Recap Hallway Hangout: What’s next for the outreach program?

A group of contributors came together to discuss the Proposal: What’s next for the Outreach program.

Participants were @fabiankaegy @ndiego @greenshady, @poena and @bph (facilitator).

We recorded the discussion and it’s available on YouTube.

The meeting discussed ways to improve the WordPress outreach program and user feedback processes.

Key points included:

Renaming the FSC Outreach channel to “Outreach” to broaden its scope beyond experiments.

The channel was renamed #outreach. Big Thank You to the #meta team. Come and join us.

Creating a GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. team for contributors to provide early feedback on features through calls for testing.

During the discussion the problem came up how to connect developer working on WordPress features with extenders or agency developers. One suggested way is to create a new subteam in the WordPress GitHub organization called “Outreach”. This team is public and allows anyone on GitHub to use the @wordpress/outreach handle to 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 people in the listed there and ask them for feedback or testing. Similar groups are already available for “BlockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. Themers” “AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (”.  If you are interested in being part of the group, notice that in the comment and share your GitHub account.

This handle should be used to raise any issues or pull requests where someone is looking for feedback / testing. So if you are working on a feature and are hoping to get so me additional insights from a diverse set of users from different backgrounds, please don’t hesitate to ping this group.

Working with the testing team to organize smaller, more manageable calls for testing.

The two test team reps, @webtechpooja and @ankit-k-gupta will add a discussion to their next meeting of the test team on Feb 27, at 11 UTC. If you are a contributor interested in putting user call for testings together, you might want to join in the meeting.

Encouraging engineers to use the Outreach channel for feedback on new features earlier in development.

Contributors felt that sometimes soliciting input before a feature is fully merged and pushed to a major releasemajor release A release, identified by the first two numbers (3.6), which is the focus of a full release cycle and feature development. WordPress uses decimaling count for major release versions, so 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, and 3.1 are sequential and comparable in scope., it could use additional feedback from extenders and agencies. As example: Pattern overrides that don’t have a theme component and don’t alleviate the pain point that there is no way for theme developers to bundle synch patterns with overrides with their themes.

The information around new features or enhancements is not always easy accessible. There is a need to have an ongoing exchange between the engineering teams, test team and outreach contributors to determine the right timing for calls for testing.

Creating a wishlist for each upcoming release to gather input on user priorities.

This is referring to a post made before WordPress 6.4 WordPress 6.4: What’s on your wishlist? More research is required. It also overlaps with the Extensibility Issues Triage initiative that meets once a month to look at issues that concern extensibility and could be pushed forward. Next meeting March 14, 2024, at 12:00 UTC in #core-editor channel

The goal is to make the outreach program more accessible and sustainable, improve collaboration across teams, and help guide WordPress development through early and ongoing user and contributor input.

Props for co-writing to @fabiankaegy and for review to @greenshady and @ndiego.