Topic on Help talk:Extension:GlobalPreferences

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Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

I'm a bit late, but I find there are a number of extant issues with the design. Overall the functionality is good but it's not as intuitive as it could be.

  • The check boxes aren't consistent with the OOjs UI, which makes the beta features page look a bit weird. I think it would be better to use OOjs elements, perhaps slider buttons like those used in VisualEditor, to differentiate from the already-used OOjs check boxes.
  • New users could be asked to choose whether they want their settings to apply across all WMF wikis.
  • It should be possible – particularly for the language option – for the user to choose to use the default options across all wikis, since some things have different defaults on different wikis.
TBolliger (WMF) (talkcontribs)

We decided not to use OOUI items because this is built on top of regular Special:Preferences which also does not use OOUI yet. We have an item on the backlog to address this when all of Special:Preferences is transferred — phab:T186842.

I agree that global should probably be default for new users moving forward (and even for most current users) but this is a much larger question that our team does not have the capacity to handle right now. We find that most new users only edit on one wiki and our hypothesis is that most new users do not visit Preferences at all [citation needed] so we believe this effort wouldn't really result in much benefit for newbies, given the work required.

Interesting point about allowing users to set the global preference to 'local wiki default'. I'm not sure it's necessary, since it's already the behavior if the "set global preference" box is unchecked. At this point the only overrides for defaults would be on a wiki-by-wiki basis via Special:Preferences.

Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

I suppose the case where someone wants to change e.g. all of their interface languages back to the default, because they'd manually changed the option on multiple wikis to English, is probably rare enough not to be something that needs to be fixed. It's a shame that so many minor improvements like those couldn't realistically be done because of how limited WMF developer resources are.

NKohli (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Jc86035 Can you tell me why someone would like to set all their interface languages back to default? Special:GlobalPreferences settings completely override the settings made on Special:Preferences.

Jc86035 (talkcontribs)

I don't know, actually, but it was the first thing I could think of that would be different on most wikis. I suppose "reset all local settings" buttons could work better?

NKohli (WMF) (talkcontribs)

@Jc86035 Your global setting overrides your local settings everywhere - but in case you ever turn the global setting off, your local settings will still be there. We consider this to be a feature right now. The user does not have to worry about what they already set but if they have to go back, they still can. Resetting them would mean we don't remember their local wiki preferences anymore.

That idea is actually, technically speaking, better because it will help us save on database space if we don't store both the local and global values. It is on our list of things we can potentially implement if global preferences ends up taking too much database storage.

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