170

We are happy to announce that the previously announced follow question and answer feature is now live across the Network, including Stack Overflow, all Stack Exchange sites, and all Meta sites. (International Stack Overflow sites will have it turned on in a day or two once we have translations all set.)

You can follow any question or answer (that you did not author) by clicking on the [follow] button that is shown in the menu immediately below the post (alongside the [share] button):

Get updates on questions and answers

After you have followed a post, you will get inbox notifications for all new answers (in the case where you followed a question), comments, edits, and notices. You will not receive notifications for any action that you performed. As was mentioned in the earlier post, we are not making changes at this point to the notifications received by a post owner, or due to @mentions.

The initial release had been planned to only include question following. Thanks to many folks who chipped in over the past few weeks, we are happy to release both question and answer following at the same time. These are available in both the regular and mobile views.

We are still planning on two more related releases:

  1. Follows profile tab and question listing filter: A tab for follows will be added to your user profile activity page. Each user will be able to view this tab that will provide a listing of followed questions and answers, with standard sorts, and the ability to unfollow from the listing. Users (with the exception of moderators and authorized staff) will not be able to see this information about other users (nor will it be made public in the API, SEDE, or data dumps).
  2. We will be renaming the Favorites feature to Bookmarks. As we mentioned in the preview post, the feature will be the same as Favorites, with the name and icon updated to more accurately represent user expectations and usage. And you will be able to both "bookmark" and "follow" a question.

We hope that this new feature will allow you to have better access to the content that you care about and want to keep tabs on.

Update (June 11, 2020): The user profile tab and the rename of Favorites to Bookmarks have been released.

  • 48
    Awesome. Very useful after downvoting or voting to close a question, especially as "unclear". Previously I had no way of knowing when a question was edited to be clear. Now I need to mass-follow questions. :D – Fabian Röling Mar 29 at 14:32
  • 13
    So ... with a million followers you'll become an influencer, right? – rene Mar 29 at 14:35
  • 14
    Maybe this should get [featured]? – Jenayah Mar 29 at 14:47
  • 39
    I’ve already dismissed the “Get updates on questions and answers” tooltip five times. Apparently, I have to do it separately on each site I visit. How can I mark it network-wide as already read? – Emil Jeřábek Mar 29 at 14:51
  • 9
    @EmilJeřábek Sorry, can't easily set it network-wide (the has-seen-popover setting is tied to a site user, not to a network account). Once it is loaded on a site and seen there, it should not show up on that site anymore for you. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 29 at 14:53
  • 2
    All right, never mind. Do you plan to remove the popover completely after some time, when people become familiar with the feature? – Emil Jeřábek Mar 29 at 15:02
  • 5
    @emil the one time popover will most likely be a permanent fixture for new users. We will probably eventually turn it off for users above a certain rep threshold. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 29 at 15:14
  • 4
    Got to say, I like it. I somehow missed this and the announcement of it. Either I need to come here more often, or this probably should be featured. Actually, probably both. – Chipster Mar 30 at 5:32
  • 4
    Do we really need this “Get updates on questions and answers” popup? Why not to remove it completely? – ks1322 Mar 30 at 12:33
  • 4
    @ks1322 We don't need it. But we want it. It is a useful way to advertise the new feature to users who otherwise would not notice it. We will eventually turn it off for users above a given rep threshold. But it will stay up for a little while in the beginning. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 12:49
  • 2
    In International Stack Overflow sites we'll have to wait for the translations (which is fine, I guess), but in International Stack Overflow meta sites the links are already enabled and in English. Thanks for the "consistency" (and for the - lack of - consideration that international sites have been receiving in the last years, regarding translation issues) – hkotsubo Mar 30 at 14:37
  • 2
    @hkotsubo sorry about that. It is already live on the Japanese and Russian sites, and Spanish and Portuguese should be up shortly. I have been working with the site mods on getting these translated, but we ended up launching a day earlier than we thought due to scheduling issues this week. So this is on me. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 14:42
  • 3
    @YaakovEllis "We will eventually turn it off for users above a given rep threshold" That's great news; thanks! – TylerH Mar 30 at 16:33
  • 3
    Would you mind to mark this as [featured]? I love the new feature, but I had missed the announcement so I had not upvoted it… – Bergi Apr 3 at 13:01
  • 4
    @YaakovEllis These notifications are not available in /me/inbox. How can I retrieve these notifications through the StackExchange API? It is needed to support this functionality: stackapps.com/questions/3780/… – Rob W Apr 5 at 22:21

44 Answers 44

90

: Whether or not the popup is dismissed is saved on the local site account for performance reasons. Saving it on the network account provides an unacceptable performance hit. However, the popup is now hidden for users with 15 rep or higher (so it will only be showing for brand new users).

Make the dismissal of the pop-up network-wide.

This popup:

enter image description here

Shows up when you see a question and haven't dismissed it yet. However, currently, you need to dismiss it separately on every site on the network, and as some users use many sites, this will equate to many useless clicks.

Just like the banner, I'd like it if dismissing it would remove it from all sites, as the feature is the same for each site.

| improve this answer | |
  • 8
    The user flags that record your having seen the one-time new feature popover are recorded on a per-user basis, and it is not trivial to record them for the network account. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 29 at 16:08
  • 19
    @YaakovEllis and yet every per-user profile page knows about every single network account of that particular user. Request doesn't seem outlandish to me, and it is an utter annoyance. Upvoted. – Mathieu Guindon Mar 29 at 18:10
  • 6
    @mathieu it is possible to retrieve. But it is an expensive lookup without a non trivial rework. Have to be extra careful with adding any db calls on the show question page (which accounts for most page loads on the network). No extra calls are needed for the current implementation. At sites of this scale, even one extra db call can be very widely felt. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 29 at 18:23
  • 6
    Just saying, maybe the non-trivial rework might be a good idea at some point. Keep up the good work! – Mathieu Guindon Mar 29 at 18:33
  • 13
    @YaakovEllis Can't store it in local cookies/session? That would solve the issue for a lot of people. – Robotnik Mar 29 at 22:24
  • 13
    Or just disable the feature in its totality untill you figure out a way to allow users to disable it globally.. It was annoying the first time it popped up, and I can assure you that it isn't any less annoying after the 10th time either. Or atleast make it less obscure so I can ignore it.. Because right now it scrolls with the page making it a constant eye sore, and it covers up part of the first comment, which makes for bad UX design – Remy Mar 30 at 8:09
  • 6
    @Remy it should only show up once per site. it is not something that should be an ongoing annoyance. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 8:18
  • 6
    @YaakovEllis with HNQ it shows dozens of time to the same user due to the number of sites featured there, even if it's once per site. – Ruslan Mar 30 at 11:42
  • 14
    @YaakovEllis Having just dismissed that notification for the umpteenth time since this was rolled out (and having probably a few dozen more waiting on the other sites I have an account on and didn't visit yet), I can assure you it already is an ongoing annoyance. (2 minutes later, dismissed another, this time on EE) – Dan Mašek Mar 30 at 11:56
  • 16
    @YaakovEllis It is of EXTREME annoyance. It is the only reason I came here. It is just horrible. – Vladimir F Mar 30 at 12:02
  • 12
    We only need to be told of the feature once. This should never ever have been rolled out in its current form, with a per-site balloon. When will SE learn about testing things? – Andrew Leach Mar 30 at 16:27
  • 9
    @YaakovEllis, I have accounts on ~115 sites and their metas. I'm not looking forward to dismissing that popup more than two hundred times. – Mark Mar 30 at 19:53
  • 8
    My userscript Dismiss New Follow Feature Popup On Active Sites will dismiss the "new follow feature" popup on every site on which you have an account. As with many people here, I found it very frustrating to need to dismiss this separately on each of the 344 sites where I have an account. – Makyen Mar 30 at 20:31
  • 7
    It's also obstructive - it hides important information, and must be dismissed in order to see that information. A banner or some other way of communicating the information without obstructing the question and comments - two of the main purposes of this site - would be far more friendly and useful. @YaakovEllis – GalacticCowboy Apr 1 at 13:12
  • 4
    arrrgh I HATE this popup thing – htmlcoderexe Apr 3 at 11:34
72

: The "follow" button is now located after "share" and "edit".


Could you move this button to the right?

enter image description here

We are used to the share button on the left, and the "edit" button on the second-left. It's not very user-friendly to change the order of those buttons, and wastes users' time whenever they try to perform the action they were trying to do the first time. =/

Also, as Fabian Röling commented, this view is inconsistent when viewing one's own posts as opposed to others' posts, as the "share" button appears first on the former while "follow" appears first on the latter.

| improve this answer | |
  • 8
    I like it in that position, even if it is not what I'm used to either. – Fabian Röling Mar 29 at 15:15
  • 36
    Mandatory XKCD: Every change breaks someone's workflow. – Jenayah Mar 29 at 15:51
  • 2
    If it's at the end it does not shake the entire list, just the one..................... – Dr. Shmuel Mar 29 at 17:19
  • 5
    I guess it won't take long to get used to it, but I've already clicked follow several times when I meant to click share. Muscle memory is a powerful thing... – PM 2Ring Mar 29 at 19:27
  • 8
    I've also clicked "share" so many times when trying to click on "edit". – Sonic the K-Day Hedgehog Mar 29 at 20:08
  • 1
    But if you put it at the end, people who are used to flag with the last button will be disoriented ! (+1 xkcd) – Pac0 Mar 29 at 22:24
  • 8
    Actually, I just noticed a more important point than "I'm used to it": The leftmost button is now "follow" everywhere except your own posts, where it is "share". That should be consistent, so on the right or as an additional button below "bookmark" would be good. – Fabian Röling Mar 30 at 0:24
  • 2
    Thanks for the feedback. We'll consider the position here. Of course, if we move it after share, then will be the same issue with "muscle memory for the edit button" as well… – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 8:14
  • 3
    @Yaakov If I understood Suvitruf's suggestion properly, the idea is to move it to the end of the list of actions. That is, after flag. – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Mar 30 at 8:23
  • 2
    @fedorqui yes, I understand. That is the suggestion in the answer. The comments also have suggestions to move to after share and after edit as well. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 8:27
  • 3
    Another reason to move it to the end of these options, is that following a single post is the least useful feature of the entire site. – Holger Mar 30 at 8:34
  • @Pac0 Not true; people who are used to clicking flag will still click flag, because they almost certainly click on it as "option in the 4th position" rather than "let me click whatever is at the end of the list". At the very least this holds true for LTR language sites which is all of them with the exception of maybe Japanese SO. – TylerH Mar 30 at 13:22
  • 1
    @TylerH "they almost certainly click on it as "option in the 4th position"" I'd love to see any UI/UX proper source / research for this claim. – Pac0 Mar 30 at 13:24
  • 2
    @Pac0 Plenty has been done; look up the Gutenberg Principle and the Z pattern under the subject of UX. It has been well documented for a long time that our attention and our cursors start out at the left and move to the right on screens, and the reason for that is because our language(s) are LTR languages. – TylerH Mar 30 at 13:35
  • 14
    Update: the follow link has been moved to be after share edit (so it will always be in a consistent position. – Yaakov Ellis Apr 1 at 13:03
40

Can we not get follow notifications for comments which reply to us (as that reply already creates it's own notification)?

At the moment if I comment on a question and then follow it, and get a reply I get two notifications for the same comment which seems unnecessary.

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    Generally, multiple notifications per post should probably be collapsed into one. – deceze Mar 30 at 7:40
  • 5
    Thanks @someone_evil. This is something that was supposed to happen but obviously needs to be fixed. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 8:58
  • 2
    This is now fixed – Yaakov Ellis Apr 28 at 9:12
  • 1
    @YaakovEllis Hate to bug you with it, but it appears to be back – Someone_Evil May 7 at 14:29
  • 1
    @Someone_Evil well gosh darnit – Yaakov Ellis May 7 at 15:34
  • This was fixed again a while back. Can no longer repro. – Yaakov Ellis Aug 5 at 11:07
38

The search operators should be updated:

Without search, it’s just too tedious to find a post when you’ve followed/bookmarked a non-trivial number of posts.

| improve this answer | |
27

When one follows a post, change the following wording to unfollow, to better convey that this is a toggle button, and keep the logic consistent with a verb/verb pair rather than a verb/gerund pair (plus the tooltip reads "unfollow").

| improve this answer | |
  • 7
    I thought about this as well but I see how following has value as well. Not convinced unfollow is a better call to action. – rene Mar 29 at 18:57
  • 5
    It's like subscribe button on YouTube. When you click on "Subscribe", it changes to "Subscribed" not "Unsubscribe" 😅 – Kulfy Mar 30 at 3:12
  • 5
    I realize that the word types are not consistent. But we think that this setup presents the clearest UX to users. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 9:03
  • 5
    I would prefer if it was always a verb tense. Follow/Unfollow seems much more natural. You expect to click a verb. I don't expect to click an adjective "following". – UuDdLrLrSs Mar 30 at 15:01
26

Strange behavior when trying to follow deleted answer.

enter image description here

  1. Follow deleted message.
  2. Text changed to following. And it's not clickable anymore.
  3. After refreshing the page the text becomes follow again.
| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    The follow button is no longer available on deleted posts – Yaakov Ellis Apr 1 at 13:04
  • 18
    @YaakovEllis Why not? You could get notified when it gets un-deleted. – Fabian Röling Apr 1 at 16:38
  • @FabianRöling: Presumably hiding the option is the band-aid way to fix (don't show UI features that don't work); hopefully in future a proper fix will be implemented. (Just my guesswork; agreed it would be something you might want to do.) – Peter Cordes Apr 12 at 0:35
23

There is a popup and a tooltip on the following button and together they read kind of strange:

  • the popup says "follow this answer to receive notifications"... But if it's in following state, I'm already following it, am I not?
  • a tooltip says clicking the button will unfollow the answer, this is contradictory to the above

double tooltips

Suggestion: as both the popup and the tooltip are supposed to read the same thing (at least I think so given what the follow popup/tooltip pair reads; see the screenshots here), just get rid of one of them, keeping whichever increases accessibility the most.

| improve this answer | |
  • According to WAI Authoring Practices a button element may use aria-label or aria-labelledby for a more descriptive label, and aria-describedby to point to an element that gives a more detailed description of its action. Interestingly, the follow button already has an aria-describedby attribute pointing to the tooltip element, so the title attribute is redundant. – Heretic Monkey Mar 30 at 13:44
  • This has been fixed. Tooltips should now operate in a more sane way. – Yaakov Ellis Apr 1 at 13:03
15

Members still receive notifications, even though the post was deleted and it can't be seen 'cause of low reputation.

  1. Follow the post.
  2. Author deletes the post.
  3. Author of the original post leaves the comment (probable I can leave message under the deleted post because I'm a moderator).
  4. Member receive notification. But when he click on it to open, he receives 404 error (if he has low reputation).

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Only diamonds can comment on deleted content. Author can't. – Catija Mar 30 at 6:02
  • 1
    @Catija yes, but still the bug with notification) – Suvitruf - Andrei Apanasik Mar 30 at 6:13
  • 4
    This has been fixed. Deleted posts and comments for which you received a follow notification should now result in the notification being deleted as well (which is the standard behavior for other notifications related to deleted posts/comments) – Yaakov Ellis Apr 5 at 14:06
14

The links are now working (see below), but IMHO the 'followed question – answer' takes up too much vertical space, and there's a lot of unused whitespace on the right. Perhaps this can be used to make it more compact?

enter image description here


The updates are displayed in the global inbox but the links aren't working; they link to the inbox itself, not to the question or answer, as is the case for other notification types.

enter image description here

Also, the notification type is a generic "message" while the inbox dialog shows something like 'followed question – comment'.

| improve this answer | |
  • The 'followed question – comment' template, especially 'followed question – answer', looks odd. Maybe replace it with something along the lines of 'answer to a followed question', 'comment on a followed answer'? – Jenayah Mar 29 at 16:38
  • The links work for me. – Alex Mar 29 at 18:43
  • @Alex it's been fixed then (or wasn't deployed at the time, maybe) – Jenayah Mar 29 at 19:14
  • 1
    Update: The inbox type column on the global inbox no longer wraps – Yaakov Ellis Apr 1 at 13:05
13

Inconsistent use of English contractions:

You are no longer following this question

You’re following this question

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    We are now using "You’re" more consistently here. Thanks – Yaakov Ellis Apr 5 at 16:28
12

Have the follow link as a icon button to the left of the post (Question & Answer) Similar to Timeline and the Favorites (soon to be Bookmark)

It would keep the links at the bottom of the post unchanged.

Would need to think about how it may clutter that left side, but it would be a reasonable action grouping in that location

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    I agree that would be a more logical location. I don't mind it being in the same line as the share, edit, & flag links, but if it has to be in that line I'd much rather it be at the end of the line, not at the start, where I expect the share link. – PM 2Ring Mar 29 at 19:32
  • 4
    Thanks for the suggestion @nkosi. The link is going to stay on the bottom for the time being. We have a project in the planning stages to give a refresh to the layout of the post (including side and bottom menus), and ideas similar to yours are under discussion there. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 9:23
8

Please standardise the use of pop-ups. This is a view of the "default" pop-up:

enter image description here

This is a view of the follow pop-up:

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    Yes, they are inconsistent. We have a lot of tech debt in this area, and are not going to be addressing it as part of the current project (it is more than just this one tooltip). We are planning a general UI refresh of the post header/menu, and will be taking care of all of this stuff at that time. – Yaakov Ellis Apr 1 at 21:30
7

The follow tooltip is displayed under very specific conditions, which are not "user natural".


Steps to reproduce (Windows 10, Firefox 74.0):

  1. Pick a post you have never, ever followed

  2. Hover over the follow button; this is what you should see (popup but no tooltip):

    popup but no tooltip

  3. Follow the post by clicking the follow button; the text changes into following

  4. Unfollow the post by clicking following

  5. Repeat step 2, namely hover over the follow button; notice that now there's a tooltip:

    same as above with a tooltip added

This is already buggy behaviour, but you can take it further:

  1. Reload the page (you're still not following the post)

  2. Repeat step 2, namely hover over the follow button; the tooltip disappeared again:

    same as first screenshot: no tooltip

| improve this answer | |
  • Update: tooltips have been fixed and now work in a more sane manner – Yaakov Ellis Apr 1 at 13:06
7

On Google Chrome for Android, when not using the responsive design, the arrow does not point to follow. In the screenshot below it instead points to close:

enter image description here

Update 2020-04-01: the bug is still present, e.g on Is Traveling to France in September Safe Concerning the COVID-19 Pandemic?:

enter image description here

Update 2020-04-05: the bug is still present, e.g on Is Traveling to France in September Safe Concerning the COVID-19 Pandemic?

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Update: The popover should now point to the follow link properly on both mobile and regular views. – Yaakov Ellis Apr 1 at 13:07
  • @YaakovEllis thanks, the bug is still present, e.g see updated answer. – Franck Dernoncourt Apr 1 at 13:11
  • 2
    Yeah, I see. I fixed it before moving the following link to the right, so now have to undo my first "fix" – Yaakov Ellis Apr 1 at 13:14
  • Arrow should now be pointing to the link in both regular and mobile views. – Yaakov Ellis Apr 5 at 16:29
  • @YaakovEllis thanks, the bug is still present, e.g see updated answer. – Franck Dernoncourt Apr 5 at 16:37
7

I was following this answer, waiting for an update from Yaakov on a pending bug report's fix.

When the post was edited, I correctly received a notification. However, the wording of such notification seems to be specific to Stack Overflow posts, as it says "followed answer - code edited." Given there was no code to edit, that seems to be a bit off.

Here's a link to where it points me, if that's relevant at all.

Could this be changed to "body edited" or "post edited," so that the wording can apply across all networks?

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    There is code in place that attempts to identify whether or not code is being modified in the edit. So it is not a SO-specific function. It will only include "code edited" if this is detected. Otherwise will be "followed answer — edited". – Yaakov Ellis Jul 7 at 15:46
  • 1
    @YaakovEllis Ahh, I see now. That makes sense. Cheers for the update :) – Spevacus Jul 7 at 15:57
6

It looks like following a question only alerts you to activity on the question proper, but not activity on answers to the question. Thus if you truly want to completely follow a thread you would have to individually follow each answer in addition to following the question.

Can you make it that following the question automatically follows all answers that are (or will be) posted to that question? Or if there are people that might not want to follow every answer, can you make it a selectable option to follow all answers along with the question?

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    "Or if there are people that might not want to follow every answer" Definitely me! And I would imagine that a lot of users don't want that to be the default. If I follow a question, I don't want to be notified of every comment/edit on every answer that question receives. Imagine on Meta where questions usually receive tons of answers and comments. – 41686d6564 Mar 29 at 15:23
  • 5
    I would say that even making it a selectable option isn't worth it. Right now, if you follow a question, you'll get notified of every answer. If you're really that interested, you'll go ahead and read every answer you get notified of. Then, you can follow those answers (or some of them) while you're at it. – 41686d6564 Mar 29 at 15:26
  • 1
    Huge no. It will flood the inbox. Additional "super follow" option will be fine. – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Mar 30 at 7:16
  • 2
    We are definitely not going to make a question subscribe auto-subscribe to all answers, for reasons that other comments have outlined. And as far as making it optional to auto-follow answers: while that is not going to be happening in the near future, it is something that we will keep in mind for potential additions in the future. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 9:26
6

Please add the ability to follow deleted posts; from this comment it appears it was planned (the button appeared) but dropped:

The follow button is no longer available on deleted posts – Yaakov Ellis♦

There's a couple reasons why one may want to follow deleted posts: checking if the author revamped the post, to possibly cast an undelete vote on it, etc.


Related question: if I follow a post that is later deleted, is it:

  1. removed from my follow list, and

  2. do I get a notification about it? I'm not sure if deletions are covered by the "notices":

    you will get inbox notifications for all new answers (in the case where you followed a question), comments, edits, and notices.

| improve this answer | |
6

When following fails and the server responds with an error, a non-existent variable is referenced, resulting in a JS error. As a result, the error message from the server is not displayed.

Easiest way to reproduce is to press the "Follow" button on a deleted answer. The server responds with "This post has been deleted; deleted posts can't be voted on", but this message doesn't get displayed in the UI.

In the follow function, there is:

submit({
    $target: $followBtn,
    postId: postId,
    voteTypeId: voteTypeIds.follow,
    undo: originalIsFollowing, // if it is currently following, that means that we now have to undo the vote
    success: function(clicked, pid, data) {
        if (!data.Success) {
            updateUI(originalIsFollowing); // <---------------------
            showErrorMessage($followBtn, data.Message);
        } else {

The problem is that there is no such variable named updateUI in scope, so the error visible in the console is

Uncaught ReferenceError: updateUI is not defined

(this is also one of the very few variables which didn't get minified - which makes sense, because there's no known identifier to minify)

This was probably meant to be a reference to updateFollowUI, which is a function in scope there, whose parameters are ($followBtn, isQuestion, isFollowing), so the line should probably be

if (!data.Success) {
    updateFollowUI($followBtn, isQuestion, originalIsFollowing);

Using the above code results in the error message from the server being displayed properly, and the follow button text reverts to Follow per updateFollowUI, as desired.

Could also remove the follow button entirely from deleted answers, as is currently done with questions.

| improve this answer | |
6

When a followed, deleted question is navigated to, updateFollowUI throws an error, resulting in most site Javascript failing to execute.

To reproduce:

  • Have 10k+ reputation, so you can see deleted posts

  • Follow a question that's very close to being deleted

  • Wait until it's deleted (cast the 3rd vote yourself if you want)

  • Reload the question page

You may notice that the page was generated without the Follow/Following link at the bottom. If you open the console, you will see an error.

enter image description here

If you try to interact with any of the Javascript on the page, it will not function. For example, clicking to expand a long comment chain will result in the <a class="js-show-link comments-link" href="#"> moving the viewport to the top of the page, and nothing else. Clicking on Reopen/Undelete/Flag has the same behavior. The topbar dropdowns (messages/reputation) don't appear either, they just become normal links.

The problem is due to the fact that the deleted question was generated without a Follow/Following link, and the updateFollowUI function has:

var updateFollowUI = function ($followBtn, isQuestion, isFollowing) {
    if (!$followBtn) {
        return;
    }
    // ...
    var currentGpsTrack = $followBtn.data('gps-track');
    var newGpsTrack = currentGpsTrack.replace(/item:[ ]?[\d]+/, "item: " + newTrackItemType);

The $followBtn parameter is expected to be something like $('.js-follow-post'), the Follow/Following button wrapped in jQuery. The if (!$followBtn) return checks to see if the parameter is truthy - but it's a jQuery collection, so it is truthy, even if no .js-follow-post elements matched the selector. If the collection has no elements, $followBtn.data('gps-track') returns undefined, so currentGpsTrack.replace throws.

The fix might be to replace

if (!$followBtn) {
    return;
}

with

if (!$followBtn.length) {
    return;
}

On my end, at least, if I do that, everything starts working again.

Could also be fixed by excluding Follow stats (VoteTypeId:21) from the votesCast passed to StackExchange.question.init when the question is deleted.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I encountered a similar issue described here. When I navigate to a page with an answer I was following that was deleted, most of the functionalities are disabled and I get an error in the browsers console – Tomerikoo Apr 5 at 9:08
  • 1
    fixed, thanks for reporting this. – Yaakov Ellis Apr 5 at 16:31
5

Can we have a one-time option to follow all our bookmarks nées favourites, network-wide? It can be a time-limited offer, buried somewhere in the options, and a butt-ugly button.

I am asking because I would want to follow most of the questions I have favourited, but don’t want to go through all of them to manually follow them. I can still unfollow the exceptions when I ever get a notification due to this.

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  • It's worse for me: I originally expected "favourite" to be like "follow", then when I realised that wasn't true, I migrated all my favourites to a list of links in Google Tasks "check later" and now I need to migrate it all back. But I guess having some UI thing in which I can mass-paste links to follow is too much to ask for, barely anybody except me would use that. – Fabian Röling Mar 29 at 21:07
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    I feel your pain. But we just don't have the time to spend on this. However, we will consider adding a follow button on the favorites tab in your profile (no promises) – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 9:33
5

As one of the people who missed the announcement of this feature, I was baffled by the tooltip with the ringing bell graphic. I did not see the little triangle which points to the "follow" link. I interpreted it as a button. I clicked on it, and nothing appeared to happen.

Consider finding a way to visually emphasise the tooltip's relationship to the "follow" link more. Maybe make the triangle stand out better. Maybe even change the wording to mention the "follow" link.

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5

Feature request: please add some sort of preference so that when I follow a question I only get notified to answers and don't get notifications about comments.

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  • 1
    You could use [tag:feature-request]. – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Apr 28 at 16:00
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    @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q Huh, did not know I could do that. Thanks! – Matthew Cline Apr 29 at 13:13
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    If this is implemented, please make it optional. On some questions, I'd like to follow the comments. (What about edits? Comments to answers?) – Stephan Kolassa May 1 at 9:33
5

Add a Following tab in the user profile, perhaps next to Bookmarks that shows the list of questions you are following:

enter image description here

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  • 3
    This is part of the original scope of functionality, being worked on right now. – Yaakov Ellis May 14 at 16:29
  • @YaakovEllis: Indeed, thanks! – Werner May 14 at 16:42
5

When a question that is being followed is deleted, there's no apparent way to stop following it. For example, for me in the Math SE, there's the second entry below:

List of followed items showing a deleted post

When I click on that entry to see the post, there's no indication anywhere on how I may possibly unfollow it:

Deleted post being followed

If I instead click the "View More" link at the bottom of the "Followed Posts" section, I get a list of the followed posts, as shown below:

List of followed posts

Unfortunately, clicking the red "Unfollow" link here gives the following error message:

Error message when try to unfollow a deleted post

This seems like a somewhat inappropriate error message as I'm not trying to "vote" on it.

I don't see anything else to try. Is there any current way to allow us to stop following a deleted post and, if not, are there any plans to add one (e.g., perhaps allow the "Unfollow" link to work for a deleted post)?

Update: A closely related question How do I unfollow a deleted question? has been updated to ask about this same issue.

Update #2: As stated in Cannot unfollow locked post from Following tab, this has now been fixed, as I've confirmed by clicking on "Unfollow" to get the following

Deleted post now unfollowed

with the entry disappearing when I refresh the list.

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    Hmm, this is a good point. While it's technically a "vote" behind the scenes, it should probably be treated as a special case here. – Adam Lear Jun 11 at 22:45
  • @AdamLear If it's a vote, then why doesn't it show up as such in the VoteTypes table in SEDE? – Ollie Sep 28 at 20:17
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    @Ollie Post follows are private, so we don't export them to SEDE and there's no need to export the vote type id either. – Adam Lear Sep 28 at 22:44
4

Add the ability to unfollow one's own question or answer.

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  • Hmm. I thought that too at first, but I'm not really sure how I feel about it. – Chipster Mar 30 at 5:39
  • Post dissociation accomplishes this somewhat. – Sonic the K-Day Hedgehog Mar 30 at 6:47
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog but it is not reversible and mods have to manually approve it, right? – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 30 at 6:49
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    I highlighted this on the original preview post as something that we were thinking about, but are not doing yet, and we were looking for feedback on this. Adding the ability for a post owner to no longer receive notifications has the potential to break some implicit social contracts that have long been in existence on the site (relating to the OP's role as post caretaker) and doing so can have some potentially big repercussions. We invited discussion there and no one responded. – Yaakov Ellis Mar 30 at 9:38
  • I agree with @Yaakov here. I believe this will cause more harm than good, overall. – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Mar 30 at 9:59
  • @YaakovEllis thanks I hadn't seen this post. I added the feature request there: meta.stackexchange.com/a/345718/178179 – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 30 at 10:05
  • @ShadowWizardisEarForYou Yaakov didn't take a stance in their comments, they just raised some potential issues. – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 30 at 10:06
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    @Franck I know, I agree with the part he said it will break something, hence more harm than good and the reason I am against it. – Shadow 10 Years Wizard Mar 30 at 11:23
4

The 'follow' link is also visible when expanding a post in the moderator flag dashboard, but when I click it, I get the message you usually get when unfollowing a post, and I end up not following the post.

enter image description here

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4

Pluralisation issue in the "Following" tab:

screenshot of a followed question with a single answer

This should read 1 answer, without the extra s, to be correct and consistent with what's written when you read the question:

question page showing no extra "s"

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    Do we still get blundgeoned for pluralisation bugs? – Jenayah Jun 11 at 20:16
  • Also happens with "1 followed posts" if you're following only 1 post. – pppery Jun 14 at 0:53
  • No, because Jeff Atwood has left SE and therefore can no longer bludgeon us. – pppery Jun 14 at 0:54
4

Just like we have a list of all favorites bookmarks across the network in our network profile, can we have one for followed posts as well? Or would such a feature have severe performance problems? (I don't know how the account list and the bookmarks list work, whether you're querying those from a single database or (less likely) 170+ calls to each database.)

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    Realistically speaking, I don't think we'll have the bandwidth for this unless it's turns out to be an overwhelmingly requested thing, but I'll bring it up internally. Off-hand, the implementation here would likely look like another DB table, aggregator bits to sync follows into it, plus the se.com views for display. – Adam Lear Jun 11 at 22:57
4

When I'm following only questions, and filter on 'Answers only' in the following tab on my profile, it says

You are not following any posts.

Strictly speaking this isn't true; better would be to change that to "You are not following any answers."

enter image description here

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4

Make signage of "accepted answer", "non-accepted answer", "question with no accepted answer" and "question with an accepted answer" consistent between tabs.

For instance, this is how it's shown in the new "Following" tab:

three followed posts, a regular answer (grey A), an accepted answer (green A + checkmark icon), a question with an accepted answer (grey Q + checkmakr icon)

This is how these same posts are seen from the "Newest posts" tab in the front user profile:

same posts as above, but no checkmark icon, the Q is green

Sometimes the checkmark appears as an icon, sometimes it doesn't, in which case the Q or A logo is coloured in green, when it was still grey (for the Qs) in the Following tab... This is inconsistent (confusing?) signage.

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