Muted categories are too atomic


(Sam Saffron) #1

When you mute a category now, every new topic in the category is muted.

Our implementation is actually a bit simpler and diverges from the explenation.

Muted Categories:

  • Are suppressed from latest list.
  • All new topics in the muted category have “muted” state for the user.

I think this behavior is incorrect.

Wanting to mute a topic is a “last resort”, you use it as an ejector seat for a topic you are done with. “I am out of here, don’t want to hear from you ever again”. No more @mention no more anything from that topic.

Muting a topic should not be encouraged by the system as it can break a lot of social aspects.

Instead, I think muting categories should be much more light weight, change it to

Muted Categories:

  • Are suppressed from latest list.

Simple, and far more useful.


Muted categories should not hide Tracked/Watched topics
(Admir Hodzic) #2

Muted category shoud allow posts to notificate users when they are @menitoed inisde posts for topic in muted category


(Admir Hodzic) #3

Also please make us endpoint api to mute category for any user. Thanx in advanced


(Jeff Atwood) #4

You are proposing a radical change in behavior on the run up to v1.0, which I do not support.

I also don’t see any particular problem with muting categories, e.g. there is no critical mass of communities complaining about this.

It would also be weird for muting to start meaning something totally different at the category level vs. topic level.

What we do need, is a way for admins to tick a “do not show this category on the homepage” checkbox in edit category to de-insane our current magic string based UI for this as seen on howtogeek.


(Sam Saffron) #5

That is because nobody is using this feature. In fact, 6 people have muted categories on all BBS.

This is a radical change to an unused feature which will make it usable. This has nothing to do with “do not show this category on the homepage”. Its a per-user pref.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

BBS has no real category system though, is that an accurate data point? They barely added categories, only recently, and most of their categories see little use, the “boing” category dominates so totally that the others might as well not be there…

The change feels pointless and meaningless to me. I strongly oppose it on the V1.0 plate.


(Sam Saffron) #7

Ok, used 19 whole times on meta.

Not changing it now leaves an annoying time bomb and useless setting. Changing it is simply stripping out code.

The time bomb is, add a category there, wait a week and then turn it back off. Now you have a bunch of topics in muted state you are not going to easily find or be able to unmute.


(Jeff Atwood) #8

I think the definite fix there is to allow people to see topics by their state. Same way Twitter doesn’t show me a list of all the users I’ve blocked, there is literally no way to get to this through Twitter app or web.


(Sam Saffron) #9

I definitely think @stevebaer and @BrianGillespie should weigh in here, as mcneel are the heaviest user of this feature.


(Brian Gillespie) #10

Is there a good way for me to see who is muting which categories on discourse.mcneel.com? I don’t use the feature myself, so I don’t have any meaningful feedback.

I’m happy to start a conversation on our Meta once I understand what you’re hoping to change. From the thread above it looks like the changes would be:

If you mute a category:

  • You won’t see topics in muted categories in the Latest list
  • You won’t see topics in muted categories in the Suggested Topics list
  • You will receive notifications if you are explicitly @mentioned

I personally think this makes tons of sense, and think it would work well in our customer support workflow. We have many people that don’t have domain knowledge for specific categories. Those people would mute unfamiliar categories. But if their knowledge is needed for a specific topic, @mentioning them to get them to join the conversation would be great.


(cpradio) #11

One thing I don’t quite understand is why mentioning would be muted to begin with… That has nothing to do with the category or the topic, really. It is a way to reach a person. In my opinion that sort of communication should never be muted.


(Michael Downey) #12

Facebook does, though. And Gmail lets you search by the threads you’ve muted.

As a user, if I choose to Mute X, I don’t expect to receive any kind of “push” notifications from X (whether topic or category) whether or not my name is mentioned. I only want to see those topics/categories if I explicitly go looking for them, ostensibly to un-mute.


(Mittineague) #13

That sounds more like an Ignore than a Mute, no?


(Sam Saffron) #14

I just fixed this, will deploy to in the next few days.

New behavior (and bugfixes)

  • Topics in muted categories will not be added to new or latest lists (was buggy as numbers would go up via message bus)
  • Topics in muted sub-categories will not show up in category list
  • Unread will work as normal, so if you have unread stuff in topics which have a muted category it will still show up in unread.
  • Nuked all the rows that said we were muting stuff.
  • @mentions will always work even on muted categories, unless the topic is explicitly muted

I am on the fence on if we should add a bypass on latest list for topics that you have explicitly tracked or watched, it can be done but is both expensive and can be counter intuitive.


Muted categories should not hide Tracked/Watched topics
Muted categories should not hide Tracked/Watched topics
(Jeff Atwood) #15

Muted Default Categories Not Working