Sender names in Gmail threads

A typical Gmail thread will look like this:


Note that the sender names are listed (with an ellipsis if there are too many)

With discourse they look like this:


There are really 98 different senders in that thread but on first look it appears they have all come from the same person!

So many times this messes me up when I think e.g. “Why is X sending another message on this thread? I thought they just posted 2 minutes ago?” (Incidentally I have the same experience with Github notifications.)

It also means that new contributors to the thread are not as visible as they would otherwise be:



(clearly a new contribution from Jason) with


The latter unread email is actually from a user named Sergio, not Knightrider.

Can anything can be done about this?

I assume that what causes it is all the Discourse emails coming from the same ‘From’ address. Could we not have a separate ‘From’ address on the Discourse site’s domain unique to each user? So I might be and any notifications of posts I’ve sent would come from that address?

Would this cause deliverability issues? I would hope not as long as the domain is verified with Mailgun or whoever…

Or maybe I’m wrong about the issue here. Thoughts welcome.


Yeah maybe we should use plus addressing here, change:

From: Sam Saffron via Discourse Meta <>


From: Sam Saffron via Discourse Meta <>

Seems to me like a small change and it could make gmail look nicer.

@gerhard any concerns here? If not, go ahead and make the change.

Are we 100% sure every site running Discourse supports plus addressing? I know it is required for incoming mail, so perhaps that’s a safe assumption?

Thing is, nobody is even meant to email this address, the reply to here goes to discourse mail.


Probably fine, just worried about possible side effects. I support trying it out, but at the same time it feels a bit strange to me as we are “personalizing” the email address so the odds of someone seeing it and assuming that

is somehow an email they can use to reply to Sam… is much higher now versus

Thinking about this a bit more I feel this is kind of a nasty hack and has the possibility to do more harm than good.


Update on this front: it seems like Gmail has somehow figured this out.

Here is the same thread (now with two extra messages but that is irrelevant):

Anybody know how/when this happened?

I wonder if they just started matching on name instead of from email address when building the thread participant list.


Well that’s good! We haven’t changed anything on our end since January that I’m aware of.