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Reading notifications on github.com is greatly improved thanks to the numerous enhancements shipped out earlier today. We're excited to also announce a brand new email backend with support for rich formatting (HTML), smart mail headers, and shared read state tracking.

Rich formatting

Issue, Pull Request, and all comment-related email notifications are now delivered with both HTML and plain text parts. Markdown formatting such as image embeds, links, lists, code blocks, bold, emphasis, and blockquotes are supported. GitHub enhancements like Emoji, @mentions, and issue references all work too.

We've tested under most popular desktop, web, mobile, and terminal based mail readers. Here's a taste of what you might see in Gmail:

gmail

See your mail client's configuration or settings area if you prefer plain text email. Most clients support disabling HTML content, either globally or for specific senders.

Mail header refinements

Notification emails now make better use of the To, Cc, and Bcc headers to signal message importance. Instead of addressing notification email To you, the Bcc and Cc fields are used. Bcc is used unless you're participating in the message, in which case Cc is used instead. This can be used to enable advanced mail client filters and interface behaviors.

Examples of mail client features that take advantage of these changes:

  • Gmail's mute feature. Muting a thread means that new messages will not show up in your Inbox unless you are @mentioned.
  • Importance indicators such as Gmail's tiny chevron guys.
  • Gmail's Priority Inbox uses To and Cc to prioritize messages that are sent directly to you.

All email is now delivered with the From address: notifications@github.com.

Shared notification read state

Notifications that are read as HTML email are automatically marked as read in the github.com notifications interface. An invisible image is embedded in each mail message to enable this.

You must allow viewing images in mail from notifications@github.com in order for this feature to work. Most mail readers allow images by default, but some require confirmation before images are displayed.

Have feedback on this post? Let @github know on Twitter.

Need help or found a bug? Contact us.

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