6

Until very recently, if I had pending inbox notifications I could visit the inbox tab on my network profile to get a preview. Doing so did not clear the notification in the topbar or mark anything as read.

I find this behavior very useful. Often my primary interface to SE is the mobile site on my phone. Some site functions are difficult to use on a phone, including chat and anything having to do with moderation. Other things are easier to deal with. The network-profile inbox allows me to cherry-pick, handling the easy things and/or the things that are time-sensitive that I should do even on my phone, without risking losing track of notifications that I decide to defer. Later, when I'm using a desktop computer, I view all the notifications, handling the ones I haven't handled already and implicitly marking everything as read. I do not mind that I spend a moment looking at a notification for something I've already handled; that's better than clearing notifications for things I haven't handled.

The behavior of the network profile changed 18-24 hours ago. Now, visiting the inbox tab clears all notifications, just as if I had clicked on the inbox in the topbar.

I assume this new behavior was an accident. (I found no discussion here on MSE. No, not this from 2012.) I can't think of a reason to prefer the new behavior; per-site inboxes aren't synched with the topbar either, so why should the network profile -- which has even wider impact than a single site -- be so synched? Further, the network profile's inbox doesn't discriminate between new and old notifications or show a counter; no state changes (other than this new behavior) if you visit that tab. It's counter-intuitive to me that it should now change topbar state, and it's disruptive to my ability to moderate.

8

This is why it's so important, when reporting minor inconsistencies here on meta...

Even going to my Network Profile global inbox tab did not "fix" this, got today another email with the same date as yesterday.

...to remember that occasionally they get fixed

The logic for updating that date was broken by inbox changes in May 2015, which is why many users see "last checked" dates around then. It had been fixed, and will now update appropriately whenever you open the inbox in the top bar or view it on StackExchange.com.

Yup. For the sake of an accurate date at the bottom of emails, it's no longer possible to cherry-pick from among unread notifications by visiting the inbox tab on your network profile. PEDANTRY MURDERS CHILDREN!

Fortunately, there's a simple work-around: visiting https://stackexchange.com/users/inbox/505925 (where 505925 is whatever your network account ID happens to be) will give you the same information without marking anything unread. I bookmarked this on mobile, and now it's as convenient as ever to quickly check my inbox without losing track of when I last did a thorough sweep.

  • Thanks for the workaround! This would have been extremely irritating otherwise (enough that I just might have made a FR to remove that date from email -- I mean c'mon, why do we care about that anyway?). – Monica Cellio Aug 16 '17 at 19:22

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