Community Tech/Global preferences/Notes

Notes on Community Tech/Global preferences

July 19, 2017 edit

Global preferences: Pros and Cons

Danny, Ryan, Sam, Niharika, Kunal, Max, Nick

Extension edit

Kunal’s extension: Extension:GlobalPreferences


  • Just one link on default preferences
  • Will be able to handle new settings when they’re introduced
  • Easily handles new wikis
  • Only shows the prefs that exist on the wiki you’re on
  • Doesn’t require a ‘central’ wiki (global prefs can be set on any wiki)
  • Discoverable from preferences


  • Inability to override locally (KM: This could be implemented afterwards)
  • Lots of checkboxes on the global prefs page (NW: UI tweaks are welcome. I submitted which is why the 2nd checkboxes are now indented! But some unresolved questions still in that task.)

Demo pages:

Toolforge tool edit

Toolforge tool - e.g. Kunal's old experiment: Legoktm/globalprefs

This version of the tool sets language across all wikis.


  • Could override locally
  • Easiest to implement
  • More flexible for UI implementation
  • Discoverable from preferences
  • Doesn’t require a central wiki


  • Won’t include new settings when they’re introduced
  • May not handle new wikis
  • Takes a while to copy to all the wikis after saving (but could happen in the background)
  • If it saved in the background, it could also copy to new wikis (this would require saving OAuth tokens)

Ideas edit

Having a multi-step form

  1. Pick notifications you want to change globally (say, language, notifications and skin)
  2. Edit and save form

Legoktm: Probably not a good idea, up to 60 preferences (all individual ones)

Override with local value over global value:

If local differs from global and default, use it (useful for existing users)

Have a DB for storing the information on which preference to use

Separate ideas for redesigning Preferences:

Redesign user preferences RFC on mediawiki

Nick: Plus we really really should have something for logged-out/anon users, e.g. a reduced set of basic preferences (contrast, text-size, Page Previews, fixed-page-width), like this wireframe: mw:Talk:Requests for comment/Redesign user preferences#The Appearance menu

Related pages:

Related tickets: