Contributor Attribution (“Props”)

One of the greatest things about open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. is that contributions come in many shapes and sizes. Anyone can contribute regardless of skill set, experience, time zone, or background. There are countless ways for someone to get involved with open source projects.

WordPress is no different. Contributors submitting code modifications are only a small subset of the larger community. Recognizing all types of contributions in all locations is essential to establishing a healthy contributor base. Contributors who feel recognized and valued are more likely to continue contributing.

The responsibility for this falls on the shoulders of the project’s maintainers. When work is done, and changes are made, the project tracks them by giving “props” to all contributors involved.

What are “props”?

“Props” is short for “proper respect” and is used in WordPress to signify thanks for a contribution. This practice began in [1102] when the first contributor was given props for a contribution to WordPress. Since then, props have been used as a way to recognize and track contributions throughout the project’s history. Contributions to CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. take on many forms, from things that directly impact the code (such as writing and reviewing patches) to things like design, testing, and well-written bugbug A bug is an error or unexpected result. Performance improvements, code optimization, and are considered enhancements, not defects. After feature freeze, only bugs are dealt with, with regressions (adverse changes from the previous version) being the highest priority. reports.

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Who gives props?

The props (or credits) within a release are collected using a script on The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. that parses commit logs to extract all props given to contributors by committers and maintainers using the specific formats detailed below. The commit log files are carefully scoped to represent all activity for the specific date or commit ranges representing the current release cycle. The results are embedded in the About Page, Release Announcement Post, and committed to the Credits API, which is used to list contributors on the Credits page in the WordPress adminadmin (and super admin) area.

Additional non-code contributions are gathered by the Release Squad, and focus leads to be added to the Credits APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. as necessary. For example, any props given in SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at for helping to test release packages, facilitating meetings, writing developer notes, etc., are currently not automatically compiled.

The Credits API currently only contains contributor lists for WordPress >= 3.2.

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When should props be given?

Err on the side of giving props liberally. Props can provide major encouragement for contributors and ensure people receive recognition for their contributions.

Props should be given to all those who contributed to the final commit, whether through patches, refreshed patches, code suggested otherwise, design, writing, user testing, or other significant investments of time and effort.

In the case of bug reports, props should also be given to the reporter of the bug. Check any tickets that were closed as duplicates in case they contain contributions that warrant props, too.

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How are props given?

Because contributions happen in multiple locations using many different tools, there are some nuances to how props should be formatted. Below is how props are given in SVNSVN Subversion, the popular version control system (VCS) by the Apache project, used by WordPress to manage changes to its codebase. and GitGit Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Git is easy to learn and has a tiny footprint with lightning fast performance. Most modern plugin and theme development is being done with this version control system. repositories.

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wordpress-develop commits in SVN

When Core Committers deem a change ready and record a transaction in the canonical subversion repository, aka committing code. 

Props desrosj, jorbin, jeffpaul.

The full commit message guide covers this in-depth, but the standard rules are:

  • Props must be preceded by a blank line.
  • There should be no semi-colon (:) between “Props” and the usernames.
  • Usernames must not start with an @ (at) sign.
  • Separate usernames by comma + space. Think: /^props (\s*([^,]+),?)+$/
  • Copy/paste usernames to avoid typos. (Sorry, rmccue; or is that rmmcue?)
  • If the user has a space in their displayed name, use the slug from their profile URLURL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL For example, Frank Klein on TracTrac An open source project by Edgewall Software that serves as a bug tracker and project management tool for WordPress. should get props as frank-klein.
  • The props line should only include the word props, usernames, spaces, and punctuation.
  • The props line must end with a period.

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GitHub repositories/merge commits

When merging code through a pull request on 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., maintainers are required to copy and paste the list of contributors provided by the Props Bot GitHub Action into the bottom of the merge commit message.

Always review the list of GitHub accounts included to ensure all who have contributed meaningfully to the PR or any linked issues are credited.

Some technical notes:

  • The list of Co-authored-by trailers must be preceded by a blank line.
  • Co-authored-by trailers should be the last thing in a commit message.
  • The unlinked contributors must come before the Co-authored-by trailers.
  • Unlinked contributors should be entered in one line preceded by Unlinked contributors:, each one separated by a comma and a space (, ), and a period after the last one. Example: Unlinked contributors: nacin, matt.
  • Usernames must not start with an @ (at) sign.
  • When manually adding someone, please only use their GitHub and usernames in the following format: Co-authored-by: githubusername <>.
  • The only accounts that are allowed to be noted with a email are bot accounts (dependabot or github-actions). It’s important to leave these bots as listed by the GitHub generated Co-authored-by trailer so future contributors know which bots were involved in the changes.
  • If there are contributors already noted with Co-authored-by in the suggested commit message, verify they are also included in the list provided by Props Bot before removing. These will be in GitHub format and should be converted to the above format. Deleting the GitHub formatted ones will ensure an accurate contributor count for each commit, but it’s not required. Non emails will be ignored by the props parsing scripts.
  • If a contributor’s username is unknown, add their GitHub username to the “Unlinked contributors” list.
  • If there are Signed-off-by trailers in the suggested commit message, leave them in place above Co-authored-by trailers. These serve a different purpose and are ignored in the context of collecting props.

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Props Bot

A GitHub Action, WordPress Props, has been created and should be utilized in GitHub repos across the WordPress project to help identify, capture, and include contributors within the props in merge commits. If you need help setting up that as an action within your repo, please open a ticket with the Meta team.

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General Rules and best practices

  • Always manually review any generated list to ensure that no contributions go unrecognized.
  • When someone does not contribute in a meaningful way, it’s sometimes appropriate to remove them from a props list. Use your best judgment to decide whether someone was trying to be helpful. If they only commented, “Why is this still broken?” or “When will this be fixed?” they have not really positively impacted the eventual solution. On the other hand, while a comment like “I’m seeing this on my site using updating to x.y” may seem unhelpful at first, it’s providing important detailed information that could be used to substantiate a report and under which conditions.
  • If you’re ever unsure, please ask in the [#core-committers channel in Slack](

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wordpress-develop specific notes

  • Prop yourself when the commit is the product of huge efforts involving multiple people, such as a major feature, API, or particularly nasty bug.
  • If committing your own code, props are assumed, so omit yourself here as well.
  • If you forget to prop someone, check to see if they already have props in the current release. It will not matter in the long run, as they will be included in the release credits anyway. If they are not already propped, then you can flag it to the Release Coordinator so they can ensure that person is added on release day. It is also recommended to reach out to the contributor in Slack or in a comment on the ticketticket Created for both bug reports and feature development on the bug tracker. as a courtesy, apologize for missing their name in the commit message, and let them know their contribution will be recognized. Note how. Also, use the core props tool to ensure people are properly credited on their profiles.
  • When listing props while committing, avoid including anything that is not part of a username. There’s no need to say Props jorbin for testing. or Props nacin for the initial implementation.. This can create false positives when using a script to extract contributor usernames (implementation is not a contributor). 
  • It is normal for committers to adjust style or rearrange logic before a commit or to account for a simple edge case. In these instances, omit yourself. Your name on the commit implies that you have reviewed and tested it, which is just as important as the contents of the commit.

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GitHub specific notes

  • Always include yourself in the props list, even if it’s noted that you will be the author of the merge commit. The style credit is required attribute your contribution to your profile. See WordPress/props-bot-action#46 for more context.
  • Do not use personal emails or GitHub-specific emails ( or
  • There’s currently no automated way to add a contributor who is not included in the list prepared by Props Bot. To find someone’s profile, visit, replacing GHUSERNAME with the contributor’s GitHub username. This will redirect you to the person’s profile if they have connected their account. Add their GitHub username (without an @) to the Unlinked contributors: list when there’s no connection.

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Major Release Credits

The .org props script will attempt to detect spelling mistakes and match unlinked GitHub accounts as best as possible. But there will always be some manual review that needs to take place. The contributor running the props script can easily perform most of this. Here are some tips for reviewing and improving the accuracy of the contributor list for a release.

  • will redirect to a contributor’s profile when a valid connection exists.
  •$slack_user_id will redirect to a contributor’s profile. The Slack ID comes from the details view for a user in Slack (Click on avatarAvatar An avatar is an image or illustration that specifically refers to a character that represents an online user. It’s usually a square box that appears next to the user’s name. > View full profile > More […] > Copy ID).
  • For unlinked GitHub accounts, perform a reasonable amount of detective work trying to confirm a contributor’s identity.
    • Use any details listed on the user’s GitHub profile page (listed name, email, etc.) or website/social profile.
    • Look for review commits and append .patch to the commit URL. Sometimes, there are different names and emails listed there.
  • That information can then be used to search profiles on to find a potential match. An example search query for search engines is desrosj.

Once a match has been identified, refer the GitHub account owner through Slack or a PR they participated in to the handbook page about linking GitHub and accounts. This will be helpful in the future to avoid the same research effort in future releases.

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Props and About Pages

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Props and Release Announcements

All associated props for each release should always be listed towards the bottom of the matching announcement post. There are two ways to do this.

In 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. posts, props should be listed using the [wpcredits x.y] shortcodeShortcode A shortcode is a placeholder used within a WordPress post, page, or widget to insert a form or function generated by a plugin in a specific location on your site.. For example, the following is how the shortcode would be used for WordPress 6.5: [wpcredits 6.5]

The Credits API does support listing credits for each minor version. Instead, contributors for minor versions that did not also contribute to the corresponding major version are just added to the API under the major version. Because of this, an HTMLHTML HyperText Markup Language. The semantic scripting language primarily used for outputting content in web browsers. list should be used instead of the shortcode. Someone with access to a sandbox will be able to generate this list using a script. Each contributor’s name as configured on their profile, should be used and linked to their profile page.

Additional resources:

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