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Allow application queries to be promoted as global search modes
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Extracted from T10589

The "Search Current Application" option for global search, while better than "Search all documents", has some potential user experience opportunities for improvement. Specifically, when doing a search in Maniphest via the top-right search, the query options are a much less powerful list of features vs Maniphest querying:

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 7.08.00 PM.png (1×2 px, 192 KB)

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 7.08.34 PM.png (1×2 px, 348 KB)

Ideally the advanced query options are available, because the majority of us who use Phabricator (at least in our organization) use the main search UI which is both more convenient and more discoverable than the "Edit Query" button and user experience.

Event Timeline

epriestley triaged this task as Wishlist priority.Mar 22 2016, 1:10 AM
epriestley added a subscriber: epriestley.

These fields don't apply to other document types, and other document types have other fields which do apply to these results. It does not make sense to search all documents by, e.g., "Priorities". We definitely aren't going to pursue this as described.

I'm open to allowing you to mark queries from suitable applications for inclusion in global search, then perform application search instead. Specifically, the flow would be:

  • Go to ManiphestEdit QueriesEdit. Suppose you're editing an "Open Tasks" query.
  • Check a new box, like "Make this query available in the global search menu."
  • Select the new option from the dropdown next to the global search: Maniphest: Open Tasks.
  • Searching in the global box would now jump directly to a Maniphest search, instead of performing a global search, as long as you have that application search filter selected.

This feature imposes a global performance penalty on every page (to query the user's custom global queries) and is blocked on resolving T10077 to mitigate it. It would be available for applications which support some reasonable top-level "text" query.

We haven't seen other feedback in this vein from other installs, and don't consider this feature particularly valuable. We are currently very unlikely to ever pursue it naturally.

epriestley renamed this task from Expose advanced maniphest search filters in main search to Allow application queries to be promoted as global search modes.Mar 22 2016, 1:10 AM

@epriestley the UX problem here for us is that all of our employees are using global search when they don't realize it because it's top right when they go to the phab homepage, when in reality they only use Phab for Maniphest tasks. So asking every employee to manually configure these things doesn't solve this problem.

Regardless of the solution, the above UX problem is a real one that all of our employees have, and I'm very skeptical that there aren't many other Phab users that are having this same problem...

the UX problem here for us is that all of our employees are using global search when they don't realize it because it's top right when they go to the phab homepage, when in reality they only use Phab for Maniphest tasks.

I received similar feedback from at least two users who had used the global advanced search and were not aware of application specific advanced search ("Why do I see way less options in my Advanced Search than in your Maniphest screenshot?").

I'd love to make it more discoverable which 'Advanced Search' page users are on (for those not starring at URLs all day).
I am wondering

  • if could change its header from "Advanced Search" into "Global Advanced Search" and if$application/query/advanced/ could change its header from "Advanced Search" into "$Application Advanced Search".
  • if only the global advanced search page could display a one-liner hint on top like "Note: The application specific Advanced Search allows additional search criteria" or such. It steals screen estate (if not added behind the existing header) but it might be a simple way to make users realize there might be better ways to find their $stuff (as that's what people are normally after when searching).
epriestley claimed this task.

I don't plan to implement the original feature as described.

I'll consider ways to provide hints that lead to application search when T12003 resolves, but my sense is that fairly few users are having difficulty with this.

The high level need here actually just came up as recently as yesterday with our new senior product manager; he had no idea that there was a Maniphest-specific search and had instead been searching for maniphest tasks using global search (and was convinced Phab search was very limited due to this). Only upon me watching him do this search and advising him did he discover it. I've seen this issue several times now in our organization and I believe it contributes to the perception from some people internally that they have problems with Phab search.

Maniphest advanced search is somewhat buried, indeed. I think one easy solution to this would be to add "Task search" to the main phab menu (using the new custom menus feature)... In fact, I think I will do that now at

Just in my personal experience, I think it was sometime in the last 6 months that I realized Phabricator has a concept of "application search" and "global search", and that a lot of the searches I'd been doing were the latter and that's why they were so limited in functionality. I'd been using Phabricator for years and always had the sense that search didn't work very well, and that there were different forms I might get for it with different sets of fields, and it was unpredictable which one I'd get; but it wasn't until I became responsible for actually running Phabricator and started paying much closer attention to its concepts that I twigged to that pattern as the explanation for which searches got which form.

So while it's quite possible that I was just unusually oblivious to the UI cues around the different kinds of search, my guess is that the majority of Phabricator users don't understand this any better than I did and are having exactly this problem. They don't know to frame it this way, of course, or they'd be able to bypass it -- it just rolls up into "Phabricator search doesn't work very well".