about search in JIRA


I need some explanations about something in Jira 4.2 :

I have an issue (LSD--1) with the summary 'exFSL' and another issue (LSD-2) with the summary 'ex-FSL', so when I try to retrieve them with the search query :

project = LSD and summary ~ 'fsl'

Jira only shows me the LSD-2 and not the LSD-1

Please is there anybody that could help me to find out a query (with only the 'fsl' text) to retrieve both issues please ?

thanks for any feedback


4 answers

Hi Fabien,

Pretty interesting question. I never though about this, I've been doing some testing to try.

I discovered that when you use the '~' operator, it only works with complete words, if you search by 'sl' instead of 'fsl' it won't show anything.

The issue is that in the LSD-2 the summary has a '-' that indicates another word, and in the LSD-1 'fsl' is just a part of all the 'exfsl' so it isn't being showed.

Does this make any sense at all?

Hi Ramiro,

Many thanks for your feedback.

I agree with you.

But so in Jira (and even last releases) there is not really a (contains) operator as it's mentioned in the documentation. I though that the behaviour of a (contains) operator is the same as the "like" with the % operator in SQL.

Or perhaps by digging more we could figure out for a workaround with Jira and that will be wonderful... ???

So question is still open...

Yes, I was with the same problem a few weeks ago, but for now I haven't found anything more than this documentation. It looks like this doesn't work like the clause 'LIKE' right now. In this case, there's always the possibility to create a new issue on jira.atlassian.com requesting this matter.

Hi Fabien,

Does the following work?

project = LSD and summary ~ 'e*fsl'

i.e. using the wildcard '*' in the middle of the search term (you cannot use wildcards at the start of search terms). Have a look at http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/JIRA/Performing+Text+Searches#PerformingTextSearches-Wildcardsearchesand for more details on wildcards.


Anybody else has a real working workaround for that please ?

Thanks for any feedback,


Hi Andrew This is the problem because I am not aware about what there is (or not) in the beginning or at the end of the word I am looking for... I only know that it is containing the letters 'fsl'. And perhaps there is something before like in this case 'ex' or 'ex-'. So what I'm looking for is really a way to retrieve from a real (contains) methode. I hope that I am clear IoI So question is still open...

I have a feeling that the source of the problem is that JIRA (and Confluence) search uses Lucene and Lucene uses stemming algorithms.

From the wikipedia article on stemming...

> A stemming algorithm reduces the words "fishing", "fished", "fish", and "fisher" to the root word, "fish".

If you search jira.atlassian.com for:

Lucene AND Stemming

..you will see a bunch of open issues. This one seems popular:


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