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User don't receive email notifications concerning their Flow talk page when "Talk page message" is on, but "Flow" is off
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Description

A user reports he hasn't received a notification by email, despite the fact that he has selected "Talk page message". That user uses Flow.

IIRC, that user should have selected "email" option for Flow on Notification preferences. That system is not obvious at all. Is it possible to change settings in order to receive emails notifications when "Talk page message" option is selected and the user talk page uses Flow?

Based on that feedback (fr)

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptApr 12 2016, 9:03 AM

Screen of my notification preferences

Check they receive emails via Special:EmailUser or other email alerts such as watchlists

Mattflaschen-WMF renamed this task from User don't receive email notifications concerning its Flow talk page to User don't receive email notifications concerning their Flow talk page when "Talk page message" is on, but "Flow" is off.Apr 12 2016, 8:51 PM

Right now, flowusertalk is just a message variant (adding -user-talk).

If they were separate notification types (probably using subclassing), we could put the flowusertalk types in the edit-user-talk (Talk page messages) category.

But then we might have the opposite problem (I enabled "Flow", but I don't get notifications about my own talk page since "Talk page message" is turned off). Maybe that problem is less likely (people might be more likely to expect it to follow "Talk page message", and also you can't turn "Talk page message" off for web).

Or we could make it so if *either* "Flow" or "Talk page message" is on, you get it. That would require changing Echo to let a notification type (e.g. flow-post-reply-user-talk) be in two categories, which seems pretty reasonable and not that complicated.

The most important is the final result:

  • "Talk page message": user wants to receive emails from the talk page, not matter which system is used on it,
  • "Flow": user wants to receive emails concerning activity on Flow boards - that option is not related to the system used on their talk page.

Is it possible to separate these options?

At the moment, there is different notifications when you have a message on your talk page using Flow and when you have a message on an other Flow board. Will separate these options need a complex work?

The most important is the final result:

  • "Talk page message": user wants to receive emails from the talk page, not matter which system is used on it,
  • "Flow": user wants to receive emails concerning activity on Flow boards - that option is not related to the system used on their talk page.

Is it possible to separate these options?

Should the user get an email if the user's talk page is Flow, they have "Talk page message" email notifications off, but "Flow" email notifications on?

jmatazzoni added a comment.EditedApr 13 2016, 11:58 PM

If we go down this road, do we also have to look at mention vs. flow-mention and edit-thank vs. flow-thank? Do the same issues apply for these? E.g., if someone says they want emails about Mentions, do they currently get flow-mention emails?

Should the user get an email if the user's talk page is Flow, they have "Talk page message" email notifications off, but "Flow" email notifications on?

The problem here is that most of the preference options are functionally defined but the Flow preference is defined by technology. This is a mistake, I think, from a UX perspective. Fixing it so that we'd avoid the problem Matt alludes to above would involve:

  • Making the Talk Page pref apply to all talk page messages
  • Making the Thanks pref apply to all Thanks.
  • Making the Mention pref apply to all mentions.
  • Eliminating the Flow preference per se and replacing it with one or more defined functionally. That would likely be for something to do with discussions. E.g., "Messages about discussions," or something like that.

I don't know how complicated all that would be technically. Matt's comment about message types suggests that it might be a little tricky...

  • Making the Talk Page pref apply to all talk page messages

User talk. While we're at it, "talk page message" is vague. It should clarify that it's only your own personal user talk. Maybe "Messages on your talk page".

  • Making the Thanks pref apply to all Thanks.

It actually does already, which is good.

  • Making the Mention pref apply to all mentions.

Not the case, but makes sense to do.

  • Eliminating the Flow preference per se and replacing it with one or more defined functionally. That would likely be for something to do with discussions. E.g., "Messages about discussions," or something like that.

Maybe "Updates to Flow discussions" (so people aren't disappointed it doesn't work for old non-Flow talk pages) or "Updates to discussions". It's still kind of ambiguous about whether your own talk page counts as "discussions" though.

I don't know how complicated all that would be technically. Matt's comment about message types suggests that it might be a little tricky...

None of it seems that complicated. If we get rid of 'Flow', that avoids the (possible) need to allow notifications to be in two categories. That just leaves the subclassing, which doesn't seem that hard.

(Forgot to submit my morning comment)

The problem here is that most of the preference options are functionally defined but the Flow preference is defined by technology.

+1000 ! I think we should have actions linked to pages: if someone wants to have an email if a message is posted on its talk page, lets post it, no matter which wywtem is used.

In T132426#2205607, @Mattflaschen wrote:

None of it seems that complicated. If we get rid of 'Flow', that avoids the (possible) need to allow notifications to be in two categories. That just leaves the subclassing, which doesn't seem that hard.

To be sure I understand, I take an example: what is happening when a user who has not selected "Flow" notifications or email is thanked on a Flow board? Is a notification/email sent?

Should we have detailed preferences concerning Flow notifications? Some people may only want to have emails when a new topic is created?

jmatazzoni added a comment.EditedApr 14 2016, 5:42 PM

To be sure I understand, I take an example: what is happening when a user who has not selected "Flow" notifications or email is thanked on a Flow board? Is a notification/email sent?

There would be no "Flow" option. There would be some kind of option about updates to discussions. But in this example, it would depend on whether they'd opted in not to the Discussions preference but to Thanks, which would supersede whatever they did on Discussions (since it's more specific).

Should we have detailed preferences concerning Flow notifications? Some people may only want to have emails when a new topic is created?

You could subdivide the Discussions category within reason, I suppose. What scheme would you propose? (Here's the list of all notification types, to refresh your memory.)

There would be no "Flow" option. There would be some kind of option about updates to discussions. But in this example, it would depend on whether they'd opted in not to the Discussions preference but to Thanks, which would supersede whatever they did on Discussions (since it's more specific).

I totally agree in making notification categories about human activities and not the technology means used to support them.

One important thing to avoid confusions is to make clear the categories are disjoint (i.e., a given notification belongs to one and just one category) which would affect T132977 otherwise.

If we provide two categories such as "Talk page messages" and "Conversations" we may convey some overlap which requires the user to figure out which category is more specific. To avoid this, we may want to make more explicit that there is no such overlap. One way is to use a general "More conversation updates" group after all conversation-related categories ( "talk page messages", "mentions", etc.). So that it makes clear that it does not include the ones before it.

We can provide further details of the kinds of notifications included as part of the help tooltip.

To be sure I understand, I take an example: what is happening when a user who has not selected "Flow" notifications or email is thanked on a Flow board? Is a notification/email sent?

Yes. As Joe said, Flow thanks are already in only the "Thanks" category. However, this may be a bad example. Let's consider a new topic instead.

If Flow user talk notifications were in the "Talk page message" (user talk) category, I would expect them to get a notification based on "Talk page message" category, regardless of the settings for the "Flow" category.

I like @Pginer-WMF's "More conversation updates" idea (and he also points out that my prior suggestion of perhaps making them non-disjoint is confusing in combination with T132977; I agree regarding that).

In T132426#2237320, @Mattflaschen wrote:

I like @Pginer-WMF's "More conversation updates" idea (and he also points out that my prior suggestion of perhaps making them non-disjoint is confusing in combination with T132977; I agree regarding that).

I agree too.

In T132426#2237703, @Mattflaschen wrote:

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:DisplayNotificationsConfiguration may help (it will go live tomorrow after the next branch cut).

Sweet! I'll add that Special page to the next Tech News.

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