Topic-defined variables do not take effect if they are defined in an included topic.
To recreate, define two topics, A and B. Include B from A. In B, define a variable X and use it in B. The variable is undefined.
This is not only confusing, but also inconsistent with the specification of variables (expanded where used) and include.
I agree that this is confusing. Spec of proper behavior needs to be reviewed, such, what happens of Topic B and Topic A define the same variable FOO? It seems like the including topic should override the variables in the included topic. I think for compatibility it should behave like this.
I label this as an enhancement because this reflects a spec change. Probably good to post a feature proposal in the Codev web to give it some visibility.