Lowercase language names break GitHub.com org repo search

Dear Support,

I’ve encountered a UI problem with organizational search on github.com. I don’t believe this to be a security vulnerability, as I don’t see a way for it to be exploited by the user (given that language names are not controlled by the user), or to reveal any sensitive information. So it appears to be just a genuine UI behavior issue, and I’m posting it here per your bug reporting guidelines.

The problematic behavior can be observed in the following scenario:

  1. Open the home page of github.com for an organization whose repositories use language(s) with a lowercase name.

  2. Type anything (or nothing!) and press Enter in the search field below the organization name (not the search field at the top-left of the page).

    • The results will only show repositor(ies) for a lowercase language that appears the last alphabetically (in this example, wdl).
    • You can confirm this by expanding the dropdown for the language filter, and it will show the languages pre-selected as All, but also the lowercase language(s) (for example, q and wdl).
    • Additionally, observe that the URL has changed to include the language (e.g. https://github.com/broadinstitute?q=&type=&language=wdl&sort=)
    • Note that this comes without you selecting any languages - it happens automatically when you first open a generic org URL (without a search filter in the URL).

I thought there might be a setting for a “default” language in an organization (and was unable to find it), but that cannot be true because for example, github.com/broadinstitute has both q and wdl pre-selected, and an organization like github.com/Microsoft could not have set wdl as their default language :slight_smile:

Additionally, the behavior is only observed via the UI, and I cannot reproduce it at the API level.

I’ve also tested this in Incognito mode across several browsers and IP networks, so I’m confident it is not tied to my IP or account. Just a few days or weeks ago, I was able to run default searches successfully for the above organizations, so I think this is a recent issue.

Note that it does not appear to affect search for non-org accounts, as languages with lowercase names show up unselected by default for these. It also does not affect org repo searches via the “Repositories” tab.

I hope you’ll be able to reproduce it on your end as well, and let me know if you have any further questions.

Thank you