This is only anecdotal, but in my experience the MW user configuration
(here specifically I mean Special:Preferences, the main space for
user-facing knobs and levers) isn't much of a problem. My anecdotal
experience comes from introducing decidedly non-IT technical users to
If anything, new user confusion comes mainly from digesting the MW
content architecture; we use Semantic Forms for example, and the notion
that a template and a form are wiki pages just like any page in the main
namespace, and associated notions like checking the page history for a
form is something I've seen give more confusion. It's apparently
something of a mental transition when you're used to a more traditional
CMS. (Just to be clear, I'm not saying anything needs to be fixed in
this regard, I'm mentioning it for contrast against current
complexity/simplicity of user configuration in MW.)
The UI for user configuration? they don't bat an eye.
Even outside Special:Preferences, I can't really see any user-facing UI
elements (knobs and levers) which would be nice to hide or abstract out.
I wouldn't be surprised if someone smarter than me can follow up with
strong examples of unnecessary config, but I'm generally wary of making
things simpler than they need to be.
On 06/13/2016 08:54 AM, Quim Gil wrote:
Just in case you find it interesting:
"Hey, You Have Given Me Too Many Knobs! Understanding and Dealing with
Over-Designed Configuration in System Software". ESEC/FSE'15, August 2015,
The topic of amount and usefulness of user preferences is relevant to our
software. I dream of a simpler user configuration by default combined with
easier ways to find and enable community supported gadgets.