10, $offset = 0) {
            return get_user_objects($this->getGUID(), $subtype, $limit, $offset);

    function get_user_objects($user_guid, $subtype = ELGG_ENTITIES_ANY_VALUE, $limit = 10, $offset = 0, $timelower = 0, $timeupper = 0) {
        $ntt = elgg_get_entities(array(
            'type' => 'object',
            'subtype' => $subtype,
            'owner_guid' => $user_guid,
            'limit' => $limit,
            'offset' => $offset,
            'container_guid' => $user_guid,
            'created_time_lower' => $timelower,
            'created_time_upper' => $timeupper
        return $ntt;

    I seems that you're right and there's a bug in there, container_guid is set to user_guid.

    Thanks for the tip. Apparently I hadn't checked that, which is strange (I thought I had), probably because I thought I found the bug elsewhere. Live and learn.

    Many thanks!