Please restore email digests

I am in the process of migrating my club from a Yahoo! mailing list to Discourse. During my investigation, Discourse seemed to be the ideal solution.

Many of our users insist on retaining mailing list functionality, but many also want the forum environment. Discourse seemed like the perfect fix. About 1/3 of our users opt for a daily or weekly digest on the current mailing list. They have made it clear that the digest function is a must-have. When I began looking at Discourse I’m pretty sure it offered email digest options for notifications.

Now that I am ready to make the move for my club I just realized that there is no longer an email digest option.

What happened to digests? I saw a discussion that the developers were concerned about the potential for large volumes of emails with digests.

We are a small organization and I have little concern for that.

This a very disappointing discovery and likely a deal-breaker for using Discourse. Please reinstate digests!

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I would like to add my vote as well. User selectable digest mails was a “Must Have” feature for us when we were evaluating new forum software.

Our forum started out as a mailing list in the early '90s, and until our last update many of our users chose the daily digest as their preferred way of following the action. Some of them have been doing that since the days of dial-up and Alta-Vista.

If anything, removing the digests will increase our mail traffic, and we will probably end up increasing the current 100 mails/day throttle.

Please restore the digest mode functionality. Make it configurable so that sites can disable it if they wish, but please restore the functionality.

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Email summary can serve the same function. Just change the time threshold for it.

Thanks for the responses.

My understanding and experience with the email summary is that it selects just popular topics and a limited number of those to send.

I need the user to be able to select topics (watched topics) and categories. Also the summary is only issued when there are no individual emails sent for a period, which is confusing to new users.

I need a true digest of notifications.

Perhaps @sam has some thoughts on this.

It can, but we had something which worked, then stopped. The meatbags are having a gumblefest.

(And… we need to fix a dormant account issue leftover from our import before we turn email summary on. I tried that on Wednesday and it caused a bit of an email storm… On the plus side, it did motivate a few dormant users to reactivate their accounts, but it did so by showing them the 23000 conversations they had missed since we went live.)

Volume was never a problem, generating strings so big the job queue bloats memory and we spend a week of engineering tracking it down… was

I am fine to add a feature like this, but it would need a serious redesign

Truncate long messages
Limit total number of images
Limit number of messages per digest


I still don’t understand why said dinosaurs refuse to make an email rule to route mailing list mode messages to a folder

Added bonus, they can reply to any message directly from the email box

I want to know what happened yesterday, more or less, is covered fine by digests


Presumably they do route them to a folder.

I’m guessing that many of my users have their own private copy of every digest since 1993, just in case the internet breaks. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of them have printed them out and have a wall of binders, in case the internet AND their computer break.

But the difference between a mail containing everything in the last 24 hours, and an individual mail for each individual thing that happened in the last 24 hours is significant if you count it in terms of mouse clicks to view (and multiply the count of mouse clicks by at least 4 if you need to print them all out!).


Isn’t that a feature request for email clients, not a feature request for discourse? :wink:

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Wait @neil needs to confirm but I am pretty sure daily digest will add weight for watched content and that you can set it to email daily, unconditionally (as long as content exists)

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Until the changes many of our users were following via “mailing list” mode. (my howto is here)

From their viewpoint we dropped a feature that they were using.

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I think it is more advantageous to keep improving summary digests as those are sent out everywhere and benefit everyone versus the teeny tiny minority of people who want this other obscure feature. cc @neil

Plus there is mailing list mode, for getting emailed every single post (except in categories or topics you have muted)


Maybe we should start with making sure this is true?

I’m pretty sure this isn’t true yet:

Both having been seen recently and having been emailed recently can suppress a digest. I suggest fixing both:

  • Receiving a normal notification should not block the digest from being sent. This would require introducing an additional column that stores when the last digest was sent.
  • There should be a way for a user to ask for digests even if they have been online. This could either use the site setting Send me email notifications even when I am active on the site or be a new one.

It is absolutely true… very teeny tiny minority of people ever used it.

Sorry, I was being unclear. I wanted to agree with

and suggest doing so by making sure

is actually true :slight_smile:


The 70+ members of my very teeny tiny minority are currently subscribed to a daily digest expect it to be there. This is a primary reason we opted for Discourse and is a deal-killer for my organization.

If the summary function can be modified to allow users to select watched topics, that would do the job, or or a daily digest for mailing list mode. Restrictions on digest message size - or sending sans photos - would be fine.

Otherwise, a terrific package!


The goal of the summary email is very different than the mailing list mode digest. It shows you content that you haven’t seen, but mailing list people want all content to be emailed to them. Summary emails are trying to get people to come back to the site, but mailing list people don’t want to visit the site.

Which fits the goals of bringing people back to the site. Most importantly, summary emails filter posts for quality (most likes, views, etc.), so even if you got them while on the site and right after getting another email, you won’t see posts by new users with 0 likes (for example).

Watched and tracked content is already prioritized for the summary emails.


I didn’t understand that a goal of the summary is to bring users to the site. So modifying the summary to include all posts in all watched topics is probably off the table. Apologies, but I am fairly new here.

My users need a daily digest of either (a) all topics for categories they are authorized to see or (b) all topics/categories they are watching/tracking. Content filtered based on likes, views, etc. is not sufficient. They need all posts. It doesn’t have to include attachments, but if not, there must be link to the topic.

Why does straight mailing list mode + gmail rule fail them ?

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