Apply "mailing list mode" per category

I’m not getting consistent behavior so tomorrow I’ll go on and control for the first two variables:

  • Different web browsers?
  • Different site settings?
  • Admin account vs non-staff TL1 user?

Here’s two examples that are different:

  • Admin on Firefox at this site = unread topics still appear but the sub-category (wordpress) is suppressed. in the Support category and the first topic is from that sub-category:

  • Non-admin on Chrome at private site = sub-category (Connect) is not suppressed as expected but the topic is suppressed - see the 1 new topic indicator:

FYI, the mobile issue that I had was simply due to caching. To avoid that I simply restarted the Discourse app each time I changed the preferences.

Good point. I checked and topic of muted subcategory appears in parent category, for admin and for normal user.

So again … Is this a bug?

Hi again
I found time to fully test this and I found that the sub-category muting is working as expected.

I can’t reproduce this so your next step if you still have this problem is to post some actual screen shots of the muted subcategory setting and the category view where the muted sub-category topics are visible.

How I tested this

I can’t show you it sub-category muting working correctly on because it has no sub-categories. So I used my own private instance which is why I had to redact identifiable info.

I couldn’t get the topics in the muted sub-category to display in the category. I had to enter the muted sub-category to see its topics.


Category doesn’t show the muted sub-category and doesn’t show its topics

If I view the category that contains the muted subcategory then I can’t see any of the topics for the muted subcategory. But I can see the unmuted sub-category called “Connect” so the “Test topic” appears.

I could see that topic in the Latest | Categories view but I cannot see “Test topic 2” or “Test topic 3” which are in the muted subcategory called “Create”:

Sub-category view of muted sub-category does show the topics

If I view the muted subcategory called Create then I can see all the topics it contains. Obviously, there has to be some way to access those topics which is why they become visible in the specific sub-category.

Just to confirm it is working properly, “Test topic 2” and “Test topic 3” in the muted sub category were not visible in the Latest | Categories view:

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For me topics of the muted sub category are visible in Categories view, but not in the latest View.

Parent Category: Announcement has 2 sub-categories:

--------6pm normal visible
--------8am MUTED


In the Announcement -all - latest view, you see only the topics of the not muted ------6pm subcategory:

But as you can see, in the Category view the --------8am topics show up in the parent Category Announcement

So, for me, this is clearly a bug.

That is exactly what muting does. It makes it not show up unless you go looking for it.

What do you want to happen?

I am sorry, but this doesn’t make any sense to me.

Again: I the Category view, the topics of the muted subcategory are VISIBLE.

But when I click on the parent Category (Announcement), the topics of the muted subcategory disappear.

I can not make sense of this behavior.
If they are not supposed to be visible, why are they visible in the Category view???

My understanding is that they are muted from things like latest, but if you visit the category you can find them. If you want never to see them you would need to unlist them.

If they didn’t show when you visited the category how would you ever see them?

Again, they DO show up in the top/main Category view - see below:

You can see the 8am topics, from the muted —8am Category.

Then, when I select/click on the parent Announcement Category, the muted category & the muted topics do NOT show up.

If I understand this is to be expected, I don’t understand why the topics of the muted category appear in the parent category in the Category view - see 1. image.

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I’m just curious about a couple of observations.

What are the (file?) icons at the left of the topic titles? Perhaps something third party is involved and safe mode would “fix” the problem.

Are the categories really named “dash dash dash … time” ? AFAIK this would be an unanticipated edge case, not really a bug.

Good question and I have no idea … but it is next to each topic.

No, of course not! I just edited the image to hide the real category names.
You could also name them aaaaaa8am and bbbbbb6pm.

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Actually, the little icons are also in this meta.discourse:


I think it is just to show this is a normal topic, as opposed to “sticky”, for example.

So … nothing special on our side,


I think this topic has got away from the original topic of mailing list mode notifications. The solution to stop notifications involved two methods. The preferred method is basically decided by which is the smallest proportion of categories:

  • only watching categories you want to see notifications for
  • muting categories you don’t want to see notifications for

That’s why I tested the Latest | Categories view which doesn’t show topics from the muted subcategory. This worked as expected.

But know we’re talking about a different issue. I didn’t test the Categories view because, AFAIK, it doesn’t have a relationship with mailing list mode notifications.

Which is why I think that this issue should be moved to a new topic.

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I have two thoughts here. Neither is a complete design, but hopefully they are helpful.

Note: the complexity here is in relationships between the types of notifications. Imagine removing all settings except these (shown in topics, sub-categories, categories, and globally):

  • Notifications: Inherit | All posts | First post | Mentions+replies | Never
  • Tracking: Inherit | All posts | First post | Mentions+replies | Never
  • Emails: Inherit | All posts | First post | Mentions+replies | Never

Global wouldn’t have “inherit”, since it’s the top level.
Topics wouldn’t have “first post”, since it can’t apply retroactively.

Reducing the number of settings — for example, by merging “tracking” and “notifications” into one continuum — makes notifications quicker to configure, but doesn’t necessarily make them simpler when you also have to consider their relationship to email settings.

⇒ If/when you switch to per-category mailing list mode, the simplifications / relationships you have now may not be the ones you want to stick with.

This is what brought me here. To me, “mailing list mode” (as compared to “send me emails for every notification”) means that I am taking responsibility for managing notifications (in my email) — discourse should assume that I have read every post that is emailed to me. For categories with mailing list mode on, I should never receive unread notifications (I would still appreciate receiving notifications which are automatically marked as read).

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