Number shown in browser tab

I did a bit of browsing for this, but I’m new to this forum and I’m not sure of the correct terminology, so I’m going to just ask:

Currently in this forum and the Discourse hosted forum I use most frequently (SketchUp) the number of new or updated posts since I last refreshed the window appears both as a number in the browser tab and as a blue tinged warning at the top of the topic list.

Is there any way to make the number in the browser tab the same as the number of pending notifications - the one shown at the top right of your avatar?

1000 Words:

If so, is it something set globally by the Discourse administrators or something that can be set individually by the user.

If not, what’s the best way to make it an “official” feature request?



I follow, yes this sounds like a feature request to me.

Allow you to toggle between:

“Display notification count in title” vs “Display page activity count in title”

In principle, I support this kind of user setting, but we would have to get the wording just right and see what @codinghorror thinks.

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As long as we’re enabling choice, why not add a choice for no number? Some people may prefer that to reduce distractions.

The other bigger question is do we even have room for this nuance on the user preference page that is already getting quite big.

On one hand, this is an option I want you to have. On the other hand, I hate paralyzing users with 1000 different knobs.

If the problem is space (as opposed to option overload), then moving the drop down choices in the “Other” section to the right of their respective seems an easy way to free up vertical space - at least in the non-mobile version.

The biggest problem imo is option overload, but certainly our prefs have gotten big enough that they need a reorg.

Here is the topic covering some reorg suggestions.

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Options are for irreconcilable differences, places where so many people disagree that it is divorce material. This is not that.


Unchecking the option DOES have an effect. When unchecked, here’s how the tab looks:

Checking the option changes it to:

The key word here is “icon”. This option has nothing to do with what count appears, only with where the count appears.


I can understand if people don’t want the option panel to be overloaded. However I think the default behavior (and maybe only one) should be to show notifications, not activity.

Personally I find it really stressful to have a number in the page title suggesting someone is contacting me when no one is. I have never ever seen this current behavior in any other software and I don’t know what it is good for. It doesn’t even display the number of unread posts but the number of unread posts since you last loaded the page. When is that useful to know?

In my opinion this is a bug.

That sounds ways to extreme.

I don’t think that the divorce analogy works for user preferences in this case. Irreconcilable differences only lead to divorce if the marriage becomes unworkable. The divorce option would be more like leaving Discourse for another application.

The irreconcilable differences we have here are the equivalent of amicable differences of opinion, more like agreeing to disagree. In this case, the options relate to how different users engage with Discourse. Most users stick with Discourse even when it doesn’t do exactly what we want.

In this case, I like to see everything and I’m happy to go to view Discourse several times a day. That is why I prefer the current default. But I can see that others who want to engage with Discourse more selectively would be better served by only being advised of direct interactions, i.e. notifications, or not being advised at all, e.g. users who check in on Discourse once a day - any count is irrelevant to them so they might not want to see it.

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This has come up very few times. Compare with, say, the people who highlight text as they read and wanted a disable for the Quote Reply function. That came up a lot early on.

Preferences are not for “gee, it might be nice if…”, preferences are for “OMG I am gonna die if…”

I guess it depends on a members browsing habits.

There are a lot of “indicators” that provide different information, eg.
The “unread Notification” circle that appears above the avatar in the upper right.
The “unread New” that can show in the browser tab.
The browser’s native notification “pop-up” that can show new Notifications in “real time”

For me, I do not find the favicon replaced by a number distracting at all, else I would turn off that option.
In fact, I find it can be helpful when I have multiple tabs open to let me know that the forum has a new unread post.

So someone was going to die because “Automatically track topics I enter” didn’t have a 3 minute option?

And was someone going to die because Discourse didn’t wish them a Happy Birthday?

Who was saved from dying when the “Automatically unpin topics when I reach the bottom” option caused them to rip off their life support, jump up, dance a jig, and cry “Finally! I don’t have to unpin manually! Life is worth living again!”

Options are the polish that elevates a good system to a great one.