1 Idea to improve Bubble: Add toggle for search filters so that when filter is null, either filter all values out or filter none out

It seems to me that one aspect of Bubble that is really confusing for Bubblers is the notion of “search for” filtering on a value that is null. And, it’s also counter-intuitive at times for regular Bubblers such as myself. When “:count” is added after it, then it counts as none. When the result is just a list, then that search filter won’t filter out any of the values so all values will be returned. This is not at all intuitive for non-engineers.

I understand why this is often the desired behavior. However, it’s often not the desired behavior as well. Furthermore, it’s probably the most used function in most apps (large scope/frequency). And, when we get this wrong in our apps, it can create very, very bad outcomes. (e.g., when you want to delete 1 item but it happens to be null then it’ll delete everything. If you want to show a list of users who work at a company then you might accidentally show all users in your database instead which may be sensitive information.)

As such, this impacts the community in very large ways:

  • It’s commonly misunderstood
  • Large in scope/frequency
  • Potential for very bad outcomes

I strongly encourage the bubble team (@emmanuel, @josh) to address this challenge.

My suggested solution:

Add a toggle to the search filters that enable Bubblers to specify whether they want a null filter to filter out values out or to filter none of the values.

I understand there are workarounds such as adding "when “search for” “:count” = 0, then…) but new users don’t realize this and almost always make the mistake a handful of times before they figure it out. And, for regular users, it’s easy to forget to do. Plus, it’s not always easy to add this logic when we have other conditions that use “and” “or” logic since we can’t yet add parenthesis to conditions.

So, the benefits of making a fix like this:

  • Easier learning curve for new users
  • Fewer bugs in user’s apps --> happier users
  • Fewer bug requests sent to Bubble team when user thinks it’s a bubble glitch
  • More stable products that require less bug fixing --> higher ROI for users

Unless this is crazy hard, I think it’s a high priority upgrade that will improve Bubble for everyone.


I wanted to bump this. @emmanuel, @josh4, is this on your backlog? Have a ballpark sense for timing?

Seems like it’d save all new Bubble users from making mistakes with this, which are timing consuming to debug and fix, plus it’s quite frustrating when Bubble doesn’t just work the way you want it to.

Furthermore, it’d enable advanced users to implement advanced logic much more easily and reliably.


Yes it’s on the list