Troubleshooting scheduled topics, mentions and email notifications

I’m running into a little trouble with the scheduled topics feature, which doesn’t seem to be working consistently for me. Has anyone else also had this experience, and is there something I am doing wrong? How can I improve my process?

I would like to use it to stage a welcome topic, that when published mentions all the new members so they are notified. I’ve now done this 4 times, at two week intervals, and it’s been well received! (here is what they look like) But I have yet to have it work the same way each time. Now I want to try to document it and would be grateful for any guidance.

Here’s what I did by last night:

  • created topic in private category
  • edited it to my satisfaction, including @ mentions of about 80 new members
  • moved replies into this topic from other topics, including from some of these 80 new members - about 40 replies in total
  • scheduled publication of the topic to a public category for 30 minutes later
  • after 30 minutes, verified that the topic was in the public category

This morning first thingI checked in mandrill and noticed that the email notifications had not been sent out. So I then tried it again:

  • moved topic back into private category
  • scheduled publication of the topic to a public category for 30 minutes later

Now is when the weird stuff happened:

  • the notifications were indeed sent out this time, but 2 minutes before the scheduled publication time according to mandrill. Somebody’s clock is off by 2 minutes?
  • the message remained in the private category - I can’t remember if I made a mistake and forgot to change it, but should this even be possible? I’ve now moved it into the public category and all appears to be well.
  • the email notification includes the private category name in the subject line
  • the time stamp for every single reply has been updated to the scheduled time. this did not happen last time. It’s not bad but inconsistent.

Perhaps @jomaxro can test and see if he can repro anything here.


This should be interesting to try and repro…

I’ll see what I can replicate on try and on a non-hosted site.


I was not able to repro this on try. Users received notifications of the mentions when the topic was published, and then were emailed 10 minutes later (since they never logged in). Going to try and repro this on a non-hosted site now…but I’m not optimistic about repro’ing it.


Thanks for trying! I will be doing this again next Wednesday, and will let you know what happens.

Am I getting the workflow right? Should I not be able to just change the category of my topic from a private category to a public category, to notify everyone? Or do I have to rely on the scheduled topic to make that happen? I am feeling oddly insecure about understanding the most reliable way to do this.

Oh wow! Something’s broken here. Here’s what just happened to me:

  1. I created a topic in “staff”, a private category and mentioned 2 non-staff users.
    • These users did not receive notifications.
  2. After 5 minutes (to avoid the grace edit period) I recategorized the topic to “A category”, a category with no security.
    • The two users did not receive notifications.
  3. After another 5 minutes I moved the topic back to “staff”.
    • Now the two users received the mentions notifications! But with the topic back in “staff” they can’t access it.

Yes! That #3 is reminiscent of what happened to me… though in my case it sent out the notifications a few minutes the scheduled publication time when it was moved it back to the public category. Did the email notification have the staff category name in the subject line too?

Sounds like you have reproduced my problem, at least partially… created a topic privately, moved it to public, then moved it to private again. Now you just need to move it to public again to finish the repro but I am guessing that won’t make any difference except that yes the mentioned users will have access to the topic.

Yeah, something’s going wrong here. I did not use the “Schedule Publishing” topic timer, just did it by hand. Going to need an engineer to take a deeper dig here.


Thanks, Joshua! I had changed the category back from public to private manually as well.

Until this gets fixed, maybe a safer, more reliable workflow is for me to simply draft the topic in a private category, and then instead of just changing the category of the topic going ahead and creating a new topic in the public category and then deleting my draft in the private category. That way I will know for certain what will happen with the notifications.

Should this be marked as a bug?

I was just wondering how mentions were handled for scheduled posts and ended up here. Assuming it hasn’t been fixed, I’ll skip trying it for now.

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