I recently encountered a problematic combination of features:
- Discourse sends e-mail notifications, and allows people to reply the thread by replying to the notification e-mail.
- Discourse allows people to edit postings right after posting them.
- Discourse does not re-send updated notifications when there’s an edit.
Unfortunately these features can cause a problematic interaction like this:
- User A posts something, immediately sees they forgot something and edits to add the missing thing.
- User B gets notification containing the original post, and replies by e-mail some hours later, condescendingly pointing out the missing thing.
- User A sees user B as having complained about something that was actually posted, and concludes that user B didn’t bother to read before replying.
Result: Thread derails in acrimony, civilized discussion ends.
I think if you’re going to allow people to reply by e-mail, you need to make a best effort at ensuring that the thread they see in their e-mail resembles the thread on the web as closely as possible in content — even if that means sending more than one notification message.
Either that, or web edit should be disabled when e-mail reply to notifications is enabled.