Erroneous notifications


so for the longest time I occasionally have the issue that the forum is notifying me of new posts in threads that I never set or did anything to be notified. It usually goes away after a hard reload, but today, it has been glitching especially hard:


Even weirder, the forum sometimes notifies me of threads that I read and are marked as read (i.e., there cannot be any new posts to be notified about):


I am subscribed to none of these threads, notification there is set to "normal".

Bug? Feature? Caching issue? I notice it tends to happen when I return to the forum after some time, or if there's lots of new posts to be updated at the top, so I'm guessing it's caching something it shouldn't, either on the front or the back end.

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Make sure you have configured the following:
Profile > Preferences > Notifications > Categories > Tracked > Empty > Save Changes

I have never been to that configuration section (I assume the "Muted" section is pre-filled with the "Uncategorized" category)

Also, if they were legit notifications, why would they go away after a hard page reload?

Anyway, for good measure I re-saved the empty fields. It would certainly be weird, but maybe it clears up some undefined state.

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What browser are you using?
Do you have proxy configured?

Firefox, no proxies.

I just wanted to bring it up in case someone else has experienced the same, or if it's a known bug. But I'm a webdev and willing to put in the effort. So I will keep my network monitor open for a while and monitor the incoming data, and if the problem reappears (i.e., the above measure didn't fix it), I will be able to tell if it's coming from the server or if it's something local.


So, quick update: It doesn't happen anymore. I don't want to proclaim it solved just yet, I want to observe it a bit longer, but it seems the "categories notifications" were indeed the issue. It's entirely possible that my relevant dataset was not "empty" but "nonexistant", and that Discourse got slightly confused about that.

Edit: One day later without seeing the issue again, I'm calling it solved, and your suggestion the solution. Thank you.

Edit 2: Welp. Spoke too soon.

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So the misbehaviour showed up again, but this time I had my network monitor open.

I can now pin down the problem appearing after opening a topic, then returning to the "latest" view using browser-back. Occasionally it then decides to mark random topics in the list with notifications.

I checked the JSON the server sends to build the list, and interestingly enough I can't find any indicator for "show unseen count" or "show notification" in the marked topics. Somewhere the client-side script must decide to display the notification, at least in this case, and in my case it decides wrong.

However, that's it for me then. I have a rough idea what's going wrong, probably something in the client-side caching of topics. But I currently don't have the time or the energy to go down the rabbit hole of debugging the client-side script and find the error condition. I think I will, for now, just accept that it occasionally breaks. As far as inconveniences go, it is rather minor.


If you ever decide to continue troubleshooting, you can try to isolate the issue by using:

  • A separate clean browser profile.
  • A Chromium-based browser.

Does the issue still persist?

If yes, maybe a visit of can shed some light onto this.

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It continued happening for some time, but ... I haven't noticed it happening recently. It might have gotten fixed in one of the versions since I started the thread.

OK then, assuming that's the case, I close this topic now.
Should the issue re-occur, just let the moderators know, then the topic can be reopened again.

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