Requests for comment/Default import sources

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ImportSources are currently defined per wiki in InitialiseSettings, and if nothing is defined, Special:Import doesn't work. It would be nice to have a reasonable default for this, so that small wikis would get something sensible if nothing explicit was defined. See also task T214139.

English Wikipedia, French Wikipedia, and Meta could probably be good default import sources. For each of the sister projects, the largest wikis could be defined, too, for example, the default for Wikisource can be oldwikisource, enwikisource, ruwikisource, and dewikisource. Of course, wikis will be able to override this if needed.

I do ask not to argue about the initial values. This RFC is primarily about making it non-empty. Nothing is set in stone, and the real values can always be adjusted later. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 10:55, 21 December 2019 (UTC)


I just don't think we should suddenly gift some new features nobody asked for. Reminds me of User talk:CKoerner (WMF)#TemplateStyles. I can think of people telling me "what about attribution!!!!" — "You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license" according to the message above the Publish Changes button. — regards, Revi 12:02, 22 December 2019 (UTC)

This TemplateStyles discussion is a good example of the opposite. There is a lot of discussion there about possible things that the community is supposed to do, and about AbuseFilter that they presumably have to define, when in fact, they have the option of doing nothing at all without suffering any damage. I'm not blaming the users for misunderstandings—the initial announcement could probably be written more clearly and thoughtfully. But really, there's no reason to overthink everything. There were similar discussion about TemplateStyles in bigger wikis, too, and they were really strange. People were talking a lot about potential new kinds of vandalism through this feature. I might be wrong, but as far as I know, nothing like that actually ever happened.
In other words, lots of features exist, and there's no reason not to enable them for everyone, at least in some default configuration. If you don't want to use them, don't use them. Importing is actually one of the oldest features. The current super-complex configuration at InitialiseSettings is a proof that people are asking for this, to this day. This configuration could be much simpler.
As for attribution, importing does this perfectly and attributes all the imported versions to the same usernames. A lot of people use importing because of that, even when a simple URL would be enough. A more useful reason for importing is (more or less) conveniently copying cascading templates. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 21:20, 24 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I could see this making sense and being potentially worthwhile. I actually just recently started an RfC (unawares at this time of this one) on enwiki about adding Wikimedia Commons as an import source. --TheSandDoctor Talk 08:22, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I support this excellent idea, it always seemed a bit ridiculous to me that the feature exists but is then unusable on most wikis. This would certainly help many wikis to use the feature if needed, without having to necessarily go through the process of voting on and then requesting a configuration change. --MF-W 00:28, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support It should be non-empty. I also have thoughts on what should be included. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:43, 21 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Rschen7754 18:08, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Novak Watchmen (talk) 13:05, 3 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Sharing my somewhat related experience here: yuewiktionary, which was moved from incubator to its own domain in 2018, only got its default import sources set in July 2020, after I finally discovered how to get transwiki imports working. Whether this setting would have default value set or not, new wikis should at least be informed that this setting exists, so it won't take them forever to find out how this works. H78c67c (talk) 01:32, 4 September 2020 (UTC)