Discourse Question



I’ve been noticing this issue for months and now have been able to capture it. At the bottom of a topic, there is a list of “Suggested Topics” consisting of recent updates and new topics that are bold and typically have a number after them indicating the number of new posts in the topic.

From time to time, I find something extra in this list, circled in blue below. (Note: no new posts indicated in the the blue circle after this one.)

When I open these special topics, I find they ares months (sometimes more than a year) old. When I clicked on the topic circled in blue, I found the following topic from July of last year.

Each of the posts on this topic had the blue dot indicating I had not previously read the topic. In this case, I remember reading this topic.

What is happening? Why I’m I seeing old topics listed in bold in the “Suggested Topics” list? Why do old topics and posts appear as if I’ve not read them?


You might have read it initially, then other people came along and commented on the old post, and you had not yet read their comments.

It’s a never ending thing.


Even the original post had the blue dot as if I had not read it. There is something strange happening within Discourse as these just show up when my “Suggested Topics” list is short on new items. I’m very diligent about reading all new posts, so I really don’t understand why I keep finding topics and posts that appear I’ve not read them.

Clearly there are items in Discourse that I’ve not read as I know some members of the forum have read more posts than me.

I’d just like to understand what is causing this issue.


Here is another example

This was a great topic 100 watt Chinese Laser. Wish I had seen it when it was current.


I’ve never seen something in Suggested Topics that does not have a blue, a gray or a gray and a blue dot. I suspect it’s a settings thing.


It could well be a setting thing, but I’d sure like to know what it is :slight_smile:

Maybe some one from @discourse can help me understand what’s happening.


The dot shows up based on whether you are tracking, watching, or normal on the topic. in the web interface it will tell you what the options are if you click on normal at the bottom of a topic.

if you stay reading a topic too long discourse settings change you to tracking the topic. you can change those in your profile.


Thanks @ihermit2!

I changed those setting early this year so all unread topics and all new posts would show up in my unread count, but for some reason there are topics that continue to show up, almost every day, as I’ve shown above, but they don’t show up in my unread count or list of unread topics. When I open a topic that is shown in a Bold font in the “Suggested Topics” list, I find old topics that I’ve never seen and sometimes I see topics I’ve read that show the blue dots on all of the posts as if I’ve not read them before.

It’s really frustrating to keep finding old unread topics.


why? it’s something you already read. don’t dwell on forum minutiae.


Unfortunately, most of what keeps showing up I’ve not read, but not all of it.

You’re right, there is no need to dwell on this problem with in Discourse itself, just hoped to find a simple explanation to this issue.


I empathize it’s quite a strange quirk.


Yep. I never have more than a couple dozen unread but I’m thousands behind some of the others here suggesting I’m missing out on accumulated wisdom. It wasn’t until I went category by category paging through looking for the dark black ones that I finally found many I missed. Still behind but likely they’re from the real early days and may be gone now or they’re in the beta or employee areas :slightly_smiling_face:


I changed one setting the other day and went from “totally caught up” to over 850 topics unread.

I’ve gotten it down to 750 a couple of times now, but have to leave every now and again. Current at 758 unread and 9 new. It’s fun reading stuff I didn’t get notified about because I apparently hadn’t spent enough time on the page.


Earliest post was June 20th 2015. It’s still there. I can’t see Beta or Staff areas. Currently 112.5K


I made that same change to my setting early this year and had almost 2000 unread topics. It took me almost 6 weeks to get caught up. :scream: I’m very diligent now in trying not to get to far behind on unread topics. I guess that is why seeing these older unread topics randomly appear to so frustrating.


Thanks @rpegg!

I know your read count is way ahead of mine at 91.7K. I’d really like to understand the 20K difference and why they don’t show up on my unread count.


I’m almost 110K which means I’ve “lost” 2500 messages - but they’re nowhere that Discourse makes apparent. Nothing in the black on any category message threads. I’m not sweating it anymore though - got enough things to keep me busy :slight_smile:


Same here, I’m at 110.9K, so I’m about 1.5K behind @rpegg. I’ve gone through each category multiple times now, paging down until I can’t go any further. I don’t have any unread topics that I can find.


After discussing it with @Just-Maken-It, looks like Discourse doesn’t tell you about old unread topics. It doesn’t flag them as new if they were long before you set the categories to tracking or if you have never posted in those topics. If you do a search and set the options to search for anything before July 1st 2015 you will see a bunch of topics. Depending on your individual access it could be 21 or more topics. I would bet if you looked at a few of those you would see posts that haven’t been read. If so, that at least identifies the issue.

Not that it matters since nothing in Discourse tracking is important if it’s older than 100 days.


Thanks @rpegg!

I appreciate your help in explaining this issue. I should be able to sleep better tonight :slight_smile: