jira filter != doesn't find empty values

Hi all,

When I create a filter where field != value, the results do not show field = EMPTY issues.

A workaround is to do (field != value OR field = EMPTY) but I was told that this was not the way it used to be so I was wondering if there is a setting for that.

Thanks!

Robert

 

1 answer

1 accepted

1 vote

No, it hasn't changed. 

"Does not equal" is not quite the same as "empty" because != says you're looking for a specific value to not be there.  If there's no values to look for, you can't say that your selection isn't there because there's nothing to look for.

Well, not since JIRA 3, which didn't have JQL, so you didn't have != or empty.

Thanks, that was what I thought.  I will tell them to use the workaround I listed above.

It's a little bit confusing for humans, because of our fuzzy thinking.  Even a "yes or no" question really has three "answers" - yes, no, and not answered.

My friend explained it by saying "show me a picture of your black cat", then "show me a picture of all your cats who are not black", then "show me a picture of your dog who is not black".  I don't have a dog, so I have to look for "empty" rather than "not black", because there's no dog there to not be black.  (I love English negatives.  Not)

Dang humans.  Makes perfect sense to me, but my customer is still not happy.  His concern is that in the future he will forget to use the "OR field = EMPTY" and miss records in his reports.   I told him I could change the field to required and create a dummy value (called it "no value") and set that as default.  Then go through with bulk change and find all issues with EMPTY values and change them to "no value", but I really do not like that solution as it adds even more clutter in my instance.   Any thoughts on that solution?

Yeah, I know, we need to think more logically wink

I think your cluttered solution is about the only option you have without coding.  Or just beating "empty != != " into him.  The problem is that there are genuine uses for having them work differently!

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