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Notification of Events in ZMAW's Redmine

Abstract

  • The planned changes allow you to use a broader range of email notifications if you (or your project managers) are so inclined.
  • Users may easily reduce or increase email notifications. For users that did never change their email notification settings (> 90%), only the notifications on their own changes will increase.
  • 'Watch'ing allows you fine-grained control of the notifications you receive.
  • For events that do not support 'watch', Atom feeds are a viable alternative.

Status quo

Currently, Redmine only provides email notifications for added or changed issues. Notifications are sent to the author, to the assignee if there is one, and to all users who have decided to 'watch' the issue, or have been put on the watchers' list by the project manager.

How you may control email notifications

Fortunately, users have quite some control over the email notifications, as you will see when you go to "My account" in the top right menu bar of Redmine. Below "Email notifications" you may choose to get these

(1a)

only for things you watch or you're involved in. This means changes on items that you chose to 'watch' by the respective button, or items that are assigned to you. This option is set by default.

(1b)

for any event on selected projects, whether you are involved or not. This will allow to select some of your projects for which you will get all supported notifications. For your other projects, option (1a) applies.

(1c)

for any event on all your projects.

(1d)

only for things you're assigned to.

(1e)

only for things you own.

(2)

For all of these, you also get a notification for every change that you make yourself, as Redmine considers being the author as involvement. To avoid this, you may exclude these notifications by ticking the respective checkbox. By default this is unchecked. Beats us, why.

Another aspect of email notification control is your decision on what you want to 'watch'. Almost all items in Redmine feature a 'watch' button to register yourself as being interested in updates to this item. In general, you won't get a notification if you did not 'watch' the corresponding event. There are three notable exceptions:

  • Authors and assignees of an issue will always be considered for notification
  • When you post a message to a forum, Redmine puts you on the watchers' list for the corresponding thread. You may stop to watch the thread at any time by using the 'unwatch' button at the top of the message.
  • The project managers may decide to put you on the watchers' list of an issue. Even in this case, you may 'unwatch' any issue at any time.

What might change for you when we effect the new notifications

Now what happens, if we extend the supported notifications beyond issues? Of course, that depends on the notification options you have chosen.

(1a and 2): Interesting events not triggered by you

For this combination, nothing will change at all up until that point in time when you first chose to 'watch' one of the non-issue items.

(1a and not 2): All interesting events

This is the default and will apply for most of you.

Adding on to what has been said about (1a and 2), for your own changes, you will in future not only be notified when you change an issue, but also when you e.g. change a wiki page, post a message to a forum, or add a document. If this is not what you want, we recommend considering option (2)

(1c and 2): All events not triggered by you

In future, you will additionally receive notification on any non-issue events. If this is not what you want, we recommend being more selective about the projects by using option (1b) or (1a)

(1c and not 2): All events

Adding on to what has been said about (1c and 2), for your own changes, you will in future also be notified on non-issue changes. If this is not what you want, we recommend considering option (2)

(1b): All events from selected projects

This will allow you to compromise between (1c) for the selected projects and (1a) for all others. Option (2) is honored as described above.

What cannot be done (easily)

You may 'watch' a wiki index ('Index by title' or 'Index by date'). This is the only way to watch addition of wiki pages, but will also notify you on any page update.

Currently, there is no way to watch news, documents, or files. If you want to be notified on these events, you will have to request all events (1c) instead of only the ones you are interested in (1a).

There are two ways to mitigate this. Firstly, option (1b) allows you to restrict this to the projects where it really matters to you, thus keeping the noise at an acceptable level.

Secondly, and maybe more important, you may chose to use Atom feeds instead. Though these are not directly available for adding documents, files, or wiki pages, they are provided for the News page, and also for the Activity page, thus giving you the possibility to inform yourself on events using your news reader.

Note that by restricting the Activity view to 'Files' or 'Documents' before registering the Atom feed, you have an effective way of being notified on file or document changes (which is not possible otherwise).