How are Mods Made "Default"

I notice in the default settings two are in default and two are not (dinosaurs and gun nuts I think). Is there polling in regard to this or is it just the devs best judgement in regards to what is compatible? Just wondering.

Those mods are on by default because the content in them used to be in the main game.

FWIW you can change your settings to whatever default you like. Shift the packs so you’ve got what you want in, and then hit S to save that as your new default. Mod manager’s set so pulling from Git won’t overwrite your personal default.

All development is by developer judgement.

Pretty much. More specifically mainline mods tend to be sets of objects that we think would work fairly well in the mainline, but that significant portions of players feel they should have the ability to turn on/off. Medieval content for example or the more antiquated guns are definitely things that would work in the mainline, but aren’t something that some players would want to see. Other things like the heatblades are other things that will probably eventually be pulled out to mainline mods. The dinomod is a bit unique in that it was one of the first CDDA mods out there and is still being maintained, so it just has gotten in due to older promises and as an example mod.