https://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=52812

--- Comment #9 from Connor Behan <connor.be...@gmail.com> ---
(In reply to comment #8)
> (In reply to comment #5)
> > I posted here before finding the data
> > (https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Requests_for_comment/Core_user_preferences).
> > 112 users out of 40,000 is quite small but accessibility and web standards
> > need to be more important than popularity.
> 
> Can you please clarify what you mean by "accessibility and web standards"?

You've read the Village Pump discussion, but to repeat with less cruft, the
suggestion box covers up the "Search" and "Go" buttons with the monobook skin.
Some people were saying that these buttons are not needed but Redrose64 pointed
out that they help avoid a bug in firefox >= 25.0.

Also, unlike a search *history* box, a search *suggestion* box is not a web
standard. This is why Wikipedia, YouTube, Google and every other site using
suggestions cannot have them rendered in a user's native theme. Uniformity of
the desktop experience is a divisive topic and this alone is enough of a reason
to opt out of search suggestions.

One problem with this argument is that if the suggestion box is disabled, the
history box would also cover the "Search" and "Go" buttons in monobook.
However, this box will disappear more quickly unless the user has recently
searched for just about everything on Wikipedia.

> The suggestions are based on the number of incoming links, as I recall.
> (Someone should double-check this.) If you have a suggestion for a better
> means
> of ranking/providing suggestions, please file a separate bug report. It may
> also make sense to file a bug report about limiting when suggestions trigger
> (i.e., displaying suggestions with only a single letter of input may be a bit
> too sensitive).

An option to set the number of characters sounds preferable to what we have
now. But only because I would set it to 999 and make it so I never see
suggestions. Wouldn't this bloat the code more than putting the option back?

Even if there is an unbiased algorithm deciding how it is done, the suggestion
feature is one of the many things that chips away from the neutrality of
Wikipedia. Microsoft gets free advertising when you press "x". Google gets free
advertising when you press "y". If I want to read about politics in my country
and type "Justin Trudeau", on the way I am inadvertently reminded of "Justin
Timberlake" and "Justin Bieber".

I have read the other preferences that are marked for death and I have not been
able to find many complaints about them. People seem to feel more strongly
about disablesuggest. Ironically, the feature itself promotes crowd-sourcing
from the majority. So the types of people who turn it off are naturally the
types of people who think populism should not dictate what preferences we keep.

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