Since other people will read this post besides denise, here's a summary of what I'm thanking her for: I posted a suggestion tonight to dw_suggestions that went like this...
Replying to Inbox comment automatically marks it as Read.
Having to first click on the Inbox link, then read and reply to the comment, and then go back and realize the Inbox notification is still marked as Unread so still having to go back and click Mark As Read to fix that involves many more clicks than having the system mark the notification as Read as soon as you reply to it.
In hindsight I probably should have called it, "Replying to Inbox comment should automatically mark
s it as Read" even though the Inbox (most of the time, if not always) already does that. That was the point of my suggestion, after all, that marking stuff as Read isn't sticking some of the time.
Either way, a few minutes (yes! minutes!) later Denise sent me a nice enough rejection saying that the Inbox already does that, so it must be some security setting, browser add-on or setting within my browser causing it not to do that (and if anyone wants to troubleshoot, I'm running Firefox 28 on a fully updated copy of XP SP3 with no Firefox extensions known to interfere with how Dreamwidth operates in general).
So I let her response roll around for a few seconds before it hit me, 'Wait, I probably wasn't clear enough' (and this being me, that's not too unusual). Then it hit me I didn't know exactly when nor why I was having this problem; I was only sure that I was (and I still am) having this problem! So I left myself a few throwaway comments to see what was causing Inbox notifications to get marked Unread after being marked as Read and came up with a revised Suggestion, which I promptly sent to dw_suggestions for review:
Inbox should respect "Mark as Read" selection even using browser's Page Back and Open Link in New Tab options
When you click "Reply" on a comment left in your Inbox, then leave your reply directly on your DW, then hit your browser's "Back" button to return to the Inbox, the Inbox shows the message as Unread instead of keeping it "Marked as Read". Similarly (sort of) when instead of directly clicking on the Inbox notification's "Reply" link you choose to right-click and "Open In a New Tab", the message will not get marked as Read even though you are using the Inbox's Reply link to reply to that notification.
(And sorry, Denise; when I wrote my first version of this I did not notice exactly what was causing the issue.)
A few hours later Denise sent me a very nice rejection for that submission, too:
Again, that's dependent on your browser, your extensions, and your security settings. The inbox does try to mark things as read as soon as you click on any of those links, but individual browsers interpret the use of the back button and "open in new tab" in different ways, and there's only so much we can do to work around them.
If having things marked as read immediately when you click to reply to them, instead of after a refresh, is important to you, the best thing to do is to make sure you click on the 'reply' link inside the browser window or tab you have your inbox loaded in, then refresh the inbox view after using the back button. We're already doing everything that we possibly can to make notifications be marked as 'read' when someone clicks those links: there's nothing we can change to make your browser obey that directive if it's decided not to.
[ETA: revised this paragraph for clarity shortly after posting] So if you're like me - that is, if you like hitting "Open in New Tab" on a notification's Reply link and/or using your browser's Back button once you've replied to a comment so you can return to your Inbox and check for other things, the message you saw getting marked as Read as you replied to it might get marked Unread again when you return to your Inbox (depending, as Denise said, on security settings/browser add-ons/browser settings). Which, if that's how these things usually work, is fine, I guess. But my browser is currently set to retain all cookies and full cache and history until I close it; none of my add-ons are interfering with DW that I know of, and I'll discuss the next possible thing below.
My only question (which I'm not able to ask because I'm not trying, nor should I try, to use the submission cue as a question and answer forum between Denise and myself, is: "How can my 'security settings' (for what? For DW? My browser? Or both?) possibly affect what's going on with my Inbox?".