We already have
KAFKA-1756 filed to more completely address this issue, but it is waiting for some other major changes to configs to completely protect users from this problem.
This JIRA should address the low hanging fruit to at least warn users of the potential problems. Currently the only warning is in our documentation.
1. Generate a warning in the kafka-topics.sh tool when they change this setting on a topic to be larger than the default. This needs to be very obvious in the output.
2. Currently, the broker's replica fetcher isn't logging any useful error messages when replication can't succeed because a message size is too large. Logging an error here would allow users that get into a bad state to find out why it is happening more easily. (Consumers should already be logging a useful error message.)