"Mark all as read" or "Catch Up" button?

I’d like a button that marks all the unread topics I may have build up as read. For example, I largely skip the product update messages because literally all the info I am likely to care about is in the subject, or a thread ‘falls off’ down at the bottom.

It no longer shows up as “New” in the header at the top, but they never go away from being readable black text instead of the nigh-invisible grey one white of a read subject, so when i am scrolling through for something I might have wanted to check back on, it’s more difficult.

Or, perhaps just a button on a topic where I can mark it read without loading a new window?

In the “Unread” tab, check out the “Dismiss…” button at the bottom. Just make sure you read the warning that pops up before you do it so you understand how it works.

I think that’s what you’re looking for, though.

No, I don’t want to be unsubbed from future posts, I just want to be able to mark what is there now as read without having to load each thread.

I’m not sure I understand what you want. So far as I know, there is no way to make everything show as light-grey, if that’s what you’re after.

Regardless, the key to “check back on” topics, is not to scroll and look for black vs grey. Just click the “Unread” tab. Here’s how that tab works:

By default, topics are considered unread and will show unread counts if you:

  • Created the topic
  • Replied to the topic
  • Read the topic for more than 4 minutes

Or if you have explicitly set the topic to Tracked or Watched via the notification control at the bottom of each topic.

So “Unread” actually means something like “Unread that I’m actually interested in.” Topics that you haven’t even visited don’t show up in there.

Yep, that is exactly what I want. The “Unread” tab is basically useless to me.

I’m really curious why you want to do that. I’m thinking about using this software for another forum, and I want to understand where it might frustrate people.

What exactly would making those topics grey help you find easier? Or is there some other benefit to you?

being able to mark topics as read (which i do now, manually) would let me keep track of a topic that I might want to read later, since discourse thinks the only NEW content is the content that is new since I was last here.

So, for example, if there is a thread on Acme Inc’s latest security breach I might not want to read that right now, but I do want to check in on it later, regardless of if there are new posts between now and tomorrow.

Similarly, most of the product updates I would like to just mark as read, since I got the information I care about (if i care at all) from the headline. I don’t want to load that page, then go back just to ‘clear’ it from the queue.

This way, i can scroll through the list quickly and if I only see grey items, I know I am done. as it is now, i have to do a ‘click load wait, click back wait’ dance to ‘clear’ the topics I am done with.

This is a reason why I’ve stuck with reading TidBITS Talk by email, both individual messages and threads are marked unread until I read them and I can re-mark them as unread if I want (typically on my phone when I want to stop but have scrolled too far).

You’re talking about reading stuff on TidBITS? I use The Old Reader to read posts via the RSS feed. I can quickly select which articles I want to read, and then I can mark the rest as read (i.e. caught up).

I’m not sure if TidBITs forums have an RSS feed, but the TidBITS news feed does. Too bad RSS is considered obsolete. I really use it for the vast majority of my news.

I’ve never tried using RSS with a forum before. At any rate, I doubt it would work very well, since you typically need the context of the surrounding posts to make sense of the one you’re reading, and RSS has no way to do that as far as I’m aware.

I’m also an RSS fan. Yes, Discourse has RSS feeds, Follow Discourse discussions via RSS. I tried it for a little while but went back to email because Mail.app has threading and in RSS they’re strictly chronological. Each individual topic also has its own feed but since most topics are not that long-lived, I wouldn’t expect most people to bother subscribing.

All I can say is that I find my engagement with the forum much less, and not being able to quickly mark things as read is a large reason for it.

The email experience with Discourse is… poor, but I may go back to it as the web forum is getting too annoying with all the little issues that don’t quite do what I want. information density is still a huge issue. I mean, 27" screen, and I get maybe 20% of the text on screen I’ll get in email.

Have you tested this? The way I interpret the Dismiss dialog is that it will mark everything in the Unread tab as read, and prevent you from seeing updates to the dismissed topics IF AND ONLY IF you select that checkbox. Seems to me that if you don’t select that checkbox it should work as you want. But it’s hard for me to test this, since I do read everything.