This old request is now [status-completed], but it was not implemented in the way proposed, with the ability to subscribe to specific answers and comment threads. I'm proposing to move it back into the [status-planned] stage.

The new favorite notification logic is not good enough. Both because it conflates two things, and is not fine-grained enough. I may want to favorite a question without being notified about its changes, but that option does not exist.

For example, the question "what is the best programming book" is worth saving as a favorite, but it changes too rapidly to subscribe to all its changes. Some users want favorite notifications turned off because it is too noisy.

There is no middle-ground between "all" and "none".

It also forces me to see changes to everything on a favorite question. Often I only care about changes to one answer, or changes on the question itself (its content or its comments) but not any of the answers. Again, no middle-ground.

For these reasons, I do not feel that sending notifications on all favorited questions is the right approach. There should be a way to request from the system specifically the notifications you want to see.

  • This is a dupe of both linked questions, but since I would also like Jeff to reconsider, I'm going to upvote instead of vote to close.
    – Jon Seigel
    Jun 8, 2010 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


Whenever I hear "fine-grained", I am reminded of this answer by waffles. :)

Maybe the way SO handles notifications is too "rough", but I, for one, am totally happy with it.

  • Maybe if we add another checkbox, which needs to be checked before you get to see the checkboxes... Jun 8, 2010 at 20:21
  • 4
    @Kevin Repeat after me: SO is not Facebook :) Sep 6, 2010 at 21:44
  • I just laughed out loud because I saw this question on page one, and thought the exact same thing that I answered here three months ago, just to discover I already answered it :)
    – Pekka
    Sep 6, 2010 at 21:46

For example, the question "what is the best programming book" is worth saving as a favorite, but it changes too rapidly to subscribe to all its changes

I humbly recommend you use the bookmarking function in your browser to bookmark it -- if that's the kind of "favorite" you want. Google Chrome has built-in shared bookmarks via your GMail account, as well.

Of course, you can also disable favorites notifications as well via the prefs tab on your user page.

In general I think people should be more careful about what they favorite; a lot of these grandfathered-in "best programming book evar!!" questions don't even belong on Stack Overflow in the first place. So what you're describing is treating the symptom of the disease (too many notifications on this favorite question!) rather than the disease itself (questions that change this often aren't really "questions", are they?).

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