Muted categories should not hide Tracked/Watched topics


(Tymon Pitts) #1

We use Discourse at my work place as a more public/searchable means of communication than email. It’s been working well so far but since we are about 1300 people I find I need to Mute categories that I don’t have much interest in just to keep my Latest tab manageable.

This leads to some problems though… Let’s say that someone mentions me in a topic within a Muted category, or that I create a topic in that category. These are now topics that I care about but because they are within a Muted category they don’t show up on my Latest tab.

I realize that I will see the topic show up in the Unread tab and that I can find the topic through other means (like going to the category’s page) but I’d like the Latest tab to show me the topics that I care about.

I propose that Muting a category would only hide Normal topics from the Latest tab. Tracked/Watched topics would always show up regardless of the category’s state.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

Topics in a muted category, or individually muted topics, will still show in latest. They won’t ever generate notifications or unread counts, though.

What you propose would not work. Muting a category simply means, set all new topics in that category to a notification state of “muted” for you at the time of creation. There is no mechanism for somehow automagically deciding a topic in a category you explicitly muted, is no longer muted.

Sounds like it would be easier to just browse your site by category.


(Kane York) #3

This is incorrect - muted categories, but not muted topics, are hidden from Latest. This has come up before as an inconsistency.


(Jeff Atwood) #4

Hmm, that is bizarre. If that is true, then perhaps muting topics individually is a better choice in this specific scenario. Any idea why we do it this way @sam? Very inconsistent.


(Tymon Pitts) #5

I believe it has to do with the following:


(Sam Saffron) #6

I actually explained here:

Open to changing this


(Jeff Atwood) #7

I see, then this is what you are referring to:

The inconsistency here is really confusing, individually muting a single topic will NOT suppress it from latest, but muting a category does.


(Jeff Atwood) #8

I actually think if this is what you are going to do, then individually muted topics should also be suppressed from latest. Otherwise this is crazily inconsistent and confusing.


(Sam Saffron) #9

If “muting” still leaves it in latest it essentially becomes a useless tool for @tpitts the main reasoning for muting categories is to clear up latest.

If we removed muted topics from latest, we would be doubly hosed because people who mute a topic by mistake are now going to be in a HUGE pickle. BAM topic vanished.


(Jeff Atwood) #10

Shouldn’t that just be a search querystring? Show me all topics with state of muted? Does not seem so invisible to me. Then you could add under the user prefs “you have 25 topics muted” with a link to that querystring URL.


(Tymon Pitts) #11

If you mute a topic by accident couldn’t you still find it in that category’s page?


(Jeff Atwood) #12

A count of topics you are watching, tracking, muting (everything but normal) seems like a useful thing on the user prefs page anyway, and each one could link to the search querystring to browse them.


(Sam Saffron) #13

I really like the idea of showing a link to muted topics from user profile. Counting though can be expensive and that page is already fairly slow.

I guess I am fine, will change latest to suppress all explicitly muted topics and implicitly muted topics.

(muted category + no state on topic = implicitly muted topic)


(Mittineague) #14

Personally, I’m happy with Muted being no Notifications even without suppression.

But I don’t mind seeing the topic titles of topics I’m not particularly interested in.

Of course it might be only me. I Watch quite a few Categories and Mute only a couple three here and at SitePoint I Watch everything


(Jeff Atwood) #15

We could just have the links on the profile page at the bottom with no counts for now, only downside is, it is a bit of a Charlie Brown football for people with zero topics in this state… click here to have nothing happen.

We do not need to be counting half the crap we are counting on the user page anyways IMO.


(Sam Saffron) #16

The caveat of changing to “implicitly and explicitly muted topics are hidden from latest” is that if you go and mute a category AFTER you have state, it may still be in latest.

For example, say I started using the forum … and now have 25 bug topics in tracked and 25 in normal state. Next I mute bug cause I am tired of it.

The 25 tracked topics will still pop up on latest and people will get a bit confused. The “normal” topics will vanish.

Implicitly muted == (No state OR nor normal state) and category muted.


(Tymon Pitts) #17

While this may be slightly confusing, I find it far more confusing to explicitly track a topic and have it NOT show up on the Latest page


(Jeff Atwood) #18

There is another topic here from @amiathena that documents a pop up asking what you want to do when you change category tracking state, e.g. Do you want the category mute to be retroactive on all existing topics in that category or not.

If the dialog asks, and we need this anyway, then it lets users decide and educates them Just In Time about this feature as well.


(Jeff Atwood) #19

This seems like a bit of an edge case though, and expensive to address performance-wise.

Also I removed the other topic since you are right, this is all the same discussion so it can happen here. You bring up some good design issues around notification states that we should definitely address.


(Sam Saffron) #20

Well I made this change … will watch perf, it should not be adding much cost unless the query planner goes bonkers.

We should probably change it as well so explicitly muted are removed from latest.

https://github.com/discourse/discourse/commit/a56e3ccea0a1ff8111ce8b403993d34eb46b4699