Philip Newton (pne) wrote in suggestions,
Philip Newton
pne
suggestions

Auto-expiring subscriptions

Title
Auto-expiring subscriptions

Short, concise description of the idea
Have subscriptions (of the notification type) that can optionally expire automatically, deleting themselves after a certain period of time.

Full description of the idea
I recently reached the limit to the number of subscriptions I can have, so I got to go through my list and delete hundreds of subscriptions by hand, nearly all of them for comments on entries that were really old.

A very common use case for me is to subscribe to comments on a given entry so that if something "interesting" happens later on (such as a question getting answered), I'll hear about it without having to check the entry over and over again.

However, in most cases, activity on an entry drops off after a couple of days, so it would be handy if, when subscribing to comments, I could choose to have the subscription expire automatically after, say, a week -- then it would no longer count against the number of simultaneous subscriptions I have.

Then I could choose whether this is an entry that might get comments far in the future that I want to be notified about (no auto-expire) and whether it's a regular one (auto-expire).

Having two options (expire in one week/expire never) is fine for me; others may want more steps and/or a configurable expiration date.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Makes it harder for you to run up against the limit of the number of subscriptions
  • Keeps the subscription management page small-ish and faster to load, without clutter of lots of old ones
  • Less work for you to go through and delete old subscriptions off the management page yourself all the time
  • Possibly less resource use since when someone posts a comment, the system has fewer subscriptions to check to see whether this comment should trigger a notification for that user
  • Having an auto-expiry job batch-delete all subscriptions older than a week may run faster than someone deleting their older subscriptions one by one, thus saving load on servers
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • More UI complexity; an extra option which might scare users off
  • Has to be designed, coded, and tested
  • A new subscription expiry job has to run regularly to remove auto-expiring subscriptions, putting extra load on the servers
  • Such a feature may cause more users to use more subscriptions, increasing server load
Tags: notifications, § no status
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