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jira filter != doesn't find empty values

Robert Nadon Jan 25, 2016

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

 

3 answers

1 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted
Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Jan 25, 2016

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.

Robert Nadon Jan 25, 2016

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

Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Jan 25, 2016

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)

Robert Nadon Jan 26, 2016

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?

Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Jan 26, 2016

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!

0 votes
Dale Keller Apr 23, 2019 • edited

One would think the != Dog would bring back every value, including a non-value as that is not Dog.  To exclude empty you should have to state != Dog and is not EMPTY.  That's the logical solution to any query!!!

0 votes
Paz Balaban I'm New Here May 30, 2019

Hi

I'm facing the same issue. I need all results that are not 'Dog' , but i want to include all 'None'/Empty results as well.
Can someone help me with the syntax?

labels != Dog OR labels = None
Doesn't do the trick and adding brackets doesn't help either.

Robert G. Nadon May 30, 2019

labels != Dog OR labels is EMPTY

is the correct syntax.  There is no "None"

Like Dale Keller likes this

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