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Autocomplete for searches is broken (Ctrl+K)

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kitesarefun
 
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Post Posted February 24th, 2019, 5:02 am

The autocomplete for searching for messages containing a word (the one you get to with Ctrl+K) is broken.

Steps to reproduce:

1. Ctrl+K
2. Type the first few letters of a search term
3. Auto-complete suggestion shows up in drop-down box.
4. Arrow-down to highlight the suggestion
5. Press Enter (I guess sometimes called Return).
6. What *should* happen (consistent with how autocomplete works in pretty much all other programs):

Suggested term is pasted into the search field i.e. the additional characters get added to the end of those you typed. Then the search is immediately executed, or else you have to hit Enter once more to execute it.

What *does* happen:

Search is executed using only the letters you typed at first, as though there was no auto-complete function whatsoever. The only way to execute the search is by using the mouse to click on the auto-complete suggestion. More or less no other programs work this way.

7. In some programs, the key you type to "accept" the auto-completed term is an arrow, space or tab rather than Enter. None of those work here.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted February 24th, 2019, 6:34 am

Moving to Thunderbird Support as no confirmed bug has yet been identified here.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 24th, 2019, 5:50 pm

Works for me with Thunderbird 60.5.1 under Windows 10. I tested using both arrow keys and the mouse to select the auto-complete suggestion. Perhaps you should retry after "help -> restart with add-ons disabled".

"Suggested term is pasted into the search field i.e. the additional characters get added to the end of those you typed"
It replaces the old contents with the suggested search string. That's more useful than what you described.

The auto completion for global search seems to have some quirks. For example, it doesn't seem to like to auto-complete part of a subject.

kitesarefun
 
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Post Posted March 5th, 2019, 4:53 am

tanstaafl wrote:Perhaps you should retry after "help -> restart with add-ons disabled"


I have no add-ons but I tried that anyway; doesn't make any difference.

tanstaafl wrote:It replaces the old contents with the suggested search string. That's more useful than what you described.


This is unclear. When you say "what you described" are you referring to my description of what happens, or what should happen (i.e. what all other programs do)?

"Replaces the old contents with the suggested search string" is exactly what I'm saying should happen but doesn't.

kitesarefun
 
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Post Posted March 5th, 2019, 4:55 am

DanRaisch wrote:Moving to Thunderbird Support as no confirmed bug has yet been identified here.


So the behavior I described is intentional? It sounds strange that Thunderbird would disregard the otherwise universal practice of how search suggestions function.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 5th, 2019, 5:39 am

I was trying to point out that the autocomplete works both when you type the first couple of characters in a string (abc in abcdefgh) and when you type some other fragment of the string (def in abcdefgh). I can't reproduce your problem. I'm aware of only one recent (confirmed) bug report about autocomplete - that it was becoming really slow. That was fixed in 60.4.0 .

"So the behavior I described is intentional?"
No. Just that nobody else seems to report the same problem with version 60.*. So you're probably running into a configuration specific bug that is hard for other people to reproduce.

If it really annoys you I suggest you create a new profile with one account using the profile manager and see if it has the same problem. If it doesn't have the same problem then you can consider whether you want to migrate all of your accounts/data to the new profile. Its annoying but I've had to do this twice due to weird interactions between cruft that I accumulated over many years of using the same profile that I just couldn't figure out.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Moving_addres ... n_profiles
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders

kitesarefun
 
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Post Posted May 4th, 2019, 10:18 pm

tanstaafl wrote:I suggest you create a new profile with one account using the profile manager and see if it has the same problem


I did that and much much more - I completely reinstalled Windows (for unrelated reasons) and installed Thunderbird from scratch without importing anything. Problem is still there.

tanstaafl wrote: Just that nobody else seems to report the same problem with version 60.*. So you're probably running into a configuration specific bug that is hard for other people to reproduce.


I only know one other person who uses Thunderbird and he has had the same problem for years. v60 on Win 8 (I have Win 7). The odds of us being the only two people with the problem and it remaining on a new Windows installation can't literally be zero but I would estimate on the order of 1 in a billion or trillion. I must be doing some wrong combination of keystrokes but I can't imagine what. I've tried all the combinations of arrows, space, tab etc. which have worked for me for 20 years on hundreds of other programs.

Here is a screenshot - after typing "franc" and arrowing-down to the highlight one of the options, normally Enter or Tab would grab the highlighted address and search with it but as you see it only searches with "franc".

https://ibb.co/sj61P0P

tanstaafl
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Post Posted May 5th, 2019, 12:40 am

I think you're mis-interpreting my describing it as a configuration specific bug as meaning the problem doesn't occur. I'm not. By configuration specific I'm not implying you're doing something wrong, I'm saying it sounds like a bug that only occurs under certain conditions, and is hard for other people to reproduce without knowing what its dependent upon. For example I think I might have a configuration specific problem with "clean up (expunge) inbox on exit" not working anymore in my IMAP accounts since I haven't found any mention of anybody else yet with the same problem. Until I know more I'm not going to file a bug report as it will just get dismissed as "works for me".

Did you clip the filters pane on the left side when you made the screen shot? I don't know of any way to disable that feature and want to make sure I understand why they're not there. It also lists the breakdown of the search results, which is useful to understand whats going on. Its impossible to tell from your screen shot which matches it found. All I know is it chose 10 of 153 possible matches. That's pretty meaningless by itself.

If you don't use auto-complete and manually type flying blue does it find the right messages? (Yes, I realize you're complaining about auto-complete but that is a legitimate reason why it might fail)

You can enable logging for global searches but I don't see how that would help troubleshoot a auto-complete problem.

kitesarefun
 
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Post Posted February 7th, 2020, 11:45 am

Finally getting back to this; the autocomplete is still broken (or more accurately, to reiterate - what's broken is the acceptance of the choice made from the autocomplete suggestions)

tanstaafl wrote:I think you're mis-interpreting my describing it as a configuration specific bug as meaning the problem doesn't occur. I'm not.


OK, now I understand what you mean by configuration specific.

tanstaafl wrote:Did you clip the filters pane on the left side when you made the screen shot?


Yes I did clip it, just to make the screenshot smaller and not have to black out personal info. Here's the whole program window:

https://ibb.co/g95trYB

tanstaafl wrote:If you don't use auto-complete and manually type flying blue does it find the right messages?


You mean, just typing in a whole word/phrase and hitting return, not trying to use any autocomplete? Yes, it carries out the search successfully (which is the same search it carries out if you arrow down to any of the auto-complete suggestions).

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 7th, 2020, 1:03 pm

I can't tell much from the screen shot since I don't know what you typed and what it autocompleted it to. I did notice in 68.4.2 that auto-complete seems very biased towards autocompleting addresses rather than subjects. It also seems to not give much weight to a user indicating they want to search for a whole string such as "topic reply". Its too eager to search for something that uses it as a base such as replying. I'll submit a bug report about that.

kitesarefun
 
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Post Posted February 13th, 2020, 7:44 am

tanstaafl wrote:I can't tell much from the screen shot since I don't know what you typed and what it autocompleted it to.


That was in the first screenshot posted above (it's been a while so it's probably not fresh in your mind; that's probably my fault due to the gap between replies); the link again is https://ibb.co/sj61P0P and what you are seeing in that screenshot is:

I typed < franc > as the search string. The autocomplete suggestions are:

Flying Blue
flyingblue@airfrance-klm.com

Flying Blue
airfrance-klm@service-flyingblue.com

KLM Luggage Info
airfrance-klm@connect-passengers.com

and so forth. In the screenshot you see that I down-arrowed to the second one, which is Flying Blue /
airfrance-klm@service-flyingblue.com, i.e. it's highlighted in solid blue. Then when you hit Return, instead of autocompleting to that, it doesn't autocomplete at all, it just uses <franc> as the search term. Same if you down-arrow to any other of the suggestions, and same for any and every search string, not just this example. The only way to make it search using the suggestion is to point to it with the mouse.

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