Latest, new & categories to list all the categories that one has access to

I find the Discourse interface, or possibly our implementation of it, confusing and every now and then discover messages I wasn’t aware of. It seems that the local groups and sometimes the closed categories such as the development one are treated differently. Categories, new and latest clearly do not include the messages from the local groups I belong to such as the London one.

It would help for all the Discourse function to apply to all that one has access to, whether it’s an open category, a closed one or a group.

Slightly related I suspect you see the Dashboard as the main entry point. For me the main entry point is Talk (usually going to new and latest, and categories when I want to post). For restarters Talk is a more likely starting place when I suspect the Dashboard is more likely for hosts. This means that unless I make a conscious effort to go to the Dashboard I miss all the information that’s there as well. You may want to consider whether it would be possible and make sense to show some of the relevant Dashboard info on the Talk page(s).

The key point of this slightly disparate post is that I’d like an entry page where I can see everything new (and possibly recent) that I have access to and is relevant to me. Otherwise I’ll miss stuff which is not on the page I’ll go most often to (currently Talk). And that goal is likely to be achieved by different pages for the casual visitors, the restarter, the host, and any other roles there may be.

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This is useful feedback Panda, thanks.

In theory, there are two places to view everything that’s happened since your last visit: your personal inbox and the latest or new views:

Discussions in Groups (like the London group) appear alongside any other private messages in your personal inbox. You should see a green notification circle on the top left of your profile picture (top right) when you have new messages here.

The latest view displays the most recent discussions from all categories you have access too. The new view displays discussions you haven’t read - discussions from the last 2 days are considered new (but you can change this in your user settings > notifications)

But, the exception to this is #restarters-dev, which we’ve suppressed from appearing in either new or latest. The reasoning behind this was to avoid flooding the new and latest views with discussions many people won’t find relevant (bearing in mind that people who have posted in this category will still get notifications when someone replies).

You’re right that we do see the Dashboard as the main entry point for most people. I can also see why you generally go to Talk first (I do the same).

A single entry page is very much the ambition and we’re hoping to start integrating elements from Discourse into the Dashboard to make it more viable in this sense (e.g. the ‘new’ or ‘latest’ stream, or perhaps notifications). We’re not quite there yet (still familiarising ourselves with Discourse’s API), but that’s the direction of travel.

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That’s weird and inconvenient. Obviously they’re treated differently by the system, but for me they’re just messages like in any other topic. I don’t get why they’re treated differently and it adds to the confusion.

Also (maybe I should start a different topic for this) the default view in the groups is not helpful. The main thing I’d go to a group for is to look at messages, here’s what I need to do (starting from my main starting point, the Talk home page):
1/ Click on Local Groups
2/ Click on London London Restarters (BTW why is London doubled? I guess the bold one is Discourse name for the group and the non bold is part of the title - just have the title)
3) Scroll down
4) Click on Messages
5) More Scrolling down
And then I can’t sort the message at all. It’s ok for now where I likely mostly want to go to latest/new messages but what about in a few years time when I want a slightly older message and remember possibly who wrote it or that it was a popular one with many views.

Also when in that Local group view, I know I can go back to Talk by clicking the top left restarters logo, but that’s because I’m techie (logically it would go the root which would end up on the Dashboard). Talk doesn’t have a link in a similar place as the Fixometer and the Restarters Wiki, it’s a second class citizen!

In an ideal world, which may well not be possible, all messages I have access to would be one view and could be sorted by clicking the header of the column. Some settings could allow me to not include in that view some categories, but the default would be all I have a access to.

I can understand some confusion over the behaviour of group messages. Sounds like there are three main points here, so I’ll break them down like this:

Group messages appearing in inbox, not category views (no unified view)
Mechanically, group messages are simply private messages sent to people in the same group. In this sense, groups are essentially little more than private message mailing lists. There’s no way to make group messages appear in categories without moving them individually to a public category.

Something we’re considering for bigger and more active groups going forward is creating private categories - a standard category only visible to members of that particular group. This would allow for a lot more flexibility (e.g. the availability of subcategories) and a more unified experience for those group members.

Default view for groups (navigating to group messages)
I agree it’s a bit of a pain navigating to the group inbox through the group page. I don’t think there’s much we can do about that unfortunately.

That said, I find the quickest way to view group messages is from my inbox (clicking on my profile picture then on the envelope icon). From there it’s possible to see all group messages as well as other private messages - you can filter these by group if easier. It’s also possible to send a group message from there by clicking on the New Message button and typing ‘London’ into the addressee box.

Navigation to/from Talk, Fixometer & Wiki
I see your point here - I haven’t added a Talk link to the top navigation bar because clicking the logo does the same thing. And the reason the logo links to the Talk homepage and not the Dashboard is that the mobile theme doesn’t have space for any links at the top :arrow_heading_down:

I’ve put a link to the main dashboard (Fixometer) in the hamburger menu so that mobile users can find their way there, but my feeling is it’s more important to provide mobile users an obvious way to return to the Talk homepage (by tapping on the logo).

Ultimately, it’d be great to have the same bar running across the top of all parts of But again, we’re not there yet and we’ve definitely still got some thinking to do about how best to integrate the different elements of in the meantime!

We’re definitely open to suggestions :slight_smile:

For this reason, you may want to consider such a change for all groups, not just those deemed at some point bigger and more active.

Thank you for this tip. Not an easily discoverable one.

That makes sense for the mobile version. In your screen capture Fixometer and Restarters Wiki (BTW shouldn’t that be Restarters’ Wiki - with an apostrophe?) do not appear at all. So you could add an an explicit mention of Talk in the desktop version of the theme and leave the mobile version as is.

That’s certainly something worth considering - I think we’ll need to see how people use the Groups function and adapt to suit individual groups’ workflows.

Yep, we’ve removed those menu items for mobile due to lack of space. I could add an extra ‘Talk’ menu item on Desktop - although I wonder whether that might be confusing for people?

Also worth noting that right now the logo can only link to one place on both desktop & mobile (i.e. it’s not possible to link it to the Dashboard on desktop and Talk on mobile). Besides, I think that would be also be confusing for people who switch between the two.

Side note about the apostrophe thing… I guess it depends how you read the name of the Wiki. On one hand, ‘Restarters Wiki’ could be the actual name of the tool, in which case, no apostrophe is needed.
On the other hand, if read as the Wiki belonging to us, Restarters, then yes there should be an apostrophe. I’m not actually sure which it is (:sweat_smile:), so I’ve just kept the labeling consistent with the tool itself for now.

Another reason why this might be needed rather sooner than later:

The recent Usb booting mint / ubuntu issue discussion in the London group would benefit those not in that group too. However being in a group, one cannot change the category to easily fix that. So either one needs to have very good foresight when creating a topic whether it will be of purely local interest, or one has to copy paste relevant bit in another discussion after the fact - if anyone can be bothered to do so.

Cheers Panda.
Just for clarification, it is possible to ‘move’ a discussion from a local group (or whatever we decide to call these spaces) to a community-wide category (as with this discussion for example).

Hopefully, that should make things easier :slight_smile: