It does occur to me that maybe the better default for a user is to set boardwatch to now and forum watch and topic watch to yes but)? At a minimum I should at least add an author's note telling people how to change that, but what do you think the default should be if the person installing the mod does not change it?
I think that in many cases ... particularly for high-traffic forums ... a default setting of boardwatch to no and forumwatch and topicwatch to yes_but is probably correct so that folks aren't suddenly flooded with email. The only downside, as I see it, to that more gentle introduction to boardwatch is that if they aren't currently subscribed to any forums or topics, they may never realize that boardwatch is an option. I believe that you could make an argument that setting all three (boardwatch, forumwatch, and topicwatch) to yes_but might be a good compromise because that way, even if they weren't subscribed to any forums or topics, they would quickly get something alerting them to boardwatch's existence and a link to the page where they can set up and fine tune their own options.
Of course, you'd best take my thoughts with a grain of salt as I'm a new phpBB3 administrator and also run a comparatively low-volume set of forums .... both in terms of number of registered members and in terms of message volume.
In terms of documentation, here is a slightly cleaned up posting that I sent to my registered users describing how they could alter their own boardwatch settings. This, of course, is not the same as describing how a board administrator would alter the default behavior, but I thought that it may be of use to others keeping an eye on boardwatch.
We have recently added a new module named boardwatch to this system that allows you great control over how often you are notified via email of new postings to various forums on this board.
In particular, some of you will want to be notified of about everything .... whereas others of you may want to receive no email notifications and only see what is new when you actually visit the forum. Boardwatch allows that degree of flexibility. In fact, as the default notification behavior turns boardwatch on, you will likely receive an email message notifying you that I have posted this topic and it will include a link that allows you to control future notifications.
When you click that link, you will be taken to the BOARDWATCH_EDIT_OPTIONS section of the Board Preferences tab of the User Control Panel.
That panel gives you three rows of options: Boardwatch options, Forumwatch options, and Topicwatch options.
In phpBB parlance, the board is the collection of all of the forums on this web site. A forum is any one of those individual forums. A topic is one discussion thread on one of those forums.
So, lets look at the highest level the boardwatch options. Interestingly, you have 3 choices: YES, NO, and interestingly named option of BOARDWATCH_YES_BUT.
Here is what each means on the Boardwatch options row:
YES means that you will receive email notifications from all postings to the entire board. This will make you aware of each and every posting to the board. Of course, many of you will not want to be flooded with that much email.
BOARDWATCH_YES_BUT means that you will receive an email notification when there has been a new posting since your last visit (so that you know that there is something new) but will not send you notifications of subsequent postings.
NO means that you will receive no board-wide email notifications. Of course, if you subscribe to either individual forums or topics, you will receive notifications about those specific forums or topics depending on your choice of the Forumwatch or Topicwatch options.
If you are not interested in receiving notification from all forums, you can still subscribe to receive email notifications from individual forums by clicking the "Subscribe forum" link on the bottom of each forum page. How you will be notified depends on your settings on the Forumwatch settings described below:
YES means that you will receive email notifications from all postings to each subscribed forum. This will make you aware of each and every posting to the subscribed forums.
FORUMWATCH_YES_BUT means that you receive an email notification when there has been a new posting to the subscribed forum since your last visit, but will not continue to send you notifications of subsequent postings to that forum.
If you are only interested in receiving notifications from individual topics, you can subscribe to just those topics that are of interest to you by clicking the "Subscribe topic" link at the bottom of each topic page. How you will be notified depends on your setting on the Topicwatch settings described below:
YES means that you will receive email notifications from all postings to each subscribed topc. This will make you aware of each and every posting to the subscribed topc.
TOPICWATCH_YES_BUT means that you receive an email notification when there has been a new posting to the subscribed topic since your last visit, but will not continue to send you notifications of subsequent postings to that topic.
By default, boardwatch is set up to notify you of all postings to all forums. For many (and even most) of you, that will be way too many email notifications. By following the link to the BOARDWATCH_EDIT_OPTIONS section of the Board Preferences tab of the User Control Panel you can quickly alter those setting so that you will be never notified by email, only notified when you have subscribed to individual topics, or only notified when you have subscribed to individual subscriptions. Also, as described above, you can choose between either notification of all posts or only to be notified of the first post since you last visit at the board, forum, or topic level, respectively.
Hopefully you will tune this in a manner that makes these discussion forums most useful to you without filling your already overloaded inboxes with unwanted email notifications.
Thanks again for all of your efforts,