Requests for comment/Enable by default some default options for new users

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The following request for comments is closed. No consensus was achieved. Last contribution was more than a year ago. Effeietsanders (talk) 06:22, 2 September 2018 (UTC)


The MediaWiki core currently enable by default the following settings:

  • watchdefault — Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist
  • enotifwatchlistpages — Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed
  • usenewrc — Group changes by page in recent changes and watchlist
  • extendwatchlist — Expand watchlist to show all changes, not just the most recent

But currently, on the Wikimedia cluster, new accounts still have the settings disabled by default.

Do you agree we switch them on by default for new users?

Do you agree we change this behavior for all Wikimedia sites to offer a coherent experience?

--Dereckson (talk) 21:25, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Comments moved from Wikimedia forum[edit]

The preference "usenewrc" is kind of broken right now (phab:T133684), but I agree with the rest of the proposal. Helder 17:45, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

The combination of watchdefault and enotifwatchlistpages is pretty important. I think some sort of more structured discussion would be good, to avoid just having it anyway but with the tone of "why did you change this without asking?" /Julle (talk) 16:31, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

I think the first is important. I dislike "usenewrc" and "extendwatchlist", and they're off by default at the major Wikipedias (having Meta, etc. be different from "normal" is not desirable). Usually, I'd worry about enotifwatchlistpages as it could promote edit warring, but for Meta specifically, it might be okay. Or perhaps a daily digest of Echo Notifications by e-mail instead? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:56, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

The proposer is suggesting that these options be made the default Wikimedia-wide, not just on Meta, so vote accordingly. :-) Ajraddatz (talk) 18:05, 28 April 2016 (UTC)


RfC discussion[edit]

  • I think that #1 and 2 are great ideas. We need to get people re-engaged in these projects, and involving them by email - like every other website does - would be a good thing. To respond to the comment above, while that might increase edit warring, it could also increase good collaboration and an increase in editors. On a site full of projects that anyone can edit, I don't think we should be so scared of the potential for abuse that we don't take these sorts of chances. The biggest chance will always be allowing everyone to edit, and that has worked out. Ajraddatz (talk) 18:05, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Watch by default would get annoying, but it's easy to disable and for editors who mostly edit, I can see how it would be useful. I personally don't like extendwatchlist or usenewrc. I'm surprised default-enabling enotifwatchlistpages is being proposed - translated, it means "spam me by default". No thanks. BethNaught (talk) 20:16, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
  • In my view #1 and #2 are really bad ideas. This may be useful for users who only create new articles (but those are watched by default anyway), but this will be just horrible for those who make minor edits to popular articles: adding an item to en:Deaths in 2016 guarantees a new user several dozens emails per day, most of these emails being completely irrelevant to user's contributions. As a result user may just start sending all emails from Wikimedia to spam, making us unable to send them emails. #3 might be good or messy depending on the wiki (good for small wikis and messy for large ones), #4 should be useful — NickK (talk) 20:44, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't agree on this default approach for all wikis, especially Wikisources. At the Wikisources where users are operating in namespaces for preparing works (Page: ns) these pages may only ever be edited twice (proofread, validated). So a user will have a list of Page: ns built that is of little value to the user, and to the project. The value for adding to a watchlist is where pages are getting repeat edits, and are true living documents. Please leave it as choice, unless you can get some fine control and make it something for the main namespace.  — billinghurst sDrewth 23:15, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
    It still would be a choice, it would just be enabled by default. I think the ideal balance between the two would be a "receive emails related to contributions you make" option when signing up for an account. Ajraddatz (talk) 23:20, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
    Well, a choice enabled by default usually means "you probably do not need these emails, but we subscribed you anyway". This does not seem like a user-friendly option: some people like hundreds of emails per day while others do not know how to manage that many emails ("I made just one edit to en:Deaths in 2016 and now I receive fifty useless emails per day, what will happen to my mailbox if I continue editing?"). Thus if enabled by default it must have clear and visible opt-out instructions and preferrably be sent from a separate email to avoid being sent to spam together with more important messages — NickK (talk) 08:30, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
  • 1) Oppose No. Watchlist is something you need to get used to. It is good to have its size enlarged gradually. If you just throw all the pages a noob edits into it it may actually look scary. 2) Oppose Absolutely no. I have never used this option and I always look with surprise when I learn that some people use it. Active editors tend to have thousands of pages in their WLs → tons of spam to be received. As per NickK in large wikis even having few pages but those being highly edited → tons of spam to be received. 3) Is this the thing like on TWN? Rather Oppose no. It is neat but it is rather an option you need to be the right person to like. At the beginning it may be difficult to navigate in such view. 4) Oppose No. I personally use this option but as it makes WL several times bigger users should select this consciously. And general reply: new users sometimes need half a year or so to start to really learn of all the options in preferences. It would be rather nice to not have them spammed and otherwise overwhelmed/overflooded with notifications in this timespan. When people are grounded in wiki enough to start to learn about it more, they find the preferences and timidly try some options they have there. Those really should not be forced upon them by default. --Base (talk) 15:03, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
    • I agree with Base. The watchlist should be created manually, not by editing typos to random pages. And getting emails by default is the worst. --NaBUru38 (talk) 00:55, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • To the best of my knowledge, I partially support and partially oppose some of this proposal, specifically:
  1. Support Support watchdefault and usenewrc, both are good for cross-wiki patrolling; however
  2. Oppose Oppose enotifwatchlistpages, this could fit some countries where e-mail censorship is happen (well, I don't like to say that example here)
  3. Neutral Neutral extendwatchlist, need more CUs and Oses discussion

. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:19, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

  • If idea 2 (enotifwatchlistpages) had enabled by default new editors would receive useless spam. Especially if idea 1 (watchdefault) had enabled by default. I use enotifwatchlistpages feature only in wikis where I edit only rarely and I have only a few pages in my watchlist. Thanks to this feature I have no need to check my watchlist in these wikis but for active editor who has thousands of pages in his/her watchlist this feature is idiotic. As for idea 4 (extendwatchlist), it would fulfill new editor's watchlist if they had some frequently edited in their watchlist. I do not support these ideas. --Smaug the Golden (talk - my contributions) 13:28, 25 August 2017 (UTC)