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  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:59 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , guidelines,   

    Discussion: A Better Do and Don’t List 

    The following are cribbed from another site’s Dos and Don’ts. They should not be considered the be all and end all of guidelines, but they’re a good start. I’m thinking that perhaps a simplified ‘dos and dont’s’ list may help some people who see our massive list of guidelines and panic.

    This list is not perfect and I want your help

    Please suggest changes and improvements. I don’t want to make it much longer, so if we can consolidate and combine, that would be good. There’s no point in even trying to get through everything, so really I’m trying to spell out the basics of etiquette on the forums.

    Good Manners and Respect Dos and Don’ts

    • DON’T use “um,” be snotty to another user, or make the argument personal
    • DO know the difference between differences of opinion and personal attacks
    • DO treat others the way you want to be treated
    • DON’T present your opinions as facts
    • DON’T post the same opinion over and over in the hopes of wearing other people down or “winning” a discussion; just move on
    • DON’T be a gosh-darn dirty spammer
    • DON’T be vulgar; if you’re not sure, don’t say it

    Starting New Threads Dos and Don’ts

    • DO search for existing topics before starting new threads
    • DO make a new topic if you find yourself saying “I have the same problem but …”
    • DO link back to a related topic (or closed) when approriate
    • DON’T use all-caps or excessive punctuation in thread titles
    • DON’T treat the support forums as your personal blog
    • DON’T get all meta and use the forums to rant about the forums

    Posting Messages Dos and Don’ts

    • DON’T post in a thread until you’ve read the whole thread
    • DON’T post “Me Too!” messages; add something of substance to the conversation
    • DON’T sign your posts
    • DO use proper spelling, capitalization, punctuation, et cetera
    • DON’T post just to pimp your site or product, et cetera
    • DON’T post the same thing in multiple areas; pick a spot and go with it

    Warnings, Bans and Trolls Dos and Don’ts

    • DO take any mod warnings you get seriously
    • DON’T bug the mods to remove moderation on your posts
    • DO help us out and report trolls, flame wars, and troublemakers by tagging a post with “modlook”
    • DON’T abuse the modlook tag
     
    • Andrew Nevins 6:18 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I don’t think we need a manners bit, we can just assume everyone knows what manners are.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:09 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That isn’t entirely the point of that section. We know what manners are, but a lot of people fall short on applying them, so a quick “Hey yo, remember this stuff?” is clearly needed. If not, there would be far fewer people being moderated :)

    • Drew Jaynes (DrewAPicture) 6:19 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Are these for forum posters or moderators? I keed I keed. I was thinking about something like this last night, actually.

      I realize this is a work in progress, and I think even this list is too long. We can pare some of these out. Some of these are good but multi-part where I feel like some of the parts are just common sense and don’t need to be said.

      So for instance, “DON’T use “um,” be snotty to another user, or make the argument personal” could probably just be “DON’T make things personal”, etc.

    • Andrew Nevins 6:21 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      And for this bit “DO search for existing topics before starting new threads”, I’ve heard people say “I searched first, just like the forum welcome said, then I found a thread and posted my issue there” – So that may need to be clarifying too

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:11 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yeah, I think that would be “DO search for existing topics first, they may already have the solution” – Because we DO want you to search first so we don’t repeat the same things over and over :)

    • kmessinger 6:22 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would put all the do’s first in each section.

    • Andrew Nevins 6:26 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What about a bit saying “Do help volunteers help you. If someone asks you a question that you may find pointless it may turn out to be an important step in a debugging process” – You know when people complain that you’re asking pointless questions

    • Kathryn Presner 8:22 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Don’t post anything you may not want found in Google searches in the future, such as personal information, your phone number, your client’s name, etc.

      Don’t ever post login details for your site.

    • Kathryn Presner 8:24 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Do take the time to do some basic troubleshooting before posting. That may include deactivating all plugins, switching to a default theme temporarily, looking at your site in a different browser, or anything else that might rule out culprits for your issue.

    • TheHandOfCod 10:46 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      At the risk of being controversial I would say that list is too long. IMO people will read the first set and then move on. I would suggest that the people who come here are generally looking for help and often(maybe) want to get that help asap. I would therefore suggest you cut the list down to the 10 most heinous crimes and then have a disclaimer saying that there are more with a link to a more detailed post on etiquette. The top 10 being 5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts ?

      • Jan Dembowski 11:44 pm on March 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree with keeping it concise when possible but it’s not about heinous crimes (I need to use the phrase at work tomorrow, thanks ;) ).

        I mean, you could summarize this as

        • Do provide the level of support and help that you would want
        • Don’t respond in a way that you wouldn’t like

        But that wouldn’t make for a useful list…

    • Chris Olbekson 4:16 am on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Nice list. I would also love to see a link to an article Michael wrote a few years ago which should be must reading for helpers and helpees. http://michaelbox.net/2012/05/welcome-aboard-support-channels/

    • Andrew Nevins 7:40 am on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Will this list be links that go to other parts of the page in more detail?

    • Adrian Houle 5:18 am on April 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I subscribed to the email list. Will i be notified of the meeting?

  • Jan Dembowski 11:06 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    IRC Meetup agenda for week #13 

    Agenda items for weekly #wordpress-sfd meeting:

    • Reminder that this week’s meeting is 1 PM EST and 10 AM US Pacific time. Still 1700 UTC, after this week DST does it’s thing.
    • WordPress 3.9 beta testing (yep, that’s a recurring thing)
    • Any more https forum issues
     
  • Jan Dembowski 6:47 pm on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Support Team Update for March 20th 

    This has been a quick week for support and the agenda was light today. Items discussed were as follows.

    Daylight saving time confusion

    Today’s meeting was at 1700 UTC which today meant 1 PM EST and 10 AM US Pacific. The meeting time isn’t changing and after March 30th it will be back to it’s regular time in the US.

    But next week (March 27th) the meetup will be again at 1 PM EST and 10 AM US Pacific. DST is a pain.

    More WordPress Beta testing

    WordPress 3.9 Beta 2 is out today. Please continue to test and report issues. If you see an Alpha/Beta sub-forum topic that has a ticket already then please post that ticket URL and resolve the topic.

    Issue with moderators deleting some posts in the forums

    @Ipstenu brought up this issue in the forums. Sometimes deleting individual posts in the forums (spam for example) doesn’t work and the moderator has to go to the bbPress backend and delete it that way. I confirmed that I see the same thing.

    There was some discussion that it may be related to the recent all SSL switch but that’s just speculation.

    The ticket URL raised on this issue is https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/375

    Plugin screenshots being downloaded instead of displayed

    @Clorith brought up that sometimes when you visit a plugin page clicking the screenshots will download the image rather than display it in the browser. @PeterBooker was able to use one of his plugins as an example.

    It was believed that this is triggered by images being JPEG or PNG or not being in the /assets/ directory. But that plugin page has the bug for all screenshots regardless of image format. All of the images are located in the /assets/ directory too.

    A ticket will have to be raised and not all plugin screenshot pages are experiencing this issue.

    The transcript of today’s meetup can be viewed at this link.

     
    • Samuel Wood (Otto) 6:57 pm on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      sometimes when you visit a plugin page clicking the screenshots will download the image rather than display it in the browser

      This is an SVN issue, and it is totally fixable by the plugin author themselves.

      The plugin author needs to correctly set the MIME Type of their screenshot images in the SVN repository.

      On Windows, using TortoiseSVN, you can right click the screenshot file, and select the TortoiseSVN->Properties menu. There you will find the svn:mime-type property, probably incorrectly set to “application/octet-stream”. Change that to the proper mime type of “image/png” or “image/jpg” accordingly. Afterwards, commit the change.

      If you prefer command line SVN:

      svn propset svn:mime-type image/png screenshot-1.png
      svn commit

      Or similar. If somebody uses a different SVN client, look for “properties” and then the svn:mime-type property.

      If you have multiple screenshots, correct all their mime-type’s and then commit the change all at once.

      After you make this update to your plugin, it will take a short amount of time for the system to update due to the static cache.

      Please feel free to distribute this information to plugin authors as you see fit.

    • Rob Marlbrough 9:46 pm on April 4, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Yeah mine download as well. I don’t see anything in Cornerstone to set image mime types. I’d wonder why it isn’t set properly by default for images.

  • Jan Dembowski 10:15 am on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    IRC Meetup agenda for week #12 

    Items for the agenda this week so far:

    • More WordPress 3.9 beta testing (you are testing right?)
    • Don’t close alpha/beta sub-forum topics (my bad from last week)
    • Ideas for the Blue Welcome Box verbiage

    Please comment below for adding items to this week’s agenda.

    Also from the sidebar:

    Thursdays, 1700 UTC, location #wordpress-sfd

    • 6pm Amersterdam
    • 5pm London
    • 12 noon US Eastern
    • 9am US Pacific

    Which is 1 PM US Eastern (10 AM US Pacific). Is the meetup 1700 UTC or 1600?

    *Drinks more coffee*

    Timezones are a pain.

     
    • Marius Jensen (Clorith) 10:33 am on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      1700 UTC still, until the beginning of April when Europe passes DST as well. (At least that’s how core does it, and I like that approach my self, because then I can get home :P)

  • Jan Dembowski 9:17 pm on March 13, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Support Team Update for March 13th 

    With the daylight savings spring forward I was 1 hour early for the meetup. It was deja vu all for me when the meetup started at 1 PM EST…

    Today’s items discussed:

    Test WordPress 3.9 beta 1

    With the beta being released please install, test and report any issues that are found. If it’s plugin or theme related then create a topic in that sub-forum to let the author know. Topics in the alpha/beta sub-forum should be closed once a trac ticket has been submitted.

    The beta tester plugin makes switching easy http://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-beta-tester/ (it’s beta, not on production sites since things may break) and any feedback is appreciated.

    Identifying active contributors in support

    @jenmylo will be reaching out to team reps about identifying people to get badges on the new profiles that are being worked on. At some point that may be automatic but in the beginning the badges will be manual for this purpose.

    Give this some thought re names. I have some idea about forum regulars but IRC needs to be included and at some point names will be discussed.

    Blue Welcome Box for make/support

    Last week @kpdesign brought up the idea with me about creating a blue welcome box for make/support like the one that the other make blogs have. It’s a good idea and @Ipstenu earlier this week said she was thinking about the verbiage.

    The current stickey is on point but the welcome box should invite people to participate but not seek support here. Also it would go along with the whole look/feel/branding of the other make blogs.

    YouTube and the parenthesis

    More of an FYI: it was discussed that YouTube’s embed code is adding a close parenthesis at the end. It’s 100% on YouTube’s end and is not a WordPress issue.

    The parenthesis can be removed from being displayed via a filter (it’s still there in the oEmbed data) easily enough but I had some question about if the bad oEmbed results will be cached or not.

    Dealing with misinformation in IRC and the forums

    This happens in the forums a lot. Sometimes people insist that handing out bad (really, really bad) advice is valid. See some theme discussions about making changes as an example. In IRC it’s not child themes, it’s often “why are you even suggesting that function or a filter or… when we’re talking about a header image?”

    How to deal with that without a confrontation? jackreichert suggested sandwiched feedback for that situation and provided a link to an example. The idea is to wrap the criticism (negatives) of what they’re doing with positives. Don’t just focus on what the person is doing wrong also talk about what they’re getting right.

    It’s not a bad idea and it was an interesting conversation. In the forums most members, when asked not to suggest something like editing a theme directly or (much worse!) editing core will change their tune. But occasionally a member will get caught up and argue the point.

    The transcript of todays meetup can be found at this link.

     
    • Jan Dembowski 7:32 pm on March 14, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Correction re the alpha/beta forum: Topics in the alpha/beta sub-forum should be marked resolved once a trac ticket has been submitted.

      Don’t close those topics, just mark them as resolved.

  • Jan Dembowski 10:29 am on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    IRC Meetup agenda for week #11 

    Last week was fairly agenda-less but this week possible items for discussion on the IRC meeting:

    • 3.9 beta1 is close and a 3.9 Codex page has been started (Thank @kpdesign for the Docs update)
    • The upcoming new profile pages (the coffee and specifics hasn’t set in for me re this item but subliminally there’s something @jenmylo posted that made me want to discuss it with support)
    • Blue Welcome box on make/support like the other make pages? There’s a “Not for support sticky” already but a box with more verbiage may be useful.

    Please add to the comments below any items you’d like discussed in this week’s IRC meetup.

     
  • Jan Dembowski 7:27 pm on March 6, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Support Team Update for March 6th 

    Today’s support #wordpress-sfd meetup was very light as there was no pre-defined agenda.

    The topics discussed ranged from

    You can read the transcript of today’s meetup via this link.

     
  • Jan Dembowski 12:23 am on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    IRC Meetup agenda for week #10 

    This is the weekly call for support agenda items in the #wordpress-sfd chat. Any activities in the other WordPress groups that support should be aware of and post about?

    Please reply below and your support items will be added to the agenda.

     
  • Jan Dembowski 6:53 pm on February 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Support Team Update for February 27th 

    Here are the items discussed at today’s #wordpress-sfd support meetup.

    Code authors jumping straight to requesting admin access

    This is kind of a repeat item but except for asking authors to try intermediate steps I don’t see much to offer about this. It’s not quite like asking for FTP access but it’s close.

    Asking for access like that is not recommended and should be discouraged. The forums are a self-help resource and when the author just fixes the problem it doesn’t really help the community.

    It’s too much of a shortcut and just like FTP access if something breaks due to an author’s changes then the author is to blame.

    Status of doc-bot

    There was some discussion about where the doc-bot is being run from and features.

    For IRC support requests comments should be made to http://make.wordpress.org/support/irc-doc-bot/ in which @sivel will pinged.

    Semi-formal process for requesting forum custom member titles

    Occasionally there are official support representatives for a company, plugin or theme and those reps are not listed as a contributor. When that happens the authors can ask that those other accounts gets a custom title such as “ACME Support Rep”.

    But there’s not really a process to request that title. There was a make/support blog posting but that got really spammy quickly and had to be shut down.

    There was some discussion in the meetup about how that could be accomplished.

    1. A sticky forum post with posted requirements - That would get even more spammy and that idea was discarded.
    2. A PollDaddy form - That may work but would need some more fleshing out.
    3. Make it part of the plugins and themes bbPress admin portion - Difficult to do. Really difficult; they’re seperate bbPress installations and the integration work is a lot. If it were something simple like that it would have been done already.

    At the moment when a moderator identifies support staff, they confirm that they’re legitimate and offer to customize their forum member titles. But it’s more of a shoulder tap thing and not something that has a process for.

    If there’s an interest in making a process for those requests I’ll create a new post at make/support to get more ideas.

    You can read the transcript of today’s meet up via this link.

     
  • Jan Dembowski 7:28 pm on February 25, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    WordPress.org profiles feedback 

    If you could change the layout and/or information on your WordPress.org profile page at http://profiles.wordpress.org/membername what would you include? How would you change the layout? What features would you suggest?

    Don’t answer here, instead visit Jen Mylo’s post over at make/community and chime in there. ;)

     
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