New posts count in browser tabs broken

Hi, my first post here. I use the node red hosted discourse site, accessing it via the browser. Up until a few days ago, if I had browser tabs open on posts and new post(s) came in while I did not have the tab open then the number of new posts was displayed in the tab header in parenthesise so I could tell if there were new posts without going and looking. In the last few days it keeps showing the same number in all tabs, often the same number in multiple tabs, even when there are no new posts on that topic. If I open the tab the number goes away, but then comes back again later. I am seeing this in Chrome and Waterfox on Ubuntu 18.10. Like this for example


Has anyone any suggestions why this may be happening? Apparently the node-red admins have not changed anything recently.

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This no longer displays “new posts”, it displays notification count.

You will only see “new post” count for anonymous, not logged in users who can’t have a notification count.

cc @david


OK, for me this is a significant negative enhancement. I often have four or five tabs open on threads I am involved with and it was great that I could immediately see when a new post arrived on each thread. I am subscribed to all categories so new notifications come in all the time and I don’t want to go and look at those until a convenient time.
However, if others find it helpful then I will just have to manage.

Do others think it is a useful enhancement?

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If you really need it, open the tab in anonymous mode – this will capture the old behavior, as anon users don’t have a notification count.

Ahhhhhh … I wondered what was going on! I noticed this also but thought Firefox was misbehaving.

I think, though not certain, that I would have to open a separate window for anonymous mode rather than just the tabs, but also I can’t then reply without logging on and then it shows the total notifications again.

@cjk77 do you also think this is a backwards step?

Like you, I was used to monitoring the number in the tab to watch for new posts without having to click into the tab to look at the forum itself.

I’ll miss the old behavior, but I don’t think it’ll be difficult to get used to the change.

A theme component could make this functionality user tweakable. @david this is another example where it would be nice to have the ability to store user settings per theme on the server.


I’m rather liking both the old and new styles at different times, I wonder if the counts could somehow be combined and simplified somehow…

Possible bug (or setting that I’ve missed?):

One of my members on reported that no count is showing at all in the tab title (apparently this was once working).

I’m not seeing any count showing, despite having unread PMs and new posts in watched topics.

I have tried checking and unchecking “Show new / updated topic count on browser icon” on my user profile. Still no update count.

Is there a setting I need to tweak?

As previously stated in this topic, only notification count will show for logged in users (in the browser tab). If you need to see reply counts then open an incognito tab as an anonymous user.


Should we show the notification count only for “heavy” notifications? (The ones that trigger email/push, like replies, mentions, etc)

I found that changing the window/tab title to show “you got a like” a bit too much.


I don’t want to have to explain the number mismatch, but one thing I do want to confirm @david are green notifications also included in the number ?

I think we can make a theme component to allow users to pick what the number does (all notifications, urgent notifications, new items on page)

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Yes they are, it adds green + blue notifications. I borrowed the same logic from @Falco’s PWA badge.

Yeah, I have also found this, but I think a number discrepancy could be even more confusing :thinking:

We can do, I’ll make some small tweaks to core so that the maths is easy to override, then make a component.


The precise logic is described in the PR description:

Anonymous Behavior:

On topic list:

  • Regardless of focus, browser title shows the count of topics waiting to be loaded (matches the “See N new or updated topic” banner)

On topic:

  • IF tab is in the background, then increment the counter for each new post that arrives
  • When focus is restored, reset the counter

Logged in behavior

For logged in users:

  • If tab is in the background, and a new notification arrives while the tab is in the background, display the total notification count in the title
  • Hide the count when the tab is in the foreground

@ChrisBeach does this line up with what you’re seeing?


Thanks very much @david. I’ll test this out soon and let you know.


I have to agree with @colinl and @cjk77, this is a significant negative enhancement for me. I agree on an active site with a tab open to the topic list seeing the “new posts” isn’t useful, but with a specific topic open I want to know if something has changed within the topic, not an unrelated notification. For me, in many cases these topics are PMs, so loading as anon doesn’t work.

A theme component would be fine with me, but as this stands seeing notification count displayed across 7 background tabs is useless and redundant.


@codinghorror this text is already wrong.

Maybe we

  1. Nuke “Show new / updated topic count on browser icon” and ship to a theme component. (as “show notification count on browser icon” or something… this feature never really worked perfectly)

  2. Nuke “Don’t jump to my post after I reply”, cause the implementation is bust anyway. We can later experiment with a proper implementation in a theme component

  3. Add a drop down for [Display unread notification count in title | Display new / update topic count in title] combo.

So we would be nuking 2 settings and adding 1 new one.