This may or may not be a useful default, that probably depends on the type of community, but I’m not sure it really solves making personal messages more accessible in searches.
In the context of private support, it seems reasonable to assume that it will be strongly related to the community at large, making it likely that there will be similar topics/posts and could produce a lot of noise around the personal messages a user might be searching for.
In the same way that categories get computed titles in the suggestions, perhaps in:personal could benefit from its own associated title to make the suggestion a bit more friendly.
For example, if I start a search while viewing the feature category here, I will see this:
and selecting that will add #feature to the search query. For personal messages, that could be something like “in Messages” where selecting it would still add in:personal to the search query.
Doesn’t the search automatically scope to PMs when you are viewing PMs? Let me check. Oh I see, this behavior did change @sam@pmusaraj. It’s no longer defaulting to that search option when you are on the messages tab, but it really should IMO…
Yes, we moved away from defaulting to a search filter in specific routes in the app because our search widget now suggests filters as you type. (For example, if you type words that match a category/tag name, it’ll be suggested as a filter).
But nobody is going to type in:personal, so that doesn’t help. and I agree with @jerry0, it is a confusing label. The easiest improvement would be to add in:messages as a synonym to in:personal and use that in the UI.
A more complicated solution could be to do what we do for in-topic search. We have a special case there, that is only automatically enabled when the ⌘+F shortcut is invoked (which we override on topics with many posts):
This is a great improvement! in:messages is so much more intuitive to me than in:personal.
Is there any way to also make it possible to search for messages in a group inbox? I am realizing now that I don’t think there’s been any conversation about what this would look like. Maybe group:GROUPNAME?
The advanced filter does get them (with @mention in the search term) but that is a little too technical for my very untechnical users who will just type in the name of the person and expect them to pop up.
This is a typical dysfunctional workflow:
From their inbox, they try to find the user in their messages using the lovely default in:messages (and fail)
Yesterday, I merged a fix that includes topic participants in PM search data @nathank. Note that it works for new PMs only by default, if you would like to have it reply retroactively, you would need to run the search:reindex rake task.