Web interface "latest posts" view

(Paul Moore) #1

I use the web view of Discourse exclusively (I don’t want email notifications at all). So basically in order to see “what’s new”, I fire up Discourse, and look at the “Latest” and “New” links at the top of the front page.

I did that today and there was nothing new. Fine. But I started browsing and found that there were a whole load of messages in the “Users” category. I’m not sure how many of them I was actively interested in, but I was worried that I didn’t even know those conversations were going on (some of them were questions for Steering Council candidates, that I would like to have spotted before I’d voted).

So what I’m having real trouble finding is where I can see a view that says what’s new since I last visited the site - ideally by category, but a summary page, not “go into each category in turn”. I’d also like to better understand what “Latest” and “New” show, given that they don’t show everything new.

Essentially, I’m looking for something similar to what I get in my RSS reader (or email client, but let’s not get sidetracked by “why doesn’t it work like email” discussions :wink:) showing “unread items” across all my feeds and groups (where I’d consider “everything” in Discourse to be in my feed). Do I need to somehow “subscribe” to each category to get shown unread message counts? (I’m not talking about subscribing for email alerts, I know about that and don’t want it - I’m talking about whether there’s anything similar that I’m not aware of that affects the web interface).

It’s quite a frustrating problem, as tracking that it’s going on is a variation on the “knowing what you don’t know” problem.


Is the “Users” is not muted, it should show up in “Latest”, (at least that’s how I see it working for me) .

(Paul Moore) #3

How would I know if it’s muted? I don’t think I ever muted it, but it’s certainly not showing up.

Edit: If you mean here, then no, users isn’t muted…

(Paul Moore) #4

I just tried making every category “tracked”. I wonder if that’s what I need. It does seem odd that the default is not to show everything, if that’s the case, I guess.


I think you’ll also have to experiment and adjust your “Notifications” settings. There are different settings there which might affect how the “latest”/“new” is showing up.

(Paul Moore) #6

Yeah, this looks like the area to play with. Thanks! :grinning:

(Eric V. Smith) #7

I have similar issues. I really don’t understand the difference between “new” and “unread”. I’ve tried searching but no luck. Maybe understanding this would ease the confusion?

(Paul Moore) #8

I think “new” means “a topic that I’ve never seen before” whereas “unread” means “a topic I’ve seen before, but which has new postings in it that I haven’t seen”.

But I agree, the terminology (indeed, the whole mental model) on Discourse is a little confusing if you’re not used to it (specifically, I suspect, if you’re not familiar with web forums).

(Thomas Wouters) #9

There are tooltips that try to shed light on this. It’s subtle, and I’m not sure if I have this right, but as far as I understand, “new” is new topics (threads) in the last few days (by default – configurable in preferences, where you can set it to “I haven’t viewed them yet”). By contrast, “unread” is topics with new posts in topics you are watching or tracking. You can automatically watch or track topics based on various criteria (like what category they’re in, what tags they have, whether you’ve read it or replied in it, etc), so if you have that set up at all, those topics will appear in “unread”.

Personally, I just use the “latest” view. It’s a list of all topics ordered by latest post, with topics that have no unread posts greyed out a little, and a little marker for ‘last site visit’. I’ve found this the easiest way to keep track of everything, and to ignore things I’m not interested in while not relying on everything to be tagged or categorised to my tastes.

(Paul Moore) #10

Oh wow, yes that’s really subtle. And not very useful, in the sense that understanding precisely what anything that’s this “do what I mean” will always be confusing.

Maybe I’m just being obsessive about “not wanting to miss anything”, and maybe I’m supposed to relax and not worry so much? It certainly seems like Discourse doesn’t really expect people to want to skim everything that’s going on. (Maybe it’s intended for higher traffic environments where that’s not possible in any effective sense?)

(Thomas Wouters) #11

If you want to not miss anything, you don’t want “new” or “unread”, yes (unless you automatically track or watch everything). Does “latest” the way I use it not satisfy your requirements?

(Paul Moore) #12

I’ve just started trying it, but it looks like it might, Thanks for the suggestion.

(Paul Moore) #13

Quick follow-up - yes, “Latest” is precisely what I wanted. Thanks @thomas!

(Tim Golden) #14

I’m more or less in the same situation as @pf_moore so thanks for asking the question :slight_smile:

Although I still haven’t quite worked out the new/unread/latest distinctions with numbered badges and highlighted topics, I’m happy that “Latest” is the right starting point for me.

Just in case it helps anyone else – it took me days to tumble to this – you can change your “default” home page to Latest in the profile settings.

(Donald Stufft) #15

FWIW my typical pattern is to have New set to anything I haven’t seen yet. That shows me only brand new topics that I have yet to look at. If there are any New topics I’ll scan the look for ones that look interesting and set any ones I want to follow to tracking. I then dismiss the rest of the new notifications (there is a button on the bottom right of the New page).

That means that Unread then shows me what topics that I’ve explicitly (or implicitly through commenting on them since I have commenting set to track as well) shown interest in that have had traffic. If a topic has gone in a direction thst no longer interests me then I can untrack it.

Finally I’ll periodically peruse latest whenever I have ample free time and if I see some untracked topic seems to have generated a lot of response then maybe I’ll read it (and possibly decide to track it).

This lets me have 3 different entry points depending on how much time I have and whether I’m just looking for updates on the topics I most care about, or if I’m doing basic gardening by looking over new topics for interesting ones, or if I’m just bored and looking for discussions that I might have missed that might have possibly generated interesting discussion that I originally discounted.