Should not receive emails for your own replies

Over at Specifiction, we’re experimenting with using Discourse to replace archaic W3C mailing lists. However, many of us still prefer a primarily email-based experience, with Discourse serving as a delightful browsing interface instead of the primary way of discussing.

I see there are a number of threads in this direction, including several discussing the “email in” feature. For me, the biggest problem is that whenever I reply to a thread, I get an email containing my own reply! Since this message was “sent by me,” it’s just silly and annoying. Indeed, it’s always a disappointment when I see a notification on my phone: “oooh, new Discourse reply!” and then click on it only to discover it’s the message I myself sent.

We’re using this guide for getting emails in the forum, by the way.

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For us we love the fact that your own inbound email generates a notification. This helps confirm to the user that their message was posted, especially since there are many instances currently where posting fails silently. Right now, we can tell users if they don’t get an email notification, then their message didn’t post. With your suggestion there would be no real way for the user to determine if their message had posted without having to visit the website.

Plus most “old school” email listservs (mailman, LSI) send you a copy of the message you post to the list, so I would think users that you’re migrating over to Discourse would be more familiar with this “confirmation” style of posting.

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On all the mailman instances I’ve been on (Mozilla and W3C mostly), this preference has been toggled off by default.

I suppose it should be a preference.

I think the echo behavior is desired by the class of people who want a local copy of everything that they can search through.

Because it should be fairly clear when it is an echo email, this isn’t a very big issue.

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And since inbound email can fail in weird/silent ways right now, I think that the echo is very important until those kinks are worked out. When there is better reporting back to the person who attempted to post via email when their message posting failed, I could understand it being desirable to have an on/off for the message echoing.

Yeah I am not against adding a per-user option here, for users with mailing list mode enabled.

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My users are requesting this feature as well. It would be great if it could be a per-user option as well. I agree though that the silently dropped email issues should be fixed before this would be completely useful.

Did something change regarding Discourse echoing the original the email poster their email messages? I’ve gotten several complaints from our email only users saying they’ve sent topics that they didn’t think got posted because they didn’t receive a copy of their message after it was posted to the forum.

I just tried in on a list on our forum (v1.3.0.beta4 +136) and indeed, I did not get echoed on my own post.

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not as far as I know, did not touch that code yet.

Has anyone else observed the behavior of the topic poster’s message not being echoed to them when they submit it via email?

I haven’t seen that… I get my own emails as I would expect/hope/need.

What version is giving you the problem?

Looks like I need to do some more specific testing with my environment then. Maybe the echoed message is getting blocked somewhere along the way. I’ll update this post if I find out what might be going on.

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I just checked my Mandrill log and it doesn’t show that an echoed message was generated for the emailed in topic that I was testing with.

@watchmanmonitor Are you already watching the category that you’re receiving email notifications for? In my case, I am not watching the category, but I think our email users still expect notification that their message has been posted to the list, even if they aren’t currently watching that category.

Aha, the difference is that in my forum, I’m using Mailing List Mode, I get my own emails.

Here on meta, where I only get things I track, I do not get my own updates.

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So, I would say there are three possible scenarios, my preferred outcome is listed for each one:

  1. You have enabled the preference Send me an email for every new post (unless I mute the topic or category)
  2. You should always get an email, regardless of if you made a new post via email or via the web.
  3. You have the default out of the box message tracking and you create a post via the web.
  4. You should not get an email as you’re already getting visual feedback from Discourse that your post has been added to the forum.
  5. You have the default out of the box message tracking and you create a post via the email.
  6. You should optionally be able to get emailed a copy of your post. This allows users to get a feedback loop that their message has successfully posted. I can understand why you would want to turn this off on high volume forums, but without it on low volume forums, our members have to check the website (or email me if they forget how to check the website) to know that their message has been posted. We would prefer that the echo option in this scenario were enabled by default.

This preference will also have to be taken into consideration…

Do not suppress email notifications when I am active on the site

We’ll have to see how it effects things (I’ve just enabled that checkbox)

I don’t really agree with that 1.1 post on the web, I can see it right there… I don’t need an email copy too (unless I’m a packrat, etc, so that’s your 3.1 point from above)

As for 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 above, those are user options right now… just add the relevant Categories to your Watched list.

And 2.1 above seems to conflict with 1.1, and I’d vote for 2.1.

tl/dr - if we post on the web, we don’t need a copy of our own post. If we post via email, getting a copy of our own post allows us to know it happened, and we can see any typos/errors/wrong-on-the-internet we’ve committed.

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(It’s not clear what the conclusion was here so I hope it’s ok to resurrect it!)

I really wish I got an email for my own posts! My use case is that I when I vaguely remember an old discussion, I have no idea if it happened via old-fashioned email or via Discourse. If everything from Discourse got copied to email then I could grep my email for something and find it wherever it lives. (Also it’s a nice additional layer of emergency backup to have copies of everything in email. And I personally don’t find it onerous to hit archive on emailed copies of forum posts I’ve already seen.)

Persuasive? I’ve looked through the email settings and don’t see an option to echo my own messages to email.

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If I got it correct, you would “only” need to switch to mailing list mode for that:

Update: … but that would ignore all notification settings, including the categories you’re subscribed to, which means you will receive EVERY SINGLE POST ON YOUR DISCOURSE INSTALLATION.

Updated update: It looks like that is only the case, if you don’t watch or track any category. When you do, you will only receive all messages for those regardless if they are watched, tracked or watched only first post.

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Do you still feel that way today? It does seem like a sensible option to have in those specific circumstances.