"Daily updates" option for mailing list mode

This should fix that I think!


As of 5f67cd7, which is later than the fix, I wasn’t receiving email notifications from watched categories.

What fix? That pull request hasn’t been merged in master yet.


Well, that explains it :smiley:


Thanks for fixing this!! Ironically I completely missed that people had responded to this thread/fixed this, because I have daily activity summaries on :slight_smile:


FYI, we are just about to pull this feature. (Enable mailing list mode - Send daily updates)

It is a huge performance hog on large sites leading to daily summary emails containing 100s of images and 100s of posts on active sites.

This manifests itself in a very large increase in Sidekiq memory usage and overall job queue performance impact.

I feel the “Activity Summary” emails @neil created fill a lot of this gap anyway, and we simply can not ship a feature this dangerous.

If we start truncating the email it still is quite expensive and would just lead to confusion anyway.

If being more like mailman, is what we absolutely want here, then for one these daily summaries should be text only (based on markdown) and probably have some sort of sane batch size.

The current feature solves a problem very few have and the way it solves the problem is inconsistent with what “mailman would do”.



Oh, no. Say it ain’t so!

I was just about to announce this as the default setting for my small community who are heavy email users and find this very useful and much preferable to receiving individual emails. (But aren’t motivated enough to change it on their own, despite my clear instructions on how to do so. :blush:)

Daily digests are a feature that mailing lists routinely provide, as does Google Groups. Don’t ditch it!

For the love of all that is fluffy and cute in the universe, provide an admin setting to enable this for users, disabling it by default. Put a big :warning: sign over it on the admin settings screen and explain the trade-offs. But please don’t remove it altogether.


It is going to have to move to a plugin or something, this is not an option I can allow our hosted customers to have as is.

If someone wants to build this, “like mailman would” I am more open to it, it would have significantly less costs and an option I would be open to having.

But styling a gigantic HTML document with 100s of posts and killing peoples mobile data plans is just wrong imo.

Also @alehandrof what is wrong with enabling?

I don’t see how gigantic confusing email is any better than this focused one.

Google groups does a 25 email batch or “daily summary” I am pretty sure that the “daily summary” is abridged. Also totally unclear about what happens with images and styling on these emails.

Mailman send unstyled blobs of text, something that would be significantly cheaper to generate and not blow data plans.


Hmm. The fact that the “Activity Summary” is not be exhaustive would likely be confusing to my users, though without doing user testing that’s just my reckoning. “Some stuff based on a magic algorithm” is harder to explain than “everything”.

I haven’t tried to use the “Activity Summary” in the daily mode. As an admin, I’d prefer a list of everything but I’ll accept that feature that only I need doesn’t need to be in core. A daily list of all new topics, plus a selection of the most popular posts might be workable, but I think the activity summary is too vague to explain/use.

I’ve switched to your suggested setting on my site as well as here to get a feel for it and will let you know. (Though I might just unaccountably disappear, as I’m prepping for our big meatspace meeting in two weeks – when I was hoping to announce the change :rolling_eyes:)

I’d be interested what’s the take of other people (such @tobiaseigen, @watchmanmonitor & others I’m forgetting) who use Discourse in a mailing list way. What notifications do they suggest for their users?

It is complete, while the activity summary tends to not include all replies. While this doesn’t make a lot of sense for public communities, this is vital for some kinds of internal communities. In my case, I’m talking about academic use (Discourse for a course at a university) – I want to make sure that by default, all students get sent all discussions in the forum, including any official responses.

I’d really hate to see that feature go. :sadpanda:


I’d be perfectly happy with sending out a batch every X emails or Y days, whichever comes first. So you could do a batch every 25 emails or 1 week. We sometimes have very quiet weeks and I’d like to keep the emails going even then.

I follow, but …

  • Do you need the fancy HTML styling there?
  • Do you see any value in an email containing 1000 posts in a batch?

My issue is that the feature , as is, is way too far from done to be included in the released version of Discourse.


Yes, that’s how “normal users” read emails :wink:

No. But if you pull this feature now, my students cannot get these daily updates anymore, which max out at about 5 posts and are incredibly useful…

I am not adding this back in as is, if someone wants to build a “25 email batch thing with min of 1 email daily” option for mailing list mode I am fine.

But this… no.

Ouch, this sucks.

What will the migration do for existing users with this option enabled?

Flick it to nothing and enable daily summary instead.


Gosh. What’s the latest beta that doesn’t include this change? Is it this one?

We have not rolled this back yet, so whatever is latest beta and stable has it.

We are open to funding @gdpelican to extract this into a plugin so its not lost forever in the ether.

Fixing this is a fairly complicated task to do efficiently, cause the pipeline needs to trigger a bulk check on every user with “daily and batched” enabled for every post created. We may also need to add indexes tracking columns.


As a non-hosted customer, the difference between core and plugin is immaterial – as long as the plugin is maintained going forward.

When we switched over to Discourse in March of last year, a “daily digest” was the most requested feature from our members. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready yet at the time of our annual get-together. (Or it had just been and I hadn’t noticed, I forget which.)

This year I’d :heart: to be able to get everyone onboard the “daily updates” train, take on the inevitable attrition, and work at invigorating our community.

In other words, I would be a very happy puppy indeed if I knew what the outlook of this feature looks like in the next two weeks :wink:

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Could you help with a database explorer query to see who’s got daily updates turned on now, before we upgrade? Then we can reach out to those users directly to let them know of the change.

FWIW I support this change. Thanks, @sam!