Quick Search misbehaves if the search string contains a slash character, with no way to escape or quote it

UNCONFIRMED
Unassigned

Status

UNCONFIRMED
3 years ago
3 years ago

People

(Reporter: unimportantdavidz, Unassigned)

Tracking

31 Branch

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(Not tracked)

Details

(Whiteboard: [worksforme])

(Reporter)

Description

3 years ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/38.0 Iceweasel/38.3.0
Build ID: 20150923030055

Steps to reproduce:

1. Have numerous messages with a slash character ("/") in their Subject, as for shorthand dates,

2. Attempt to search for a term containing a slash, such as "10/12",




Actual results:

Thunderbird reports 0 results despite that exact string being present in one or more message Subjects,

Even when enclosing the search term in double- or single-quotes, attempting to escape the slash with a leading backslash, or attempting to use the HTML special character code for the slash in the search query still yields "No results."


Expected results:

I would expect Thunderbird to be able to locate messages containing a slash character ("/") when a Search is performed with a slash character in its input. At the very least Thunderbird should honor quotes or some kind of escaping to be able to search for such a string.
David, this works for me exactly as expected.

I have a message having 10/14/2014 in subject.
In Quick Filter Bar (ctrl+shift+k), I type "10/14/2014" (without quotes).
Matching messages are correctly found without any problem.

I'm using Windows 10 / TB 38.3.0. DE

We don't have escaping (yet) because almost all characters are searched literally.
Only | has special meaning of OR, and quotes I think for searching exact string.
Pls check out the message source (ctrl+u) and copy/paste the exact subject string here, and your exact search term.
Whiteboard: [worksforme]
Note that global search (Ctrl+K) will return many more results, and uses unpredictable stemming.

Only Quick Filter Bar and Advanced "Search Messages" dialogue will correctly search things like "10/14/2014".

Strangely, my global search returns only 2 matching messages where quick filter returns 5.
(In reply to Thomas D. (currently busy elsewhere; needinfo?me) from comment #3)

> Strangely, my global search returns only 2 matching messages where quick
> filter returns 5.

I mean, after doing global search for "10/14/2014" (no quotes), and then quick-filtering the hundreds of global search results to find the right one actually having "10/14/2014".
(Reporter)

Comment 5

3 years ago
Thomas D. (currently busy elsewhere; needinfo?me) from comment #3)
> Note that global search (Ctrl+K) will return many more results, and uses
> unpredictable stemming.
> 
> Only Quick Filter Bar and Advanced "Search Messages" dialogue will correctly
> search things like "10/14/2014".
> 
> Strangely, my global search returns only 2 matching messages where quick
> filter returns 5.

Aha, very interesting - this also works on my end. I did not previously know about the advanced "Search Messages" dialog, and had only been using the "Quick Search" bar that's present at the top of the main interface. The Quick Search still fails to find results for subjects with "/".

I do think that the behavior of the two searches should be synchronized, particularly as the advanced Search Messages dialog is about 100x less "present" from a UX standpoint as the Quick Search.

One stopgap alternative might be to include a short message at the top of any Quick Search results saying, "some special characters may not produce results using Quick Search, please try the advanced Message Search (Ctrl+Shift+F or accessible from Edit -> Find -> Search Messages) for more precision."

Perhaps this message could even be displayed only when the Quick Search string contains such a character.

But ideally, I strongly feel that the engine behind both of these search methods should produce identical results - anything else is strongly at odds with reasonable UX.
(Reporter)

Updated

3 years ago
Summary: Message search misbehaves if the search string contains a slash character, with no way to escape or quote it → Quick Search misbehaves if the search string contains a slash character, with no way to escape or quote it
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