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  • Drew Jaynes (DrewAPicture) 6:31 pm on January 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , pathways, , wptrt   

    Docs is trying to build pathways to support 

    A Twitter discussion this morning spawned a conversation about the lack of breadcrumbs to support in the Codex, namely for theme authors looking to ask questions about the theme review guidelines.

    The Docs team is compiling a list of articles that point out some of the support pathways, such as mailing lists, IRC, the forums or other channels.

    We welcome any input and discussion: http://make.wordpress.org/docs/2013/01/10/missing-breadcrumbs-to-support/

     
    • esmi 11:29 pm on January 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Done – from the perspective of someone who also tends to hang around the theme review list a fair bit. :)

  • Drew Jaynes (DrewAPicture) 5:05 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: commercial support, ,   

    What to do with commercial plugin/theme topics? 

    On the wp-forums mailing list this morning, there spawned a good conversation about how commercial plugin/theme support threads should be handled in the forums.

    There were several good questions raised including:

    • Should there be a better way to segregate commercial plugin/theme support topics?
    • How can we better organize said topics into one place? Should we?

    The conversation spawned from this thread and how these situations should be handled. Jan summed it up pretty well with:

    I was going to reply along the lines of “Please be nice to the plugin
    author, they are providing support for free and on their own time” when I
    realized wlbryan was their customer.

    Given that we routinely tell people that commercial code is not supported
    here, why is WOWsliders.com using the forums like this? Is that really
    permitted or even a good idea?

    As @jane pointed out, make:support might be a more apt venue for the conversation, so here we go.

     
    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:22 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Obviously we have to permit them to be able to reply to people ;) Personally once it’s been explained that commercial support happens on commercial sites (i.e. if you pay for it, go over to where you paid for help please), we should close the topic. If people come back and act like entitled children, it’s on them and we can (and will) flag them for that behavior.

      (If you represent your company/code/whatever, it behooves you to act like a mature adult. If you shout at your customers, free or paid, you’ve become your own worst advertising. Stop it ;) I won’t delete posts where you act like an idiot just because you got into an argument on the internet.)

      • Chip Bennett 5:26 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Or, if the forums had a way to identify a topic asked about a specific Theme/Plugin, if that specific Theme/Plugin is commercial (or otherwise not-WPORG-hosted), we could auto-respond with “this isn’t the right place to seek support for this Plugin/Theme. (Here’s why….) Go here for this Plugin/Theme’s support.”

        • Jan Dembowski 5:33 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Geez, I was half way done when Chip’s reply popped up. ;)

          A boiler plate reply with an option link to the commercial support forums gets my vote.

          The bolier plate doesn’t need to be chapter and verse just something along the lines of “We don’t support those here, see vendor’s support link instead” just like we currently do for commercial themes.

          I’m thinking of what Japh replies with as a model.

          Should there be a better way to segregate commercial plugin/theme support topics?

          But what about a scenario where someone has code hosted on WordPress, get’s a donate link or more openly has a site to make a “purchase” but uses the WordPress support forums as the support venue for their paying customers?

          I’m hard pressed to find such an example exactly but that list thread I started is pretty darn close.

          • Andrea Rennick 7:34 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            A donate link is different than paid support. :) I don’t think paid support should happen on dot org.

            #canofworms

            • Jan Dembowski 7:46 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink

              Yep, I should have excluded donate links, I really did mean paid support. Donations are perfectly fine. :)

    • Andrea Rennick 5:30 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As noted on the mailing list from Japh – some people post in all the places they can find, hoping to get an answer sooner.

      If we send the same message from all places, diverting to one official spot, then that’s better all around.

      I say this with either hat on here. ;)

      From a support perspective, all questions should be funnelled through to one spot. It’s exhausting to check multiple places.

      From a forum mod point of view – commercial places should not be expected to be allowed to support their plugin in the wp.org forums. If it’s a free one hosted here, fine. If there’s a commercial version – it should be bumped over to their commercial spot.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 9:10 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        commercial places should not be expected to be allowed to support their plugin in the wp.org forums.

        Caveat: If the commercial theme/plugin is hosted on the repository (see Disqus), their readme better damn well say that. Otherwise it’s open season ;)

    • masonjames 5:33 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If it’s a premium (paid) product then the vendor should be supporting it on their own site right along with the download. No reason to add to the load on wp.org.

      That being said there are some (ahem) premium providers that ALSO provide free products hosted in the repository. We watch for new posts on these plugins and provide free support for them as much as possible and we encourage staff to pitch in on “regular” WP support as well.

      If it helps make the support more efficient somehow by putting things in once place then cool, but like Andrea said, some folks will post everywhere they can find :)

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:40 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Mason, I actually feel strongly about it for another reason ;) If a premium (paid) product is purchased, going to the forums for free support undercuts the paid product and makes it nigh impossible for them to make a living ;) I personally want everyone who offers support on their products to make a living, durn it! (also, I don’t have access to your paid code).

        The crossover of free to paid products is where we get the angry emails about review, I find. “Hey, so and so was really mean to me on the forums about my paid product, and when I called him a doody head, he got worse! Delete these posts! It makes me look bad!” (ans: No, stop calling people doody heads.)

        if people post ‘everywhere’ just delete the extra posts, and reply once in the first topic posted (or the one in the right place) to explain.

        “Hi, posting all over the place actually doesn’t help at all. If you post once, in the [plugin/theme] support forum, the developer will see it much faster, and everyone will know that’s the help you need. I’ve deleted your extra posts, so we don’t have the same conversation going on in multiple places.”

    • Andrew Nevins 5:46 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When there’s talk of a separate section just for commercial themes, will this still be within WordPress.org forums? If so, how will forum users be persuaded and informed to post on the segregated commercial-only section, and not where they’ve been posting before?

    • Jan Dembowski 5:57 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When there’s talk of a separate section just for commercial themes, will this still be within WordPress.org forums?

      If that does happen then I hope not. I also hope that doesn’t happen in case that’s not clear. ;)

      There are commercial WordPress related marketplaces already and I think they do an admirable job. Mostly, folks like Japh make those better all the time.

      If someone is going to sell something then they ought to also support it by their own means too. The unpaid volunteer supported community forums shouldn’t be that place and I think having that there would be inappropriate.

      I think you can still volunteer at those commercial forums but their ought to be a separation.

    • Mike Schinkel 2:56 am on December 29, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It would be really helpful if we could add an optional “Support URL:” entry for the WordPress plugin comment header so that we can explicitly identify where they will get their best support and having this will allow some of the use-cases mentioned above, i.e. for wordpress.org to indicate to the user that commercial support should happen elsewhere.

    • jcartland 12:28 am on January 1, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Just looking at WordPress again, first time in years, and I’m blown away. I do wish, though, that I could search .org without having to sift through references to commercial products.

      When learning Nodejs, even Drupal, search engines were my friend. Maybe I haven’t learned enough yet to craft my queries, but with WordPress the results seem to be mostly advertisement and self-promotion. It’s kind of annoying and off-putting, I’m hoping that the forums prove to be a refuge.

      Another wish– that license information be required in plugin and stylesheet headers, rather than optional.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 2:24 am on January 1, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        By default, if no license is specified, then the license is GPLv2. This is actually how license inheritance works for all GPLv2 derivative software, so the explicit statement isn’t required :) if we had to state it, believe me, we would. So amusingly enough, if a commercial shop doesn’t specify a license, they’re GPLv2 by default. Technically they have to be GPLv2 compatible anyway, but you can read more about that here: http://make.wordpress.org/plugins/2012/12/20/gpl-and-the-repository/

        • Andrew Nevins 3:10 am on January 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’ve seen themes that state certain technologies are released in GPL but not others, e.g ” HTML & Design released under GPL “. Does this mean any other technologies not stated are not released under GPL?

          • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 2:47 pm on January 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            The basic rule is this: unless otherwise stated, your theme and plugin code is GPLv2.

            IF otherwise stated, then… It’s whatever they say it is :) not too complicated, you don’t have to overthink that one.

    • Emil Uzelac 6:46 am on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We just started something similar here: http://make.wordpress.org/themes/2013/01/13/theme-support-link/ please input if you can.

      Thanks!

    • Andrew Nevins 5:15 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Where has this progressed to?
      I keep seeing Gamepress Pro threads started on the Themes forums and not knowing whether I should forward the user somewhere else.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:17 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Gamepress Pro is hosted on .org, so it’s up to Alex to redirect people. Mods aren’t responsible to keep track of all that (sorry, Alex, it’s just not realistic for us to keep up with who’s supporting where).

        When the code is hosted OFF .org, then we send ‘em there.

    • alex27 6:03 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m sorry about this. I’ll try to direct all support questions to my website and communicate more clearly where to get support on my pages. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

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