I made this suggestion when the forums were updated a while ago and I going to make it again even though I doubt anyone will do anything about it.
Most of the java forums have not had a single question posted to them in a months. Even the more 'active' forums probably see less than 20 posts a day. And even that is probably high.
So merging the forums into just a few, or probably even realistically, just one forum would serve the community better. It would be better because then new users would be more likely to post to a forum that actually gets read. This is because of course the way the forums are set up now one must open each and every single one of them to find new posts....and obviously that is somewhat tiring when a forum hasn't had a new post in months.
I'm not defending the new user interface of the forum, but new posts are listed on top in the overview and content views. Perhaps you have set your Discussion View default to threaded instead of flat in your user profile. You can change or check this setting by editing your profile by clicking the down arrow next to your username.
Threaded views was actually the initial default, which I also criticized before since it makes it nearly impossible to find new responses and can be misleading or even used to change the focus of a discussion thread. Also guest or anonymous users cannot change this default. I think meanwhile the default was changed from threaded to flat, which corrects the issue, but perhaps you have it set in your account.
And btw, which has been mentioned by several people before, it would be nice if the content view could show the user that has last updated a discussion and when, rather than displaying the name of the discussion author. This was also the default in the previous system. How could this have been overlooked?
If I understood your response correctly than you do not have to. You can enable following for individual discussions as well as discussion spaces or fora and watch the activity in the Dashboard. Or, if you prefer more visible notifications including read and unread counters, use tracking, which posts you can see under Communications.