Discussion: How best to gather Component/Focus Updates as we head towards release

The Challenge

One interesting challenge in the leadership and coordination of the release process is getting a clear and comprehensive understanding of the landscape of the release. The squad have some mechanisms in place to help reveal that landscape, devchat being one of the main cogs in that mechanism. In past release cycles, there have been other initiatives to try and make that landscape ‘higher resolution.’

In order to feel confident that the release is moving forward according to plan, it’s important for the release leads and wider release cohort to understand the progress with components and focus areas of the 5.6 release whether or not there are any areas that are under supported and need assistance, and what, if anything is going to threaten the timeline and/or scope of that release.

In order to do this, the squad relies on regular and timely updates from component maintainers, focus leads, and feature pluginFeature Plugin A plugin that was created with the intention of eventually being proposed for inclusion in WordPress Core. See Features as Plugins. leads as the cohort moves towards the release date. So far, we have resorted to pinging @maintainers during devchat, and while that does occasionally elicit a response, it can be intrusive, especially if that component is not currently active, or if there’s no significant development happening for that component in relation to the release. There is also a chance that important information is missed if someone doesn’t respond to the pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.”

The coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. problem is, how do we make sure we receive important updates from  components and focus teams without creating an environment where the release squad is required to ping regularly and ask for updates? What kind of system can we implement that will work for the release squad and component maintainers?

Possible Solutions

Different release co-ordinators/leads have used different approaches such as pinging in devchat, or messaging SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. groups to ask for updates. There have been other options proposed at various times, like async reporting on weekly agenda posts, or a dedicated ‘check in post’ such as is used in the community team, or even a dedicated slack channel for component maintainers.

Each option has its pros and cons. So this post has been created to actually ask the component maintainers and focus squads what makes the most sense to them?

Share your thoughts!

This post invites discussion on how to explore ways that best encourage proactive sharing of progress/blockers so that the release team and other interested cohort members can be empowered to resolve issues, and be confident in the progress towards the goal. 


  • If you are a component maintainer, what kind of process would you like to follow that would enable you to share regular updates?
  • If you are a part of the release cohort, how would you like to receive that information? 
  • Do you have any other thoughts or suggestions on how we can improve the flow information generally, without overwhelming a channel full of contributors, or even individual contributors?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below by Wednesday September 30th 05:00 UTC.

Props to @angelasjin, @cbringmann, and @audrasjb for editing support.