Making announcements silent by default

For some reason, the "Announcements" category has "Watching first post" notifications enabled by default. But these announcements are for (Racket-related) conferences and workshops, which is just spam/noise to me, and I suspect also for many other people.

I don't mind notifications from the core dev team, say about new releases of Racket though, or a Racket meeting maybe — these are legitimate given the nature of this forum.

Note: I know I can remove the Watch first post on this category, but I think that's the wrong fix, as all new users will be bothered similarly.


I've not been able to find a way to do this, so I've asked on the meta.discourse site.

I read @Laurent.O's question differently, I think, than what you asked there.

I thought of the "Announcements" category as being similar to the (former, I think) mailing list, which was described as:

A low-volume, moderated list for announcements, only. (These are posted on the users list too, no need to subscribe to both.)

Here are all of the posts that were made to that list in the year 2017:

Those sorts of things are in the "Announcements" category, but it's also been getting posts like conference calls for papers that were formerly sent only to the racket-users list. Those things certainly fit within the normal meaning of the word "announcements", but I think there's value in marking some narrower category of announcements—maybe something more like "announcements from Racket" than "things you want to announce to Racketeers." I don't think it needs to be quite as low-volume as the old announce list, necessarily.

Rather than making "Announcements" silent by default, I'd suggest keeping it to things that are justified in being noisy by default. (I'd be equally happy with leaving "Announcements" in its current role, but without the default notifications, and calling the low-volume-with-default-notifications category something else.)

For example, I use mailing-list mode just as I was (am) subscribed to the users list, and I wouldn't want to get emails for everything except announcements. But "Announcements" is even more "noisy" than that: posts show up as notifications in the web UI.

I think that's a reasonable default for release announcements and a little bit more, but probably for a narrower category than the current "Announcements".

(Though obviously it hasn't bothered me enough to change my settings.)

P.S. I don't know where the source of is, but it looks like it's in need of some updates, e.g. re the end of the racket-dev list.


Who can post in "Announcements"? Is it possible to restrict that to the core team or something like that?

Another possibility is to rename it to something more verbose like "Official Announcements from the Racket team". With the current name, it looks sensible to use it to announce a conference.


Anyone can post in announcements. we could make another category. (They are free.)

An option is the community to agree what is suitable for announcements and we change the category guidance.

Should PL conference announcements be in the ‘Uncategorised’ category? (Perhaps use the event and conference tags?)

  • Yes
  • No
  • Other

0 voters

I voted other, thinking of a "other announcements" category but I just saw that tags have the same options as categories regarding notifications so either should be fine. Are there any significant differences between tags and categories?

They have the same notification settings as categories:

I'd favor a technical restriction on "Announcements" (or, if we keep "Announcements" for its current purpose, for the category with the notification settings we currently have on "Announcements").

I can imagine a restriction being perceived as unfriendly, but I think actually it would be a way of helping potential posters. If I had a conference to announce, "Announcements" is probably the category I'd pick, and then I'd be chagrined that it had special semantics and I was actually being noisier than I'd intended to be. If we have a category (or tag, or whatever mechanism seems good) with special notification settings, I think we should have a technical mechanism to help people avoid mistakes.

1 Like

In an effort to stay within the description of the Announcements category I’ll be putting Racket Meet-up announcements in the General category and tagging it as event and meet-up

Like this

I’ll encourage others - including conference announcements and ‘call for papers/submissions/contributions’-type announcements to do the same.

Making use of the tags makes it easier for people who want these notifications find them, while letting those who are not interested filter them out.

Keep on trucking