More granular settings for email notifications

Continuing the discussion from Apply "mailing list mode" per category:

As @LeoMcA and others have pointed out, the “true mailing list mode” is most effectively accomplished by simply enabling Send me email notifications even when I am active on the site

The only thing missing from there as far as mailing list users are concerned is a bit more granularity in the email settings, plus an awareness of the existence of said settings.

I made this mockup based on the following assumptions/hypotheses:

  • Most Discourse communities are not mail-heavy. Mailing list usage is a niche feature. But it is also a critical accessibility feature, as well as a very valuable legacy feature for many technical communities.

  • The Discourse defaults work fine for 99% of people. Only 1% will ever touch their notification settings.

  • The few people who do want to tweak their notification settings don’t mind highly granular settings. Case in point:

Granular settings plus simple “autofill templates”


Mailing list mode


  • Added settings for sending emails on watch/track status.

  • Added (assuming the community has the installed the soon-to-be-pluginified version of-) “Daily Summary/Updates” as a subscription option for categories as well.

  • Made “Watching First Post” and “Daily Updates” toggleable, as I consider them both super user features.

  • “Mailing list mode” changed to “Email all posts”.

  • Description is changed from “This setting overrides the activity summary.” to “This setting overrides all other email settings.” because that’s what it does.

  • I didn’t add it to the mockup but we ever get a plugin for “Email open tracking” that’d also be a toggleable feature.

The end of “mailing list mode”

Ideally, with these more granular settings available, “Mailing list mode” aka “Email all posts” shouldn’t really be necessary any longer. I’m hoping we can eventually pull it out into a plugin, like we did with “Daily Update”.

The problem with “mailing list mode” (to name one) is that it is a subtractive workflow. You sign up for a forum with that mode on and you endure the barrage of emails for a while as you figure out what you don’t want to keep track of. Big mailing lists like that of Mozilla or Postgres work the opposite way: You browse through all their separate mailing lists (in our case categories) and you start subscribing to them one-by-one.


Does this fit here, or would it be better placed under the Notifications preferences tab? It has effects beyond just email.


Currently, users can choose whether they want to receive an email when someone someone sends them a PM as well as for “all the rest”:

Send me an email when someone quotes me, replies to my post, mentions my @username, or invites me to a topic

I’d like to suggest to move the mentions to a separate setting.

My reasoning is that mentioning someone’s username is of similarly high importance as a PM so that when I want to reduce email noise from “less important” sites, I would want to turn off all emails except PMs and mentions. Since I can’t turn off quotes, replies and nvites without turning off mentions I basically have to leave it all on (not that it’s a huge problem for me personally, thanks to POPfile, but I think it would be an improvement).