Warning for new messages while writing to topic


I would suggest a new feature, that could be toggled in the settings. The feature would warn the user if new messages have been posted to the topic after starting to write a reply. This could be like the other messages (e.g. Your topic is similar to: and post list…) and warnings given while writing the post.

(David Taylor) #2

Our users have also requested this feature. It’s something we had on our old phpBB forum that people are missing.

I realise the need for it is slightly reduced since replies appear in real time, but I still think it would be useful.

(Claas Aug.) #3

It could be a notification on top of the edit preview, like the one notifying about similar topics.

(Wren Jago) #4

Maybe a vibration on mobile so that it’s not too distracting

(Jeff Atwood) #5

I am not quite sure I see the point, since you can literally see the new replies arrive in the topic, already.


Yes, but if you have browsed up and down the topic and made quotations using it, or simply went back to the long message you’re replying to, your window is no more at the end of the topic. This means you don’t notice the new messages popping at the end of the topic.

Suggestion: A hint appearing and notifying you of new posts at the end, shown if you’re not at the end.

(David Taylor) #7

Not if you’ve scrolled up while you’re writing, or you’re on mobile and the composer is filling the entire screen (as it is right now for me)

We have had numerous users posing something, then deleting their posts, or editing with something along the lines of “Edit: @user beat me to it”, which really doesn’t help the conversation flow

Edit: @Silvanus beat me to it :joy:

(Jeff Atwood) #8

This already kinda happens with the progress bar. If your last read position shifts away from bottom (because new replies arrived) you will see a back button appear on the vertical progress bar.

I’ll test this on try.discourse.org right now but I believe it works.

(David Taylor) #9

This definitely doesn’t happen on mobile. Also, seeing “back” wouldn’t make me think there were new posts… Why has it been labelled “back”?

(Jeff Atwood) #10

Yes, it does. Open a topic you’ve never seen before, read down, then scroll up a bit. Describe what happens next :wink:

(David Taylor) #11

Ok, how about “Definitey doesn’t happen on mobile when the composer is open” :wink:

(Jeff Atwood) #12

OK, I tested this on desktop on try.discourse.org using two different accounts, one writing a reply, the other replying multiple times to the same topic.

The back button doesn’t appear (and now that I think about it a little more, can’t appear since you are already at your lowest reading position which hasn’t changed) … however you can definitely see that new replies are added:

(there were only 22 replies when I started writing that reply, and I was at the “bottom”… see how there are 26 replies and I am no longer at the bottom?)


You mean the subtle change in numbers of the vertical slider? (I tried to test it as well, but my new tl0 users were auto-banned :smiley: )

(Jeff Atwood) #14

I think subtle is fine in this case. An obnoxious banner …

:rotating_light: OMG NEW REPLIES :rotating_light:

… would be, well, obnoxious.

(David Taylor) #15

I think there’s a difference between “subtle” and “nobody will ever notice this unless they look for it”. If you’re at the bottom of the thread, then maybe you’d notice that instead of 14/14 it’s now 14/15. But if you’ve scrolled up (or even navigated to a different topic while writing your reply), then I very much doubt most people would notice the difference between 54/128 and 54/129. I certainly don’t memorise the number of posts in a thread before writing a reply :wink:

I think this would be great, and could be shown when both of these conditions are fulfilled:

  • Latest reply was posted after you opened the composer
  • You have not scrolled down to the latest reply

That way, if you’ve read the recent replies, it won’t get in the way.


How about subtle, but not so tiny note.

E.g. instead of Back maybe “Unread messages” or something like that? (I know I can change this locally, of course. Maybe I’ll do just that.)

Edit: And, of course, adding to the fact that it’s a simple notifiction and its meaning is very hard to understand, unless you know what it means. It’s not understandable for someone who doesn’t know the ins and outs of discourse.

(David Taylor) #17

This hasn’t been discussed in a while, but I still think it’s an important problem. It’s a regular complaint on my community.

I think it’s a problem here on Meta as well: I regularly see posts where people haven’t seen a new reply before pressing reply. A lot of these get immediately deleted by @team, but some vaguely recent examples that haven’t been deleted are:

Note that these people are all extremely regular Discourse users, and are familiar with the UI.

(Felix Freiberger) #18

Part of the problem might be that you can navigate away from the topic while composing a reply which means that you can no longer easily check for new replies. (There isn’t even a button to go back, you have to find the topic again to check before replying!)

(David Taylor) #19

Yeah, navigating away certainly makes it more likely.

Note that you can click the link at the top of the composer to go back to the topic - saves a lot of time!

(Felix Freiberger) #20

Oh, I never tried that. Thanks! :thumbsup: