It is with great excitement that I can announce "subscribe" comments on issues are now dead! Long live issue following! Issue e-mail notifications are also improved.

Almost exactly 6 years after #34496: [meta] Add Flag module to allow users to subscribe/unsubscribe without posting a comment was originally posted, this feature is finally done and deployed on If you notice any problems, please go to #1306554: QA for issue following on and comment there.

Summary of changes

In the past, you had to comment on an issue in order to keep track of it, commonly done by posting "subscribe" (or variations thereof). Popular issues gained plenty of such comments, making it hard for contributors to distill the important and useful information in an issue.

You are now able to "follow" issues by clicking a button, without commenting on them. You can also "unfollow" issues, even ones you had to comment on but you are not really interested in. Lastly, you can now configure for which projects and issues you want to get e-mail notifications.


First, I'd like to thank the sponsors that made this possible:

Drupal Community logo
The 88 members of the community that contributed to the 2 chip-ins to raise a total of $2777.27 towards the original goal of $7,000.

Drupal Association logo
NodeOne logo

This sponsorship allowed 3281d Consulting to focus on this project and get it deployed ASAP.

Changes to how we work in the issue queues

There are two big inter-related changes as part of this effort: how we interact with issues on, and changes to the issue e-mail notification functionality.

Working with issues on

The most obvious change is that when you're viewing an issue on, you will now see a large green "Follow" button in the upper right corner:

Issue follow UI step 1: Follow

Clicking the "Follow" button will use AJAX to flag the issue as one you are following. This will trigger two things: 1) the issue appears in the "Your Posts" and "Your Issues" lists (both on your dashboard and the separate tabs on your profile), and 2), the "Follow" button will be replaced with "Following", to indicate you're now following the issue.

Issue follow UI step 2: Following

If you hover over or put the keyboard focus on this "Following" link, it will turn into an "Unfollow" button:

Issue follow UI step 3: Unfollow

You can even unfollow issues if you wrote them or commented on them. Whenever you click the "Unfollow" button the issue will disappear from your tracker and you will stop getting e-mail notifications about it (if you get e-mail notifications at all).

Issue e-mail notifications

You can optionally configure to send you an e-mail notification about updates to issues you care about. In the past, this functionality has been somewhat hidden, so a lot of users do not make use of this feature. Now, there is a centralized page to manage all of your issue e-mail notification settings, on the new "Notifications" tab on your account profile page:

Issue e-mail notification UI: default

This page lets you opt-in to e-mail notifications for issues on By default, you get no e-mail at all. You can define both a site-wide default and per-project overrides. A very common configuration would be to just set the Default notification to "Issues you follow":

Issue e-mail notification UI: all issues you follow

If you maintain some projects on or are otherwise particularly interested in their issue queues, you can also specify per-project overrides of the site-wide default. So for example, another common configuration might be to get notifications for all issues you follow, but to also get notifications about "All issues" in a few specific projects you most care about:

Issue e-mail notification UI: per-project overrides

In the past, there was no way to define a site-wide setting, so users often had to configure e-mail notifications across a large number of projects. If you used to be subscribed to 50 or more projects with the "Own issues" setting, that was converted as part of the deployment into a single site-wide default.

The final change to the e-mail notification functionality is that you can now customize the contents of the e-mails themselves. Previously, you always got the entire issue history included in each notification. If you expand the "Configure e-mail contents" fieldset, you'll see the ability to only get the new content in each notification and some checkboxes to control what appears in the subject line of the messages:

Issue e-mail notification UI: configure contents

There are more ideas to further improve the issue e-mail notification experience, so be sure to read the "Future work" section below.


While the financial sponsorship was critical to allowing me to spend the time I needed to drive this home, tons of other people contributed to help make this a reality.

  • Daniel F. Kudwien (sun) and Chad Phillips (hunmonk) wrote and reviewed many patches related to this effort.
  • Leisa Reichelt (leisareichelt) started the Prairie Initiative which has been instrumental in raising awareness about the need to fix the collaboration tools on She also provided lots of extremely helpful user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) feedback.
  • Roy Scholten (yoroy) and Bojhan Somers (Bojhan) provided extensive usability, user interface and user experience reviews and suggestions.
  • Everett Zufelt (Everett Zufelt) provided accessibility reviews and feedback.
  • Angela Byron (webchick) helped herding cats, reviewing things, testing, giving feedback, and generally was awesome (as always).
  • Narayan Newton (nnewton), Gerhard Killesreiter (killes) and Neil Drumm (drumm) did performance reviews, got the staging site up, and provided general Infrastructure Team goodness.
  • Nathan Haug (quicksketch) answered a lot of questions about the internals of the Flag module for the data migration, and helped trying to get the new follow UI working smoothly.
  • Jerad Bitner (sirkitree) and Moshe Weitzman (moshe weitzman) wrote the initial patches for a couple of the key issues.
  • dereine, amateescu, eliza411, ksenzee, Caligan, xjm, Crell, jhodgdon, pillarsdotnet, timplunkett, naught101, kathyh__, wizonesolutions, techninja, hefox, jwalling, joshuabud, otseld, and torthu helped test the upgrade-while-live data migration code.
  • Lisa Rex (lisarex) helped edit this post.
  • Everyone else who contributed reviews, testing or implementation suggestions for all the issues related to getting this done.

Future work

As exciting as all of this is, of course there's always more work to do. Generally, we've been using the flag integration issue tag to keep track of things related to this effort. See also the notifications tag. You can also check out the Expand "follow" functionality on community initiative page.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to return to other commitments, so I can't just continue to pour unlimited time into getting all of these issues done, UX reviews, code reviews, etc. So, if anyone wants to step up and claim any of these issues to drive them to completion, that would be greatly appreciated.

-Derek Wright (dww)

p.s. Additional history is available at The history of how we killed "subscribe" comments on for the interested reader...


AdrianB’s picture

Subscr... just kidding, this is awsome, thanks for all the hard work!

wjaspers’s picture

Oh sweet JESUS ... THANK YOU ... a thousand times THANK YOU!!!!!

mrfelton’s picture

Very cool, long overdue, nice work!

Tom - drupal development. drupal training. drupal support.

dww’s picture

This post was getting too long, so I moved a section I wrote about the history of this project over to the 3281d Consulting blog:

The history of how we killed "subscribe" comments on

My professional services are available through 3281d Consulting

Fabianx’s picture

Yes! Finally!!!

That is really great that this is finally done!

beeradb’s picture


beeradb’s picture

Sorry, just wanted to get it in once more, for the memories. Great job to everyone involved.

jbova’s picture

I concur. Great job everyone!

wizonesolutions’s picture

Copious inappropriate Twitter hashtags aside, this was a fantastic job by all. I am happy to have made a tiny blip in the death of +1 subscribe.

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lelizondo’s picture

Great, but does this work only with issues? What about forum posts and book pages? Actually, I can't follow this node.

Also, where will I see the following content? In my tracker as usual or does this means that I will only get emails but once I get to my tracker I will not be able to see the updated content


dww’s picture

The infrastructure team didn't want too many moving pieces and wanted me to focus on issues first, since those are the most painful place where "subscribe" comments get in the way of getting work done.

However, most of this plumbing can be reused. See #1304216: A user should be able to "follow" individual pages of content and receive email notifications for new comments.

Generally, future work lives at Expand "follow" functionality on (as explained in the post).

The rest of your questions are answered in the post so I'll just ask you to (re)read that yourself.


My professional services are available through 3281d Consulting

jpstrikesback’s picture

This is fantastic. Thanks to everyone involved! in Hi-Fi, as Signal rockets past Noise. :)

Jacine’s picture

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

tema’s picture

May the Force be with you

molave’s picture

Wonderful development. Great work!

mErilainen’s picture

When can I like this post? Seriously, is it going to be year 2015?

Anyway, great work guys...

nourcy’s picture

Finally! Thank you

Grabby’s picture

I'm glad I can't "like" this post, even though I very much LIKE IT!

hejazee’s picture

That's great
Thanks a lot.
Now, maybe there's a new job: to delete old subscription posts. Now, they are just spam posts.

Visit my site @

dww’s picture

My professional services are available through 3281d Consulting

dgastudio’s picture

cool, but i think that it doesnt work yet.

Clicking the "Follow" button will use AJAX to flag the issue as one you are following. This will trigger two things: 1) the issue appears in the "Your Posts" and "Your Issues" lists (both on your dashboard and the separate tabs on your profile),

i have clicked FOLLOW. the post doesnt appear in my dashboard.

wmostrey’s picture

It most likely does appear on your dashboard (in the "Your Posts" block and page), but it's still listed chronologically. So the item will appear in the list based on the last comment. It will not appear as the first item just because you just clicked the Follow button.

dgastudio’s picture

aha,ok, thanks.

JamesOakley’s picture

It seems that projects that were created before this change took place have a subscription setting of "none". I've just gone to the page that lists all modules, with the most recent first. I clicked on the most recent module, which happened to be Multi-Value Settings. I then clicked on the link on that module's page for "Subscribe via e-mail".

It showed that I am subscribed to "None" of the issues on that project.

But in my account profile, there are no projects listed as overriding my default setting, which is "Default Notification: " = "Issues you Follow". The overrides section beneath that default is empty.

Yet, it seems that Multi-Value Settings, and presumably lots of other projects, are an exception in that they are set to "None".

Does anyone know: Is there any way I can make sure that I am subscribed to My Issues on every project on, without exception?

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dww’s picture

Good question. The per-project notification page (the only UI that used to exist for e-mail notifications at all) wasn't totally fixed as part of the initial deployment here. We tried a few things at #397458: Revamp mailing logic to leverage flag module but in the end they didn't really work out. What's there now has some UI bugs.

Inspired by your comment, I just posted this:
#1310884: Per-project e-mail subscribe page is confusing since it defaults to 'None' when the user has no preference
Be sure to follow that (or chime in if you have suggestions or patches).


My professional services are available through 3281d Consulting

JamesOakley’s picture

Thanks - I'll start following it, and chime in as / when useful things to contribute come to me.

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Everything I've been wanting -- this is fantastic, THANK YOU!

bensnyder’s picture

amirtaiar’s picture

That's grate!
Thank you...

Managing Partner - Reasonat Web & Digital development.

Rene Bakx’s picture

YES finally *instant love* :D Please make it site-wide so we/I can remove some more followed nodes from my personal dashboard :)

amirtaiar’s picture

Just 1 Q - Are you going to show us the way to do it ourself? I will be happy to have it in one of my websites...

Managing Partner - Reasonat Web & Digital development.

silkogelman’s picture

Thanks for the hard work!
it works so smooth, I Love it!

valderama’s picture



keine zeit für spielkonsolen mein leben ist jump n run!

tfmedia’s picture

Have I died and gone to heaven? Thank you, that is the shizzle and it made my day. :D

~ Leah

descender’s picture

Good job! Any chance for a "like" / +1 feature? ;)

jenna.tollerson’s picture

Thank you thank you thank you

Daglees’s picture

This is great. is becoming more awesome everyday!

sachbearbeiter’s picture

thanks + bye bye subscribe

that0n3guy’s picture


oh wait :P. Thanks!

seanr’s picture

I'd also suggest adding twitter share and FB like buttons to d.o posts. Not really relevant for issues, but could be a great way to spread the word about new sites built with Drupal and that sort of thing. It would seem especially relevant on groups and such.

droplet’s picture

Any chance to add a feature like: "I have same problem"

quicksketch’s picture

This is an excellent suggestion. In a way, a "subscribe" is basically the same as "I have the same problem". People saying "I have the same problem" isn't any more helpful than a subscribe comment unless they provide additional information.

That said, I think it would be an excellent idea to make the number of "Subscribe" flaggings on a post publicly available, even sortable in the listing of issues. That would help find the "important" issues by seeing how many subscribes they have.

dww’s picture

diqidoq’s picture

@dww: This links should be in the start post. Usually I don't read so much comments except here, where I wanted to count how many people answer this with +1 or subscribe :)

AWESOME WORK! Very long time overdue.

Dubber Dan’s picture

Great news, thanks folks. Will be good to see it roll out to forum posts too

ecommercium’s picture

i subscribe! :-)

bohz’s picture

Finally I won't need to think to some meaningful comment to keep an eye on a thread!

gagarine’s picture

This is great!

Now can we delete the most popular comments like "subscribe", "+1", "tracking", "track" , ... ?


siliconmeadow’s picture

Drupal makes difficult things easy, and easy things difficult.

BTW - I'm not complaining, and thanks for the effort and perseverance!

Alex Andrascu’s picture


Anonymous’s picture

Would be nice to have the follow button placed under the last comment. Situation is this ... post has 50+ comments and you reading through it and you like yeah i can help with this but i need to stay inform and then you like oh my i could scroll all the way up to the top an click follow or i could just add +1 in this text box that is right here. I am stoked this has been added but .....

dww’s picture

My professional services are available through 3281d Consulting

tribe_of_dan’s picture

Great stuff!

tribe_of_dan’s picture

Great stuff!

FAAREIA’s picture

quicksketch’s picture

A week later, I've notice the number of "updated" issues that I'm reviewing every day has dropped dramatically already. I thought it would take users longer to adjust to the new paradigm, but they seem to have picked it up rather quickly.

Great work dww and team. Very pleased with the result! Also it's great to see Flag on d.o. I'm sure it can be used for a lot of useful purposes.

dww’s picture

Yeah, the volume of "subscribe" comments has definitely dropped way off, which is great. However, they're still trickling in. To that end, we could probably use your expertise and help over at #1307170: Make "Follow" button more findable. ;)


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espirates’s picture

A follow button should be on all sections not just issues. There are some forced subscribed areas that do not have a follow/unfollow button. We should have the option to remove all subscribed areas in our dashboard.

Christopher James Francis Rodgers’s picture

I concur.


PS: I almost regret posting this ...

... I wish this page had a "Unfollow" button.

: o )

All the best; intended.
-Chris (
"The number one stated objective for Drupal is improving usability." ~Dries Buytaert *

porg’s picture

1) My compliments! This was one of the most important functionality for the Drupal project to thrive, as it enhances information/communication dramatically!

2) When searching for the terms "subscribe, subscription, notify, (email) notification, etc" — this explanation page shall be the first in the search results! Can someone please give it a prioritized rank in the search results? Thanks!

Anonymous’s picture

there is any module for d6 managing same result o Follow feature?

jenna.tollerson’s picture

The Follow feature uses the Flag module. You should be able to achieve the same result in Drupal 6.

RKS’s picture

I don't know if this is already answered in one of the other issues posted here and I did read through a couple, but does following an issue let a maintainer know more than just the OP is dealing with that issue? If not, there needs to be a way a maintainer can see this information. It does factor into priorities.

One of the issues posted talks about voting up and down and that seems like an idea. It might make focusing on specific feature requests over others. right now, if they can't see who's following a feature request, the maintainer might think only the OP wants that feature and not put it high on the list. I know it sucks, but if a hundred people +1 in an actual comment, you can be sure the maintainer knows a hundred people want that functionality.

Last thing, adding comments raises an issue to the top and sometimes it provides just enough nudge to get a maintainer to take notice of it once again. maybe they missed it the first time around, or maybe they just put it off, but without that "subscribe" they may not have answered until they happened to notice it or maybe never.

RKS’s picture

Yeah the Death+1 issue is the one I was talking about mentioning voting. i will look at the other two issues you mentioned but I might be jumping the gun, but if they're active issues I assume before reading that they still aren't fixed. What that means to me is that maintainers, despite being annoyed by it, still need the actual +1 or Subscribe post to know more people are interested or having trouble with an issue.

I think most of the focus was on solving annoyances rather then fixing. It does provide a way to follow without commenting, but that doesn't do anything really for the user. They aren't the ones who hate commenting +1.

AdrianB’s picture

Btw, what's the consensus about commenting on people who still subscribe the old way?

Should we explain that it is not needed anymore and link to this page, or is it only adding off topic noise to issues?

RKS’s picture

You posted while I was posting! Like I said there, I wouldn't be so quick to try and correct people since it's obvious maintainers still need the +1 or Subscribe.

Anonymous’s picture

Would be really nice to have this on the modules page.

dww’s picture

See for more. In particular:
#101341-36: 'My projects' should also display projects that are being co-maintained
There was also some discussion of this over at #397458: Revamp mailing logic to leverage flag module

Anyway, those are the places to start. Having a "Follow" button on module pages doesn't help unless it's clear what that would actually mean.


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espirates’s picture

- unsubscribed

(since there's no unsubscribe button on every page)

This is what I'll be putting on all the pages that I no longer want listed in my dashboard :)

dww’s picture

Sorry to hear that, espirates. Adding such comments will neither remove the posts from your dashboard, nor help such a feature get implemented. They're only going to make you look like an idiot or a jerk, and I hope that's not your intention.

Instead, I recommend reading the section on Future work and contributing meaningfully to the issues listed there.

Good luck,

My professional services are available through 3281d Consulting

WorldFallz’s picture

They're only going to make you look like an idiot or a jerk, and I hope that's not your intention.

don't waste your time talking sense derek-- it's far too late for that... but it will result in the account being blocked. being a troll is one thing, being a spamming troll is quite another.

Care about the future of the forums? Please join our conversation and show support for improving the forums infrastructure.

RKS’s picture

Normally I agree with much of what you say, WorldFallz, however I must disagree that writing unsubscribe is grounds for blocking accounts. I also think more people doing this would result in unsubscribe buttons on forums. It's a request that has been ignored too long.

WorldFallz’s picture

acting like a tool and irritating forum users that have nothing whatsoever to do with getting this feature deployed to the forums is not the way to go about getting it implemented. If the feature is that important to you, then participate in and drive forward the effort to implement it. Being an a$$ is never the 'right' answer.

Care about the future of the forums? Please join our conversation and show support for improving the forums infrastructure.

RKS’s picture

But who is being irritated? The average forum user doesn't know that subscribe is not the preferred method of +1 (hence the slew of these comments still being posted today.) These people don't even know where to go to vote for this kind of feature. The power users do and most likely they aren't the ones we have to worry about typing +1 or subscribe or me too. The average user isn't going to know either way.

wjaspers’s picture

Im not sure what's happening, but as of recently the "Follow" button changes state, but my issues / posts / etc lists don't show the items I've "Followed". D'oh.

dww’s picture

You might be confused by the fact that the default sort for both "Your posts" and "Your issues" is the most recent comment timestamp on each post, *not* when you followed them. So, if you follow an issue that was last commented on 2 weeks ago, it might not even appear on the first page of your tracker or issue view if you're following a bunch of other issues that were commented on more recently...

I don't think there's an actual bug here, since literally 10s of thousands of people are using this system every day. If it really stopped working, there'd be mobs with pitchforks outside my door in no time. ;)


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jbibbings’s picture

I had this same problem, but it was also related to default sort.

I was following an issue that was marked closed even though there was still work being done on it, so it wasn't available in my issue list by default.

Took me a minute to figure out it was there.

Kristen Pol’s picture

Since this is such a big thing, wouldn't it be useful to send out an email to all users pointing to this post? It is not obvious that things have changed if you are in the comments section due to the location of the Follow button (which is discussed here: Or, are we expected the masses to just figure it out from each other? I guess some of them are, but one email could make it happen faster ;)


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MatthijsG’s picture

The 'follow' button should be also placed at the bottom, between the reply's and comment-field. Like: "[Follow] If you're just subscribing, use this button". Most time, i'm searching for the follow-button.

There are 10 people who can count binary
They who can and they who don't

wjaspers’s picture

Why not just let it chase the page?
position: fixed;

dww’s picture

#1307170: Make "Follow" button more findable

p.s. Your signature really wants to say:

There are 10 kinds of people,
Those who can count binary and those who can't.


My professional services are available through 3281d Consulting

Marcelino’s picture

thanks a lot for this!!! Great work :)

shamio’s picture

Its a good idea but i think it makes the pages a little messy and difficult to surf. Putting one option twice in a page is not a favorite choice. Currently we should just navigate to the top of pages and clock on following,unfollow buttons and its not too much difficult to do ;)

dww’s picture

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, but this post isn't an appropriate place for that. Any changes to where the Follow button lives on the page are going to happen solely as a result of the discussion that takes place in #1307170: Make "Follow" button more findable. If you have anything to add, please add it there, not here.


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shamio’s picture

Oh, excuse me. Thanks a lot for your great notification Derek.

xqi’s picture

Just wondering if there is any chance this could be available as a public module and have the function to allow users to subscribe to certain content types...

I am currently using comments_notify but this "follow" looks much more convenient for end users...

RKS’s picture

How do you unsubscribe to this?

droplet’s picture

click the same button again.

RKS’s picture

That's only for issues. Make the mistake of commenting on a forum and you suffer the consequences forever.

Nikita Petrov’s picture

If someone is trying to accomplish something similar on his own site or forum, take a look at project