Could we merge Exercism and Discourse notifications?

BTW (I know this is the wrong place to inject this, but I’m already flapping my keyboard here…) I find it annoying that the notifications for mentoring (student did a thing) and for activity in this forum are separate streams. Why do these not show up on the ‘bell’ of the main page?


I think that’s a really good idea!

The forum uses the Discourse software stack. The Exercism page is “in house” software and built entirely separate, prior to the adoption of the Discourse forum. Getting Exercism notifications into Discourse may require some Discourse plugins be built, assuming Discourse supports such a thing. Getting Discourse notifications into Exercism would require Discourse provide some API to expose and export that data.

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In general such an API does exist and is used by the official mobile clients. Though from my observations it is buggy…

As soon as the data has been accessed through the API any “counter” is removed, such that you do not see the “unread notifications” bubble anymore, and also the API reports 0 unread notifications. This results in the client popping the bubble for a second and on the next refresh, it disappears…

If both sites were to hoist that data out of Discourse via its buggy non-idempotent API, perhaps Exercism could present the notifications in a less buggy way…?

(I have noticed, over my years of use of various sorts of online discussion systems, that notification handling is fantastically buggy and hard to get right. It is an unfortunate part of the fabric of our universe…)

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The forums is Discourse, though. That would mean extracting data from Discourse to host elsewhere in order to find a way to import it back into Discourse where it can be consumed where it originated. Given that notifications currently work on both sites, the cost of combining the notifications may not be worth the benefit.

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I was thinking that ‘in-house’ software would simply take over the notifications icon’s worth of the discussion-page. The same software that displays and responds to the icon on the exercises-page. That way it wouldn’t need to be fed back to Discourse, and both sites would display the same realtime view of the same set of merged notification items.

Thanks @iHiD for transplanting this discussion to a better place. (And to Discourse for actually having the means to do so! So many discussion platforms do not…)