# Wikipedia talk:Special:Preferences

## Bug?

I can't change my preferences. I go here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences and try to change a preference - e.g. Hide my edits from the watchlist or the new Suppress display of the fundraiser banner and try and save and the changes aren't saved and I see this: Your password is invalid or too short. It must have at least 1 character and be different from your username.

Perhaps this language just needs to be changed to match changed requirements; my password meets the listed requirements. --Elvey (talk) 23:04, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

## New feature: Widen search box?

Would it be possible put in a preference option to widen the search box in the upper right? I think many users would find this very useful. Thanks. --Albany NY (talk) 19:29, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

## The two toolbars

Special:Preferences/Editing#mw-prefsection-editing offers two toolbars.

Ping. — CpiralCpiral 22:55, 13 May 2013 (UTC)
CpiralCpiral 19:51, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

## This talk page

Please add a link to this talk page from the Special:Preferences page. (Currently it is targeted from Help:Preferences, but there is no guarantee that that content won't change, and the link from there to here vanish.) Maybe this is a futile request due to cross-wiki reasons. Maybe Special:Preferences only changes with MediaWiki software releases or patches. Maybe anything that could be said here is discussed elsewhere. Hey, maybe this is the very least likely talk page on Wikipedia! — CpiralCpiral 19:51, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

CpiralCpiral 19:51, 15 May 2013 (UTC) Shortnsassytxn (talk) 20:16, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

## Capitalization

On the Gadget tab, there is an item "Justify Paragraphs". The word paragraph is a common noun, and should not be capitalized. Chris the speller yack 13:01, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

## RfC: Change Default Math Appearance Setting to MathML

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
MathML is the preferred answer in this discussion, albeit with caveats over rendering in some cases. Guy (Help!) 08:27, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

Should the default Math appearance preference (most importantly for non logged in users) be changed from PNG to MathML? (getting the legibility on some devices fixed at the same time) Hungryce (talk)

### Reference

No edits would have to be done because it is simply a Preference at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering-math. As far as I can tell it won't break anything because of it being simply a visual Preference. Any page with math on would be affected but again no actual 'edit' would happen on that page, actually because it is per user the server would not have to do any work. A low spec machine would probably not be running a modern browser that supports MathML and would use SVG or PNG automatically which has the same impact as current math rendering. If there was a problem you could turn it back to PNG or text only. There might me a slight time penalty because you browser would have to figure out what display to use but that would be insignificant compared to the processor use of the browser. No edit-a-thon would be required! The MathML is already an option, just not the default. I think that it would be the default for new users and a notification would be put out to notify existing users about it.

Non logged in users have no ability to change the preferences and therefor this option. This means that this is even more important for them to have this change because logged in users can edit this if they wish.

I has been noted that in some cases the legibility of primes (example: ${\displaystyle f'(x),f''(x),f'''(x)}$) is not so good (screen shot) but that can be fixed and if this is passed it will be fixed before the Preference is changed. Hungryce (talk) 22:51, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

### Survey

#### Support

• Support The MathML looks much nicer on high DPI screens and it has a fallback on SVG or PNG if the browser does not have support for it directly. Hungryce (talk) 01:52, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
• Support per Hungryce. The only real change is that it will be the default. I don't see a problem. SW3 5DL (talk) 06:26, 23 December 2015 (UTC)
• Support Sounds well worth trying out and can readily be rolled back should something unforeseen arise.--Kevjonesin (talk) 07:21, 28 December 2015 (UTC)
• Support MathML looks much cleaner and is not hugely larger than the surrounding text. As Kevjonesin points out, if problems arise, this can be reversed. Happy Squirrel (talk) 00:17, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
• Support MathML is far superior in most respects. Errors in rendering are rare, and will not affect most users. I will note that logged-in users who edit mathematics articles almost never use the default PNG setting, so it seems strange for them to prefer that logged-out users should see math rendered that way. In addition, the use of the PNG setting as a default has led to perennial arguments over in-line TeX, which is not rendered well by the PNG setting. While no setting is perfect, it seems clear that the benefits of MathML far outweigh the occasional glitches. --Sammy1339 (talk) 19:52, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
• Support MathML is much nicer and more natural than PNG. And cheaper. - DVdm (talk) 21:51, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
• Support MathML looks nicer and based on what Sammy1339 says we should have the default match the style seen by those editting the articles. Rendering glitches should be handled as per case issues. For any current MathML glitches we already have users that have MathML in there preference and without MathML being the default there is a higher chance of someone inserting something that appears to render fine in PNG but wrong in MathML. I have encountered such problems in some of the formulas for converting between various representations of color coordinates. PaleAqua (talk) 17:06, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

#### Oppose

• The proposal suggests modern browsers support MathML, but they don't. MathJax has recently abandoned MathML for their next version because of this, and I recommend reading that link to see their full analysis. I do not see why we would switch to using MathML by default at a time when it seems to be a dying standard. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:28, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
• Oppose. MathML/SVG is still too ugly to use in simple inline formulas (for which {{math}} does a much better job of matching font/baseline). It's an improvement over PNG when it works, and it does work (in SVG fallback mode) on the browsers I use, but Slawomir Bialy's comment below has convinced me that it does not work on a significant minority of browsers. Not-logged-in users have no option to change their preferences, so to set this as the default we must be sure that it works more universally than that. —David Eppstein (talk) 04:11, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
• Oppose per above, and also my comment below. 02:03, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

• What will it break? How many pages will be affected? What happens on on low spec machines? What is the time gain or time penalty? I would like to be reminded of this before I give support. When running an edit-a-thon our hosts scape together kit from the darkest cupboards and we have to get it working before we can deliver the goods. Default is default and the most we can hope for so it has got to work. -- 20:39, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
• No edits would have to be done because it is simply a Preference at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering-math. As far as I can tell it won't break anything because of it being simply a visual Preference. Any page with math on would be affected but again no actual 'edit' would happen on that page, actually because it is per user the server would not have to do any work. A low spec machine would probably not be running a modern browser that supports MathML and would use SVG or PNG automatically which has the same impact as current math rendering. If there was a problem you could turn it back to PNG or text only. There might me a slight time penalty because you browser would have to figure out what display to use but that would be insignificant compared to the processor use of the browser. No edit-a-thon would be required! The MathML is already an option, just not the default. I think that it would be the default for new users and a notification would be put out to notify existing users about it. Hungryce (talk) 22:28, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
• One advantage for MathML is that it scales (or can be controlled) by the CSS font-size. (I'm not sure about SVG.) PNG is pretty much PNG, which is usually ridiculously big for inline math. I also believe MathML (and probably SVG) would be an advantage for mobile devices, since PNG is usually more data to display the same thing, which is also probably a heavier load on the wiki rendering engine, although I have no actual numbers to back up that belief. However, rather than focusing on user preferences, doesn't the issue really become that the default is applied without recourse to non-logged-in readers, who have no preferences? Since every web client should be able to handle PNGs, I suspect that's why the current default is PNGs. Do we know of any web clients that would confuse the rendering engine into sending something the client couldn't handle? --Unready (talk) 17:11, 20 November 2015 (UTC)
• I have not heard of this but I will try and test with all the popular browsers (new and old) on multiple operating systems. The only problem I can see is if the browser can't do JS but it might be that JS is not needed or there is a default for non JS clients. The other problem if if the user can't see HTML but the PNG would not work anyway. Hungryce (talk) 00:22, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
• MathML doesn't use JS, AFAIK. You might be thinking of MathJax. --Unready (talk) 00:35, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
• I was just assuming beacuse I have not looked at the code to see what does happen. Hungryce (talk) 20:17, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
• Some reading material: phab:T99369, phab:T78046, comparison image from T99369, webfont test. Included in the Phab tasks are some people posting that MathML paints empty blocks in Chrome, but that may have been a transient bug. I'm a bit concerned about primes being virtually illegible in MathML, e.g., expressions like ${\displaystyle f'(x),f''(x),f'''(x)}$, which are perfectly legible as (ugly) PNG, although the webfont test page shows Neo Euler as the best font for MathML (IMO), with Asana Math a close second (also IMO). The author of the page, and several Phabricator posts, seems to prefer Latin Modern, but the point is that readability can be quite variable based on what fonts a reader has installed. A more complete implementation may be to include an appropriate webfont and CSS styling to use the font. --Unready (talk) 00:33, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
• I use chrome so there is no problem in chrome. I understand that there might be some problems with legibility and I will add that to the question so that that can be fixed at the same time. Hungryce (talk) 20:17, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
• Chrome falls back to SVG, I believe. For Firefox, I installed Asana Math locally and added something like the following to my personal common.css. It works fairly well. (Double-struck script and cursive script seems to render as normal, single struck in MathML for me, but that's a problem with the math extension, I think.) Asana_Math.woff or a compatible font would need to be included in site CSS for anyone who doesn't have it locally and could/should be hosted on en.wikipedia.org (so as not to run afoul of a same-origin policy that would prevent it being loaded) or be hosted somewhere which allows any origin (Access-Control-Allow-Origin: * response header). --Unready (talk) 01:36, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
/**
* Asana Math is released under the SIL Open Font License.
* http://mirrors.ctan.org/fonts/
*
* Feature requires Chrome Firefox  IE  Opera Safari
* @namespace        1.0+   1.0+   9.0+  8.0+  1.0+
* selector (|)      1.0+   1.0+   9.0+  8.0+  3.0+
* MathML            n/a    1.5+   n/a   ?     ?
*/

@namespace m url(http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML);

@font-face {
font-family: "Asana Math";
src: local("Asana Math"), url('/path/to/Asana-Math.woff');
}

m|math {
font-family: "Asana Math";
}

m|mtext {
/* text in a math tag is the same as serif outside the math tag */
font-family: "Linux Libertine", Georgia, Times, serif;
}

/* the rest of the CSS .... */

• This will be very useful to have if this is passed. Hungryce (talk) 20:31, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
• I am currently running the latest version of Firefox in Ubuntu LTS 14.04. The MathML implementation in that release of Firefox appears to be broken: vertical alignment is badly mangled. (This seems to be a bug in Firefox, rather than Wikipedia. I've not systematically checked other binary releases.) If we implement MathML, we should also include documentation how to fix this issue on Firefox, as it renders mathematics on Wikipedia unreadable. 23:16, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

### Please extend this RfC

This RfC does not appear to have been properly advertized on WP:Mathematics, where many users have strong feelings on this subject. I will list it there and it should run for a little while longer before being closed. --Sammy1339 (talk) 19:48, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Given that this change would also affect articles in physics, chemistry, engineering, and statistics, I think it might be appropriate to have a watchlist notice. But I don't know how to request one. Ozob (talk) 00:27, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
To request a watchlist notice. go to MediaWiki talk:Watchlist-details and use {{editprotected}} to advertise your request. —Kusma (t·c) 14:37, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

## RfC: Change Default Math Appearance Setting to MathML (Follow Up)

There is no consensus for any change currently. (non-admin closure) ~ RobTalk 12:37, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Hi, I stopped looking at this page after my previous WP:RFC ended because there were not enough people to warrant any change. I am now aware that multiple people have commented asking me to extend this WP:RFC and that it has been put on Phabricator ( ). I see on Phabricator that they are waiting for some new system to be made that will work better and be deployed be default on all wikis. It has been suggested to advertise in more places. I propose that we don't wait for Phabricator and change it on our wiki now. I am posting two surveys one for now waiting for Phabricator and one for the overall topic. Please see above for the previous discussion and background information. Here are some pictures of what MathML vs. PNG looks like in my browser (Google Chrome 52.0.2715.0 (Official Build) canary (64-bit))
Math from Quadratic Equation in MathML on a browser that supports MathML (although many browsers do not, see below for an example).
Math from Quadratic Equation in PNG.
(Also feel free to fix my spelling, grammar, wording or whatever to improve this WP:RFC) Hungryce (talk) 16:58, 21 April 2016 (UTC)
@Hungryce: Would you please place a example of each of these below for comparison? I'm not exactly sure what a !vote for support or oppose would do. — xaosflux Talk 15:51, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
@Xaosflux:, I am about to add some photos.

### Survey (Ignore Phabricator)

At the current time, there is a Phabricator task for implementing a better math rendering system that will work across all devices. Should we ignore this and go ahead and make this change ourselves first?

### Survey

Should we change to MathML as the default? The old WP:RFC did not have enough people to know for sure.

#### Support

• Support The "MathML with SVG fallback" is generally a better option than PNG, this should be run as a default for a good while to see if there are any problems before completely abandoning the PGN mode. (Client side MathJax is still a visually better mode).--Salix alba (talk): 06:43, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

#### Oppose

This is what MathML looks like to some users.
• Oppose. Default options should be widely, if not universally supported, partly because users who are not logged in have no option to change the default appearance. In the latest build of Firefox in Ubuntu LTS 14.04, the MathML implementation appears to be broken: vertical alignment is badly mangled. I also find it not very encouraging that I already mentioned this issue in the previous RfC, as well as weeks before it at WT:WPM, yet no one involved in the MathML project seems to have acknowledged this serious problem with MathML. 13:27, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
• Modern browser do not support MathML, which is losing rather than gaining support. Even MathJax is moving away from MathML - according to the MathJax white paper [1], "It seems difficult to argue that browser vendors will actively implement MathML natively in the next 5 years,". An improved rendering engine for Wikipedia is important, but any project that is based on MathML is likely to fail. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:12, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

## MathML bad default

MathML is the default for the format delivered to the browser. My browser does not support MathML. A month ago, I saw formulas. Today, I see absolutely nothing.

I saw the notices that at least two discussions were "closed", and should not be edited, and that further comments should be directed to the "appropriate discussion page". If this is not that page, please advise.

Those discussions seemed to end with the decision not to change the default rendering technique, yet I am suddenly unable to view any formula without logging in.

(I am using the stock browser on a Nook Tablet. I have not tried on a real computer.)

Jmichael ll (talk) 00:20, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

• Hi , I don't know how a Nook Tablet works but if possible, please upload a screenshot (how). The discussion was moved a long time ago to Phabricator (the place to post bugs and feature requests) here. I will mention this but without more information I am not sure what can be done. Not all browsers support MathML, but if the browser does not support MathML, it should go to SVG or PNG mode and even if that did not happen it should go to the source text rather than nothing. I will post this bug on Phabricator if you have more information, please mention that. Hungryce (talk) 00:57, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
• It works fine in Firefox 27 and in Internet Explorer 10. (A variety of posts had suggested that MathML was not supported in most browsers.)
I don't think there's any way to post a screen shot of a Nook Tablet, short of finding a digital camera. If you can take my word for it, on a real computer the first formula in the article "Russell's paradox" looks like:
         ...Symbolically:
<perfectly good looking formula>

while on the Nook Tablet, what I see is:
         ...Symbolically:

That's it, nothing displays between "Symbolically:" and the next paragraph of text.
When I peek at the page source (not "Edit" in Wikipedia, but the innerHTML on the browser itself), I see things like XML references (maybe referring to the MathML standard, maybe trying to include Javascript), and a bunch of HTML-like tags that are NOT in the Wikipedia source (as displayed by "Edit").
I appreciate your showing an interest in this. Let me know if you think it would help for me to go to this "Phabricator".
Jmichael ll (talk) 02:06, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
: I left a message on the task; could you check Russell's paradox once more, and perhaps also take a screenshot? Thanks! -- 76.14.75.239 (talk) 03:00, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
For how to make a screenshot: Try holding the home button together with the volume down button. If this doesn't work (it'll propably just make a "photographed" sound, maybe a short animation and save it somewhere without further notification) it's likely only possible through Android Debug Bridge. --nenntmichruhigip (Diskussion) 08:55, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

## Minor edits

I'm not very active anymore on Wiki' so wonder why my previous preference to treat edits as minor unless I indicate otherwise has gone away. — Robert Greer (talk) 18:23, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

IIRC this was removed because some people were abusing it, by were making significant numbers of non-minor edits but failing to uncheck "This is a minor edit" for each of those. See Help talk:Minor edit/Archive 1#Should we remove the Preference setting to "Mark all edits minor by default" ?, phab:T26313 and Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 78#Preference to mark all edits minor by default asked to be removed in bugzilla:24313 (where a worryingly-large number of people (Atakdoug (talk · contribs), Markdask (talk · contribs), Paine Ellsworth (talk · contribs), Makitk (talk · contribs), Bigmantonyd (talk · contribs), Timwi (talk · contribs), LantzR (talk · contribs), Guy Macon (talk · contribs)) commented after the thread was archived, despite the notice at the top asking them not to). --Redrose64 (talk) 14:21, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Redrose64 (talk · contribs), pinging multiple editors complaining about an error they made five years ago is disruptive behavior. Don't do it again. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:35, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
Redrose64 (talk · contribs), I do not see any such notice at the top of the page or the section you linked to, nor is there any comment by me on the entire page. — Timwi (talk) 17:56, 18 September 2016 (UTC)
@Timwi: This is the edit; and in the box at the top of the page, it says "This page contains discussions that have been archived from Village pump (technical). Please do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to revive any of these discussions, either start a new thread or use the talk page associated with that topic." --Redrose64 (talk) 19:33, 19 September 2016 (UTC)
You claimed that I commented on the page. Your diff does not show a comment of mine, or any other form of discussion, debate, vote or other interaction. While the notice at the top technically says “please do not edit the contents”, anyone with common sense can see that my edit was useful and desirable. — Timwi (talk) 16:28, 26 September 2016 (UTC)
@Timwi: Thanks for the cleanup!

## Size of edit box

The help section for the preferences page says that there should be an option to set a default size for the editing box, but I can't find this option anywhere. Was it removed? Natureium (talk) 14:55, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 152#Tech News: 2017-03 and Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 152#Edit window is too big. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:23, 27 January 2017 (UTC)
I've updated the help page to remove the mention of this feature. Sam Walton (talk) 20:37, 27 January 2017 (UTC)

## Request

As an EN-GB user, I think the "Your language setting of "British English" means that you may miss some local customisations" message has the same effect as "SWITCH TO THE NORMAL ENGLISH SETTING NOW OR I'LL SHOOT YOU": it doesn't work. The message (which, by the way, uses American spelling, probably to be more condescending) should be removed. KMF (talk) 03:45, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

It should not be removed; but perhaps it can be amended. The thing is, having three different "English" settings means that we have three sets of system messages to maintain (English; Canadian English; and British English), instead of the single one that we really ought to have. Some people set British or Canadian English in the mistaken belief that it will affect how articles are displayed. To see how little is actually altered, try setting a language that does not use the Latin alphabet (like Greek, Russian or Japanese), and view a few articles. Unless you go for the edit tab, it's only in the margins that you will see any difference.
The language selector at Preferences is provided for people whose first language is not English (French, German, Japanese, Russian etc.) to be able to understand various non-content parts of pages in their own language. I have yet to come across somebody who has set British or Canadian English because they cannot understand the internationalised English that is the default. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 11:45, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Why is a fancy box around the "This file is from Wikimedia Commons..." and "There is currently no text in this page..." messages considered a reason to switch back to the default US English setting? KMF (talk) 13:57, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Also, Commons, Meta, and SimpleWiki don't have that message for en-gb (even though, in simple's case, it actually un-simples the interface, instead of just removing a few fancy boxes). KMF (talk) 13:59, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
EngVars only exist because of Noah Webster. If we get people to use wikt:en:, then his (other) legacy will go the way of Brittanica and Encarta. KMF (talk) 20:39, 9 October 2017 (UTC)