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forum not triggering notifications

 
Picture of Eric Lin
forum not triggering notifications
 


I have started my first moodle site (moodle 3.4, hosted on siteground), and things work great save one thing - announcements are not triggering any notifications, not for the instructor or students. They can be viewed, but posting an announcement does not trigger a notification.


I have checked the preferences (I have set up a dummy student account) and have set notifications for forums that are subscribed. Have set the announcement to "forced subscribed", so everyone should be subscribed. I checked the list of subscribed students, and everyone is on there.


Messaging defaults are set for the announcement forum to forced subscription for all students Currently, even on the webpage, there are no alert notifications in the upper right when notifications are posted, so students would have to inspect the announcements forum to see if anything new was posted there. 


I would appreciate any guidance on this. The student dummy account I have set up has settings that indicate preferences to get announcements of changes in subscribed forums. I think I have all the setting for the site and the recipient on right.


 
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Picture of benjamin de caluwe
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

I seem to have the same problem with a new 3.4 installation. Did you find a solution for this problem? 

I also don't seem to get a notification if a submission is due. But I receive a notification if an assignment has been graded. 

For testing purposes I enabled all notifications for the test student. 

 
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Picture of Eric Lin
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

this had been a long standing issue with me, and I finally solved it. However, I don't have a great clear silver bullet of what the issue was. 

Ken responded with this note here: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=371581#p1498052.


I think that this could hold the answer to the issue, but I didn't pursue this to its end.

I think that my issue was some sort of cron job not working, and I suspect that this was on my 3rd party hosting site. I actually asked them to install a new version of moodle into a new subdomain (I asked for 3.4, but the put in 3.5), and then tried this from afresh. It now works, but I noticed that it posted from forum to notifications every hour on the XX:42 hour. I have tested this, and this is consistent.

If you search this community site some more, there seems to be some luck with those tracing the error to some plugins - once uninstalled, their notifications worked. 

I wish I had a more definitive answer, but I am relieved to finally have this thing working.


 
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Picture of Mayank Gupta
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

We are also facing the same issue. We have installed moodle 3.5 on our local servers. When ever there is a forum post or any activity on course page, enrolled participants are not receiving web notification and each time they have to browse through forum to learn about new posts.

P.S.- We do not have email server configured. Hope that doesn't messes with web notification.

 
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Picture of Przemek Kaszubski
Re: forum not triggering notifications
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Check the default preferences for the users - read this post and Helen's answer: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=365822 . You can adjust the defaults, but i'm not sure this can affect existing users.

For the defaults (and new users), on the "Default message outputs" page be sure to have "Subscribed forum digests" and (especially) "Subscribed forum posts" checked for "Web" (first column).

For existing users, you'd need to have them adjust their notification preferences in this way, or else "login as" each such user and tick the right boxes for them.

Finally, and importantly, in the "User default preferences" my recommendation is to change the default "Forum tracking" setting from  "No: don't keep track of posts I have seen" to "Yes: highlight new posts for me". Again, this will probably only set it for new users, for existing users you'd need to edit their "Forum preferences" accordingly (after "Login as"), or else you'll need to ask these users to adjust these preferences on their own.

Hope his helps. I know of no Moodle GUI way to force the changes of notification and forum preferences on existing users, which is a shame. One can do so with the Dashboard layout for instance...

 
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Picture of Przemek Kaszubski
Re: forum not triggering notifications
Particularly helpful Moodlers

PS. In case anyone is reading this, I've just read on the Moodle Tracker that the "Unread posts" alert is likely to return to the Moodle Dashboard in the upcoming version 3.6: MDL-63051 (as a follow-up to MDL-58913.)

One this happens, tinkering with web notification preferences should be no longer necessary.

 
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Picture of Tobias Sanders
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

Hello there,

I'm also having issues with the forum notifications in 3.5 (not hosted on siteground). Everything else (new user notification and so on) seem to work fine. It worked fine before the update (from 3.4).

I download the email test plugin and it checked fine, too. I received the test email.

When I run the cronjob directly in the browser it returns no errors.

The only page where I see an error is here:

When I run the "forum mailings and maintenance jobs" (run now) in the scheduled tasks  it returns : Function cron_setup_user() cannot use normal requests!


I don't have a clue where else to search. Please help

Cheers

Tobias

 
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Picture of Tobias Sanders
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 
Ok...I traced the problem a bit further:


I setup a course with two users who have a valid email address. The subscription is set to mandatory.

When I write a new post and run the cron Script via the command Line I get this:

Execute scheduled task: E-Mail-Versand aus Foren (mod_forum\task\cron_task)

... started 11:43:17. Current memory use 32.9MB.

Processing user 2

Processing user 5250

Processing user 5260

0 users were sent post 3515, 'Beitrag um 11:43'

Starting digest processing...

Cleaned old digest records

... used 30 dbqueries

... used 0.033107995986938 seconds

Scheduled task complete: E-Mail-Versand aus Foren (mod_forum\task\cron_task)


Both users have set their messaging settings "Subscribed Forum Posts" to "on" (off and online) via email.

The system sends no messages...why?

What am I missing?

Cheers

Tobias



 
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Picture of Andrew Nicols
Re: forum not triggering notifications
Core developersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

The user will not receive the notification if:

  • they are not subscribed to the forum and they are not subscribed to the forum discussion
  • the user subscribed to the forum after the discussion was created
  • if the user subscribed to the discussion before the post was sent
  • if the forum is Q&A and that user has not posted yet (except for "Initial" topics)
  • if this is a group discussion and the user is not in the group and does not have the accessallgroups capability
  • if the forum is not visible to the user

Andrew

 
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Picture of Tobias Sanders
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

Thanks but nothing of that is the problem.

 I now found out that its just the mail digest...

 
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Picture of Przemek Kaszubski
Re: forum not triggering notifications
Particularly helpful Moodlers
Tobias,

"Run now" has had problems with forum posts - see:

MDL-60514

The new 3.5.3 should bring the fix soon (12 Nov).

Not sure this will exactly help your case if also the server cron has been failing you. From what I understand you don't use that one though?

HTH

 
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Picture of Tobias Sanders
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

Hey Przemek,

thank you.

I now found out that it is just the mail digest which is not working. 

The Users have set the Forum settings to mail digest. Setting to no digest helped. Nevertheless they should receive "email now" mails instantly (or am I mistaken?). That doesn't work either.

I found another post in the forum which pretty much describes my situation then:

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=349333

The strange thing is: I setup a test installation which runs on a fresh database and installation. There everything works fine (users with mail digest on receive "email now" instantly).


Ideas?


Cheers

Tobias


 
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Picture of Przemek Kaszubski
Re: forum not triggering notifications
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Not sure, but I'd compare closely both installs for:

/admin/tool/task/scheduledtasks.php

/message/defaultoutputs.php

smtpmaxbulk value

Have you tested with  debugsmtp turned on as well?


 
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Picture of Tobias Sanders
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

It's totally strange.

Both files are exactly the same. No wonder...because I installed the fresh test installation just after the update of the real sitewink

The versions are exactly the same. I think I'll live with the current workaround because we'll move to a fresh installation in one or two months.


Appreciate your answers though!

Tobias


 
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Picture of Przemek Kaszubski
Re: forum not triggering notifications
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Smart decision, I think.

However, just out of curiosity I searched the Moodle tracker for "*email digest*", and found this:

MDL-63274

So maybe also compare the user preferences across your two instances?

Or else maybe you'll find other relevant issues in the tracker among the more recent numbers.

Cheers,

Przemek

 
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Picture of Tobias Sanders
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

Hey Przemek,

already did that. They match in all settings. 

Like I said...I'll live with  it until we move to the new installation.

Cheers

Tobias

 
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Picture of Andrew Nicols
Re: forum not triggering notifications
Core developersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

Hello Tobias,

The "Mail now" option does not interfere with the digest options for a user. It merely allows you to ignore the editing-time delay which is imposed by default.

Andrew

 
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Picture of Tobias Sanders
Re: forum not triggering notifications
 

Hey Andrew,

yes. That's what I discovered as well. It doesn't matter if the user has set his forum preferences to digest or single mail. "Mail now" sends the mail right away.

Cheers 

Tobias

 
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