Two different unread counts

Can anyone explain the difference between the gray and blue unread counts?

I can see the gray one is “you have x unread posts” and the blue one is “there are y new posts since you last read it”. I think I understand what those mean, but sometimes the blue count is higher than the gray count:

  1. Am I correct in understanding that if I scroll half-way down, the gray is the number of posts I haven’t seen (but were there the last time I was on that topic), and the blue is the number of new once since the last time was on that topic?
  2. Does one of these numbers include the other as a subset, or are they mutually exclusive counts?

Did you try hovering your mouse over the numbers? Of course this only works on mouse devices, not touch devices.

Grey means unread but not new. Posts you could have read the last time you were in the topic, but chose not to, for whatever reason.

Blue means new posts. There’s no way you could have read these posts, since they did not exist the last time you were in the topic.

Yes, I hovered over them and tried to imply in the last post that the descriptions of them seemed ambiguous to me.

It sounds like the two counts don’t overlap, hence the gray’s “you have x unread posts” could be a bit misleading, since that count doesn’t include the blue count as a subset (see the second image, where the blue number is larger than the gray one).

Correct, they don’t overlap. I’ll fix the copy for the tooltip!

unread_posts: “you have {{unread}} old unread posts in this topic”

Funny, I don’t ever see these unread counts. Where are they supposed to show up?

You will see them on the topic list if you are tracking the topic, and don’t read all the old posts in the topic. That is, don’t get to the bottom…

Auto track is fairly non aggressive at 5 min now though, which is why you may not be seeing it as much.

Ah, that was it! I hadn’t been tracking any topics at all. I had expected such counts on all topics, whether I track them or not. That may not be a reasonable expectation perhaps, but it shouldn’t be surprising, given that this is how most (?) other forum software works. I suppose that means one really needs to be active in turning on tracking on all topics of interest.

The default is to auto track after 4 minutes, or when you post in the topic. You can change this on your user page.