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KDE Discuss Notifications and Mailing List

Tuesday, 1 August 2023

Every once in a while I hear developers having trouble staying up to date with KDE Discuss(ions). No great surprise when I then find out they aren’t tracking things (in other words: not subscribed to categories)!

Discourse, the software that powers KDE Discuss, has a number of handy notifications settings that we can use to have the software bring posts to us instead of having to go to the website every once in a while. We can use these options to tailor a good experience for ourselves.

Three setting types are relevant for the notification experience:


Tracking preferences control which discussions to track. Settings here range from when automatic tracking happens - such as when you view a topic for a couple minutes it automatically becomes tracked - to ignoring things. You can track categories as well as tags. Say you only care about kdenlive you can simply track the kdenlive tag and you are good to go.


Emails contain the second most relevant pool of preferences. There are two principal modes of operation:

  • Forum mode
  • Mailing list mode

The names should be obvious enough, the functionality probably less so. In forum mode tracking preferences apply and you get emails for posts or threads as configured. In mailing list mode only negative tracking preferences apply! You get an email for every post on the entire site unless you’ve opted to mute something. In both modes you can simply reply by email to post a reply.


These preferences have to do with live notifications i.e. if you have a browser open it will throw up a system notification when new posts happen. The settings here aren’t terribly interesting unless you always have a browser tab pointing to KDE Discuss. If you do, you can set a time frame for notifications such that you don’t get notifications when you are at work-work for example.


So, what do I recommend you do?

First off, if you want to keep things low-volume make sure you have the email preference Activity Summary enabled. It sends a summary email once a day with tracked topics. You can disable most everything else. You definitely want to set up tracking for what you want to receive in your summary (unless of course you want to see all threads). e.g. if you only care about dev topics then set the Development category to tracking.

One step up from the summary is actually the default mode of KDE Discuss. By default if you simply configure tracking as desired you’ll get a reasonable mix of notifications and a summary if you haven’t been around in a while.

The most intense setup is to activate mailing list mode. This operates like a mailing list and causes the highest volume of emails. You’ll want to set up email filtering to go along with this. I would definitely not recommend this unless you really care about all discussions on the entire site.

You should also note that you can reply by mail to threads, regardless of whether mailing list mode is enabled. It’s amazing!

And lastly: you can configure most anything, so if you find that you are getting too many emails or too few just head to the preferences and play with some of the options. I’m confident everyone is able to find a good mixture that makes the most out of KDE Discuss :)

Discuss this blog post on KDE Discuss.