Not a bug Edge Case: Missing alerts / notifications for watched thread


Well-known member
Affected version
Steps to reproduce
  1. View a single page thread with 15 replies with account A and scroll down to the bottom
  2. Scroll back to the top
  3. Use another account B & browser to create a new reply in the thread
  4. Go back to the browser from step 1)
  5. Click Watch to watch the thread
  6. Submit the overlay and leave the website
User expected result
The user does get an alert for a new post in this thread (and an email if enabled)

Actual Result
The user does not get alerts or emails as the thread already has an unread reply (created in step 3) that never was actually seen

Suggested Mitigation
Display a warning (that there will be no notifications until the thread has been read) in the Watch thread overlay if the thread currently has unread replies
This does not fully prevent this scenario (a new reply could have been written after the overlay has been created but before it is submitted) but should significantly reduce the probability
Immediately trigger notification / alert when watching a thread that has unread replies
I don't see either of these mitigations as particularly viable or necessary for such an edge case.

The thread will surface into new posts or have appropriate exposure through styling, last post info or through other methods of surfacing new content and this should be sufficient.
Well, we somewhat constantly get complaints from users that "Alerts are not working properly" and it always takes a lot of (uslesss) time to track down why and explain that to the user.

In one such case it was as described and the suggested mitigation would help to avoid spending precious time on tracking such "bugs".

Similar / Related support questions can ben seen here as well somewhat regulary:

While it is true that threads will appear in New Posts, etc. that doesn't help much if the user stops browsing the forums (expecting that he will be alerted of new posts) and later returns complaining that he got no alerts ...

New post alerts do carry a notice that there might be further new posts in the thread, although that can be easily discovered via last post info, etc. - I assume this was done for the very same reason (eg. users not realizing that they will only get an alert for the first new post).
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