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This is similar to, but for contrib modules too - not just core...
Each time there's a debate over which setting for a certain feature of a module should be on/off by default and maintainers need to decide, we usually have pointless/endless debates of what *seems* more appropriate and guesses of what most users prefer.
Such examples are:
- Overlay enabled by default in D7 core (huge fail IYAM)
- Which WYSIWYG editor library should we use in
A nice way to make everyone happy when it comes to default settings is to have the last settings be remembered (for example), but that is not always applicable. This method also fails each time a new installation is set up: there's no way for Drupal to "know" what you want based on previous installations.
Another way to make a relatively sane decision is to have a poll over such matters (/ ), but that assumes that most users are regularly following what happens in d.o and/or their most-used projects' issue queues. In other words, it assumes that:
a) people would know that there's a poll going on
b) they care enough to bother voting
By methodically taking a look at the usage stats of various projects in d.o (a habit I developed) I can say that it's safe to conclude that that is not the case. I believe that the majority of users is involved to a level where they simply download and use a stable version off a module and if it causes them no issues, they stick with it and never upgrade unless they have to upgrade their sites to a next major release of Drupal.
How about we provided the means for project maintainers to collect anonymous stats of their modules' settings? This would help them eventually tweak their modules' default settings to provide a less-clicking-around, works-out-of-the-box UX.
User interface changes