(this is my first post; I'm inexperienced in both ajax and javascript (but learning!), so I'm sorry if I screwed anything up and if you need more/less info, let me know; thanks!)

Ok, so I'm trying to get a variable called $active_name to display in index.php as 42. It's changed to that in active_players.php when active_players.php is 'opened' via ajax. That change only stays in active_players.php. When a button is clicked in it, send_invite() is called, which, not being part of active_players.php, has $active_name remain as 24.

I've excerpted out just the parts that I think you will need to find my error. Please let me know if more information is needed.

PHP Code:
//inside index.php
<?php
$active_name 
"24"//if this is taken out, the variable, 'name' in send_invite() ends up being undefined
?>


function reset_active_list()
{
loadXMLDoc("active_players.php",function()
{
  if (xmlhttp.readyState == 4 && xmlhttp.status==200)
    {
      document.getElementById("active_box").innerHTML = xmlhttp.responseText;
    }
});
act_li_rst = setTimeout("reset_active_list()",1000);
}



function send_invite()
{
name = '<? echo $active_name?>'; //I want this to be 42, but it's 24

loadXMLDoc("send_invite.php?name="+name,function()
{
  if (xmlhttp.readyState==4 && xmlhttp.status==200)
    {
      document.getElementById("top").innerHTML = xmlhttp.responseText;
    }
});
}

PHP Code:
//inside 'active_players.php'
<?php
  $active_name 
"42";//I would like this to become global in index.php
  
echo $active_name;//it's 42, here of course.
  
echo "<input type='button' onclick='send_invite()' value='test'/>";
?>