Muted categories in composer?

Is it expected / correct that muted categories show up in the drop-down in the new topic composer?

I would like to make those out-of-sight-out-of-mind for new users to reduce complexity.

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Yes, this is expected — muting a category will disable notifications from the category and hide it from /categories and /latest; everything else is left unchanged.

The category could be hidden from a group with a theme (which I could walk through if you’d prefer!), but it would be easier to restrict category permissions in the category’s settings:

Screenshot 2023-03-06 at 5.22.34 PM

This would prevent TL0 users from creating a topic in the category, which also prevents it from showing up in their composer. If they come upon the category or a topic within despite it being muted, they’d still be able to add replies — but would be prevented from creating a new topic. Would this be too restrictive in your case?

I don’t think it is functionally too restrictive, but I feel like it has three problems — one which probably generalizes to other sites, another which is kind of specific to my situation, and third which I also think generalizes.

The first is simply that it’s additional confusion — new users need to learn about trust levels and permissions at some point, but now they might need to learn about it earlier, which goes against my goal of a more simple experience. In some cases, Feature request: "redirect" "New Topic" button to a valid category when user doesn't have permission to post somewhere might help.

The second is that while Discourse is (relatively) new to our community, the community itself goes back 20 years. I had some early frustration with people trying the site in good faith, and then getting really annoyed at the restrictions on links and images. I therefore intend (once we have our group sync thing working) to bump most new-to-discourse-not-new-to-Fedora people to t1 immediately. This would make it possible to restrict some of the groups meant for more-involved contributors, but then ironically leaves us back to the beginning — people new to the site have more choices than necessary.

Third, as an admin who can post anywhere, I’d like to reduce my own cognitive load when selecting a group. I can easily see this being the case for many TL3+ users and mods … or even TL2 users. Unlocking capabilities and complexities as users are more familiar is a great general design pattern… but for some things, advanced users benefit from simplicity as well.