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User Preference's default options/values should be automatically marked in the special page itself
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Problem: When looking at [[mw:Special:Preferences]], or [[Special:Preferences]], or etc, it is impossible to know what options/values are "Default/Recommended".

We should add information to the interface, that automatically updates at each wiki based on the config files, showing what the defaults are. So that it doesn't require manually updating the documentation at all the wikis, when something changes.

Design: I've attached an edited screenshot (very rough idea), of what I have in mind.

Screenshot_from_2014-07-27_12:20:37-add.png (1×1 px, 163 KB)

Example: If someone changes the "default" value for "wmgThumbsizeIndex" in InitialiseSettings.php - that should update what it says in Special:Preferences.

Compare: Commonswiki already manually does something similar to this for gadgets with an <abbr> "d" , e.g.

image.png (367×707 px, 57 KB)

See also:


  • We have (often unmaintained) documentation pages, that rapidly go out-of-date. eg. [[m:Help:Preferences]] and [[mw:Help:Preferences]] and etc. This proposed feature would partially solve that.
  • If I customize a setting, eg. changing thumbnail-size default from 180->200, and then the site's default gets changed (as it did from 180->220), then my customized setting won't get changed (good!) but I won't be likely to ever find out (bad!).
  • There's the "Restore all default settings" button-of-doom which wipes out all our customizations, and it's currently unclear to users what exactly will get changed.
  • Firefox handles this well, in about:config, by automatically indicating which preferences have been changed by the user - - if we could add that somehow, bonus.

See Also:



Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Low.Nov 22 2014, 3:41 AM
bzimport set Reference to bz68689.
bzimport added a subscriber: Unknown Object (MLST).

Is this something that should be considered for MediaWiki-extensions-GlobalPreferences as well?

I welcome any attention to the idea/request! However I don't know how it would apply to GlobalPreferences... Are any of those going to be default-on? Oh, I guess you probably mean: the underlying Special:Preferences defaults would need to show through, if this feature request ever gets implemented for the basic Preferences. Yes?! :-)

I noticed that the en-WP gadgets preferences page already appears to have solved this issue. It'd be really nice if the other pages could solve it too the same way.

@Sdkb IIUC, those indicators were just added manually to each gadget's label, e.g. this diff and this legend creation, thanks to Xaosflux. The same thing was done at Meta-wiki a few years ago, e.g. this diff and this template, thanks to Steinsplitter.

Sidenote: Adding default-indicators for just Gadgets is currently tracked in a separate task, T51501: Gadget preferences should indicate whether a gadget is enabled by default, I believe partially because the code is part of a separate code-base (extension:gadgets), and partially because it might (?) be easier to implement as they can only be [On/Off], whereas other Preferences use a mix of checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down menus, and numerical-strings (e.g. it wouldn't be simple to indicate the defaults for Notifications prefs).