WCUS 2022 Q&A

WordCamp US 2022 convened from September 9 to 11 in San Diego, California. It felt reminiscent of earlier gatherings that offered a comfortable environment for reconnecting, learning, and discussing all things WordPress. The highlight for many was the closing session with the project’s co-founder, @matt, who shared a sneak peek at features slated for the upcoming 6.1 release and engaged in conversation with attendees in a Town Hall Q&A.

WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. US 2022 Q&A

In an effort for no questions to go unanswered, those submitted on Livestream and Twitter are listed below with answers from WordPress contributors. 

Q1. How do we convince legacy web builders, agencies, and companies to more quickly adopt new WordPress features? I’m seeing a ton of opportunities to support older sites (5.0), but very few agencies/projects/companies are moving to build on 6.0.

A1. A few teams are working hard to share and educate users about new features in the latest WordPress releases. The Training Team publishes tutorials to help ease adoption. Marketing highlights new #WordPress features across multiple social networks. @annezazu hosts regular Hallway Hangouts in Test. Your thoughts on additional adoption initiatives are welcome.

Q2. How close is WordPress to editor collaboration? It’s sometimes frustrating that two people can’t be in the editor at the same time. 

A2. The project roadmap shows the big picture goals and upcoming releases, and @matveb shared some early thoughts about building a “multiplayer” experience, but there is no release date for this feature yet. As noted in the Q&A, some big questions need to be addressed before collaboration can be addressed. That said, some exciting plugins explore comments and other collaborative tools.

Q3. Any thoughts on p2’s release date for self-hosting? It looks lovely!

A3. The new version of P2 requires WordPress.comWordPress.com An online implementation of WordPress code that lets you immediately access a new WordPress environment to publish your content. WordPress.com is a private company owned by Automattic that hosts the largest multisite in the world. This is arguably the best place to start blogging if you have never touched WordPress before. https://wordpress.com/ hosting to power its more advanced feature set, so there is currently no self-hosted version available. You’re welcome to try the O2 plugin and the P2 Breathe theme, but please note that this pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party is not in active development.

Q4. What commitment does WordPress CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. have to advance 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). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) for disabled WP users and also for baking it into WordPress sites created?

A4. Accessibility is top of mind while developing WordPress, and WordPress 6.1 has seen 40 accessibility improvements listed under milestones 13.1-14.1 in the GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ 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. https://github.com/ repository, if you would like to follow along, with more expected in upcoming releases. As Matt mentioned in the Q&A session, there is an interest in slowing down the fast clip of Gutenberg development to allow for necessary improvements, like accessibility.

Q5. What is the plan for making the Site Editor accessible?

A5. Every new release includes a variety of accessibility improvements. You can read about WordPress 6.0 Accessibility Improvements and expect more in 6.1. You can also get involved with this work by joining the #accessibility channel in Make Slack.

Q6. Are there any plans to make future WordCamps hybrid to take advantage of the aspects of video conferencing that we discovered during the pandemic?

A6. WordCamp US 2022 had a captioned Livestream available throughout the event (recordings also available). Community members in San Diego and at home kept the conversation going with #WCUS across social platforms, especially on Twitter. WordCamp organizers are committed to iterating and exploring how best to bring the experience to participants both in-person and online.

Q7. What is the timeline for removing the “BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process.” tag from the Site Editor?

A7. The Core Team is discussing open issues and blockers to the removal of the Beta label. You can follow along with the discussion on GitHub.

Q8. Right now, the navigation 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. is basic. Are they planning to improve this? For example, I would like to easily create a mega menu.

A8. Navigation is a crucial part of the site editing experience and can cover a wide array of use cases, from simple “all pages” navigation to complex structures. Currently, the project is focused on ensuring the best experience possible for the most common use cases while still allowing extensibility. Once that experience is polished enough, the editor will be extended to allow more complex navigation structures such as mega menus.

Do you have a question? Comment below, and join one of the many teams making WordPress for answers.

#wcus2022

Open Source and how we sustain ourselves

The title of this post has been edited, due to feedback that the terms originally used were causing folks not to be willing to read the post.

In 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., we aim to make our projects more sustainable and make sure they survive and thrive long after we have stopped being there for them. It’s an immense and wonderful responsibility, and a complicated one! In discussing how to future-proof WordPress, we cite two economic problems as a shorthand for the open source problem we see: the Tragedy of the Commons and the Free Rider Problem.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve talked about these two theoretical problems a lot, and there was something I noticed in each conversation. The folks I was talking to would advocate for two opposing solutions, sometimes in the same breath, and at the same time I could identify how those opposing solutions could work/do work in WordPress. 

To figure out what might be behind that, I spoke to a doctoral professor of economics and he clarified that these two economic problems are distinct but related, and apply to two different situations. Even though both of those situations exist in open source, we sometimes use the terms interchangeably to illustrate a single problem—which can cause confusion.

Some Quick Clarifications

The Tragedy of the Commons is the most recognized economic problem we discuss in open source. It uses the example of a public pasture to demonstrate what could happen if one group sent all their sheep there for the best grass without doing anything to make sure the grass remained the best and greenest for other sheep.

The Free Rider Problem is discussed less, but is one of the harder to solve problems of tending to the commons. It deals with public goods that have the same quality no matter how many people use it, or how many times. This results in a lack of urgency and priority for supporting the public good.

Take for example, public media. Everyone can listen to public radio stations, almost without limit, regardless of whether or not you contribute. That *could* lead to underfunded programming, relative to what would benefit listeners (and other free riders, like news sources that reference the station), resulting in  a reliance on unpaid interns and a more limited information network. So, while a public station is able to operate and produce a good product, programming could be better or more plentiful if they had more resources.

What Does it Have to do with Open Source?

The Tragedy of the Commons is specific to a resource that can be used up and so needs some way to watch after equitable access and long term maintenance. The way it shows up in open source is when we’re looking at contributions.

Contributing requires time or money and frequently some specialized knowledge, and there are limits to how much is available. Unlike the software, we can never treat a single maintainer as an infinite resource. As WordPress scales, having a little structure and support for contributors can help keep any one contributor from being overloaded. Mostly what is important to know is that this is considered a solved problem if you use Ostrom’s 8 Principles. I can cover that in a separate post if folks find it interesting!

But the Free Rider Problem, since it’s specific to resources that can’t be used up and therefore don’t need anyone to watch after their equitable distribution, shows up when we’re looking at the WordPress software.

No matter how many new sites are launched using WordPress, the coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. software does not become any worse for wear, and there is no end to the available “seats.” Access to and use of the software is wholly unconstrained and any advancement to the software benefits everyone equally regardless of the size of their company or contribution.

So how is the Free Rider Problem solved?

It is possible for an open source project to suffer from the free rider problem, but it depends on a clear understanding of the point at which it actually could become a problem. The Free Rider Problem doesn’t assume that ALL free riders are inherently bad. In WordPress’ case, we want a vast number of our users to be able to access the software (and hosting, training, information, etc) at remarkably low cost. The free riders that pose a problem are frequently those who get disproportionate value compared to what they contribute.

It could be argued that organizations like public media, WordPress, or Wikipedia have overcome the Free Rider Problem by effective use of social infrastructure and by being available to a large enough community that the support is sufficient. Alternatively, it could also be argued that all of those organizations are actually under-supported relative to what would be best for our communities, therefore requiring them to limit the programs and services they offer.

I believe that the crux of the discussion should be this:

The builders and extenders of WordPress are invested in this software being the best for everyone using it. Collectively, we support the creation and maintenance of WordPress through our community of contributors. How can we rebalance the tenacious need for contribution with the immense benefit WordPress brings to everyone, including our free riders and contributors?

Updates on the Five for the Future program, and proposed improvements

Thanks to some great input from contributors and partnership with team reps, the MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. team has added automated recognition for a number of non-code contributions!

For example, WordPress.org profiles will now show contributor activity such as:

  • Translating and reviewing strings on translate.wordpress.orgWordPress.org 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. https://wordpress.org/
  • Publishing lesson plans, workshops, and courses on Learn WordPress
  • Publishing handbook pages
  • Mentoring a WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more.
  • Manual props received in the #props channel in Making WordPress

All new updates, and upcoming plans for automated recognition of contributor activity are tracked in GitHub. If there are other activities you think we could auto-magically record, please share in the comments below!

Trialing inactive pledge notifications

Capturing all this great contribution activity also means inactive pledges are more easily identified. There are a number of reasons that a pledge might be inactive: it’s not a great time for that company or individual to contribute, it’s an aspirational pledge and they don’t know how to contribute just yet, or perhaps they aren’t interested in contributing anymore. It could also be that what they are contributing isn’t being recognized yet! 

Whatever the reason, knowing which pledges are active is helpful information for Make Teams working on big projects that need contributors. Knowing which pledges are inactive also gives us an opportunity to reach out to see what support those pledges might need, and a chance to connect. The notification process intends to help Make Teams and contributors with these areas. 

This is not to remove or erase contributions – in fact, pledges that don’t get any response after a grace period will simply be deactivated, and can be reactivated at any time. All contributions will continue to be displayed on .org profiles, regardless of if the pledge is active or not.

For all teams

To start, the Meta team is exploring sending an email to any contributor who hasn’t logged in for three (3) months. This email will check in, see if the contributor needs some help in connecting with a team, and ask that they log in within the next 30 days. If the contributor does not, their pledge will be deactivated. 

Testing a future notification system

To test a notification process that will best support the future of Make Teams and contributors, the Meta team has been exploring options with the Training and Polyglots teams. These teams will trial a more comprehensive, automated notification system for pledges. 

For starters, this notification system will notify pledges to those teams without any recent contribution activity. Similarly, they will be offered support and given a grace period before the pledge is deactivated. This proposed schedule and notification system is currently being discussed in issue #205.

The Training and Polyglots teams have offered to help by giving feedback on these notification systems. Based on feedback received, the Meta team will make iterations before rolling this notification system out to other Make Teams. 

How you can help shape 5ftF

If your team would like to participate in email notifications, please voice your interest in the comments below! The Meta team will connect with you to help you get set up.

Another way is to help identify other contributions to recognize. A lot of time and effort is given to the WordPress 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. project every day. As Josepha recently said on WP Briefing, “Building our culture of generosity helps us to better recognize and celebrate each other for all of our contributions… if we see more and more of the same type of contributions being celebrated, then we can also work toward automating those as well.” If you see those contributions, say it! The Meta team can look into automating recognition of that contribution, to start. 

Last but not least, share your thoughts on the suggested notification system. What’s missing? What would you change to better support active and inactive contributors? 

#five-for-the-future

Discussion: Contrib Handbook, Part 3

It’s time for the next round of discussions (check out the #handbook tag if you’ve missed the others)! Today we’re opening comments on a code of conduct. Please share your thoughts on what works, what could be improved, and what needs correction.

In coming weeks, I’ll also share a Conflict of Interest Policy and Code of Ethics for your input.

Please share your feedback in the comments of the documents!

#code-of-conduct, #discussion, #handbook

Defining Five for the Future Pledges & Contributions

After reading through some of this post’s comments, I think it might be useful to re-articulate the hopes behind the discussion.

The end goal is to find ways to automate contribution props, so that no one has to either spend huge amounts of time before their contributions are noted or find ways to contribute to the most time intensive props opportunities, major releases and major WordCamps. The end goal is to distribute props more equitably and more consistently by taking out the subjectivity of human review, not to make individual contributions somehow less valuable.

The first step for automation is, of course, documenting what you have and what you mean, hence my use of the word “define.” ~Josepha

In recent months, the Five for the Future (5ftF) program has improved to make it more reliable and useful when it comes to tracking impact and success. An example of this is the work being done to reduce the number of spam and dormant Five for the Future pledges and give more credit to non-code contributions.

To support such efforts, it’s also important to build a shared understanding for how the Five for the Future program works.

The WordPress project thrives because of the generous contributions in time and resources from people and companies across the globe. A portion of contributions are made in the form of Five for the Future pledges from individuals and organizations. They commit to giving back to the WordPress project by contributing a goal of at least five-percent of their time (or resources) consistently via the Make WordPress teams. By joining together in giving, we make WordPress stronger.

Participation in Five for the Future means consistent effort by an individual or a company via a Make WordPress team to directly support the WordPress 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. project and the project’s current big ideas, rather than the sole benefit of a company or individual. Simply put, Five for the Future exists to collaboratively invest in the health of the WordPress project, ensuring its long-term sustainability and success.

What makes a contribution a 5ftF contribution?

Some contributions are easy to sort through and agree on; we see them happening, props are given with them already, and we understand how they help make WordPress better. Contributions of code to CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. or the apps, translations through Polyglots, forum management with Support, organizing WordPress-centric events, and many other main focuses of Make WordPress teams. 

But other contributions are in a grey area. For those, it’s important to look at not only whether they move WordPress forward, but also whether it helps the community of contributors work in a sustainable way and whether the contributions can be done consistently over time.

Some examples of grey area contributions that do fit the 5ftF definition include: maintaining WordPress.orgWordPress.org 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. https://wordpress.org/, WordCamp.org, or Rosetta networks; adding or editing official WordPress documentation, training, or communications; speaking at WordPress Meetups and WordCamps; and maintaining or moderating official repos (plugins, themes, photos, WPTV, et al).

Examples of grey area contributions that do not fit the 5ftF definition  include: creating WordPress websites, creating WordPress themes, plugins, or blocks (including those that are listed in WordPress.org), and providing support solely to third-party WordPress themes or plugins. These activities are critical to extending the reach and utility of the WordPress project, but they are not considered part of making Five for the Future commitments. 

There are many important efforts and lots of incredible work performed outside of WordPress.org and Make Teams. While these are indispensable activities that further the WordPress ecosystem, Five for the Future is about ensuring that the WordPress project continues to be a fertile foundation for WordPress extenders and users.

What do you think of this definition? Share your feedback in the comments below. 

#5ftf, #discussion, #five-for-the-future

Discussion: Contrib Handbook, Part 2

It’s time for the next round of discussions (but here’s the first round if you missed it)! There’s just one section today, but like last time the comments are open. Please share your thoughts on what works, what could be improved, and what needs correction.

In coming weeks, I’ll also share a a Code of Conduct, a Conflict of Interest Policy, and Code of Ethics for your input.

Please share your feedback in the comments of the documents!

#dei, #discussion, #handbook, #wpdiversity

Discussion: Contrib Handbook, Part 1

My timeline here got very off track but, in the spirit of better late than never, here are the first two handbook sections for discussion. Each section is in a different document and both are open to comments. I’d love if you would share your thoughts on what works, what could be improved, and what needs correction.

In coming weeks, I’ll also share a Diversity and Inclusion Policy, a Code of Conduct, a Conflict of Interest Policy, and Code of Ethics for your input.

Please share your feedback in the comments of the documents!

#accessibility, #discussion, #handbook, #privacy

Removal of the Zamir Plugin

Earlier today, I was alerted by contributors and community leaders to a pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party in the WordPress ecosystem that violated community guidelines. 

I believe that WordPress is made stronger by its vibrant and global community of contributors, users, and extenders. It’s important that folks showed up to hold ourselves accountable as we strive to create and maintain a safe space for our collaborators to gather.

The plugin in question, Zamir, was reported by contributors to promote an icon that is rapidly becoming known as a symbol of support and promotion of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. Many contributors reached out to share additional cultural context around the symbol. WordPress guidelines call for all community members–including plugin authors–to “be kind, helpful, and respectful.” An icon that is connected to an ongoing war and humanitarian crisis upholds none of those values.  

The plugin’s description, “Shows the Z symbol to support Russia,” eluded initial plugin checks. While it is true that there is no current plugin guideline barring plugins that “support” political leanings, this icon symbolizes something more complicated than that. Contributors were right to report this and, with their help and the help of WordPress community members, the plugin has been removed from the directory. 

All contributors, community members, and extenders should feel safe and free from harm in the WordPress project and ecosystem. Neither WordPress, Matt, nor I stand for symbols of hate or violence. WordPress is a community made stronger by global contributors—and we remain committed to building an inclusive community in alignment with our values. Today, we’ve collaborated with contributors to remove a plugin that did not meet those values. I’d like to thank the community for quickly rallying together to engage about upholding our community guidelines and how we hold one another accountable. 

I am aware that this issue leads to natural questions about clarifying our plugin policies moving forward. I’ll work with the community to explore our guidelines and create a clearer framework for how plugins can be evaluated in the context of current events.

A Theory of Technology Adoption in the WordPress Project

WordPress 5.0 was launched on Dec 6, 2018, and the release was the project’s first step toward creating a streamlined site editing experience with blocks (GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/). The year that followed was considered an iterative year for the folks actively building the software. During 2019, WordPress contributors from all teams and companies appeared at every event or podcast we could find and contributed to any newsletter or industry group that would give us a publication date. Partially because we were battling some strong resistance to blocks as a concept and partially because we were in the middle of a key part of technological adoption. Now, after WordPress 5.9, we are finding ourselves in a similar time of post-merge adoption.

There’s an entire field of study about adopting new technologies, which I did not study, but I did study WordPress’ big technological changes. I talked about this constantly at WordCamps in 2018-19, but I’ve never documented it for the public, so I figure it’s time to get it in writing for everyone.

A Few Basic Assumptions

If you’re new to WordPress, everything below will make more sense if you’re aware of the four phases of Gutenberg and the definitions of groups in our community from the Care and Influence post. With those coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. audiences in mind, the following assumptions guide my theory:

  1. Users/clients are the ones that will ultimately drive the adoption of Gutenberg, because consumers always drive technological adoption. Those of us who build our businesses on WordPress (Extenders, theme/pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party developers, agencies) will be more inclined to learn how to build with Gutenberg if our clients make it clear that they want to use it. 
  2. Phase 1 of Gutenberg can be considered a proof of concept that offered Extenders a plausible promise. Outreach during Phase 1’s iterative cycle focused on extenders because we needed to bring them with us—to learn, iterate, and improve—which is something we learned from other 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. projects like ours.
  3. Phase 2 of Gutenberg delivers on the plausible promise of Phase 1. Outreach during Phase 2’s iterative cycle will focus on users/clients because unless they are willing and able to use it, they will not ask for it from the Extenders.

Calestous Juma notably said, “Many of the dominant technologies that we take for granted have weathered moments of social tension and threats of succession.” That has certainly been true for WordPress. 

WordPress and its community are both deeply and broadly connected. This makes us incredibly resilient (a real blessing during this pandemic), and sometimes can make us unnecessarily rigid (a common thing in open source). However, as counterintuitive as it is, resistance to change can also motivate; within that tension lies an opportunity to build trust and take more people with us on the journey.

The Three Parts of Technology Adoption in WP

As we head into the iterative part of Gutenberg’s phase 2, there are a few things that we should be aware of that will motivate or inspire our community of users to take a fresh look at the WordPress editor. In my observation, that breaks down into three parts.

  • Apparent usefulness (to the extender) – aka, what does this do for me? And if “nothing,” then what does it do for my clients?
    1. Does it allow me to do things I couldn’t do before?
    2. Does it solve an unsolvable problem?

By making WordPress’ learning curve less steep, we make WordPress less intimidating to noncoders. In turn, Gutenberg offers additional opportunities for Extenders to create products that address their needs as well as their clients’ needs. Extenders are already part of the WordPress ecosystem and highlighting the early explorations of enthusiasts/early adopters could inspire others to follow suit. For instance, the release of the first default 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. theme, Twenty Twenty-Two, in WordPress 5.9 made it easier to see blocks in action, making riffing on them more appealing.

  • Apparent ease of use (to the extender and user) – aka, is the difficulty ≤ the current technology? And if >, then do the benefits to the user balance it out?
    1. Does it make my work easier?
    2. Does it make my work more fun?

WordPress is not easier for quick publishing than Instagram or TikTok, but it is the easiest of all the hard options, especially when looking at the long term benefits to those who use it. As we flatten the administrative experience of a WordPress site, we have to find where the balance of blocks now lies. Does a little extra code by an agency result in more autonomy for the client? Does having a true WYSIWYGWhat You See Is What You Get What You See Is What You Get. Most commonly used in relation to editors, where changes made in edit mode reflect exactly as they will translate to the published page. experience for the client result in decreased techno fear and increased techno joy (<– This is Eddie Izzard, watch at your own discretion)? Every experience of ease or delight for a user is worth noting and celebrating!

  • Apparent trustworthiness (social proof/social sentiment) – aka, do my trusted friends trust this thing? And if “no”, then does that mean I can’t either?
    1. Do the WordPress wonks like it?
    2. Do my business colleagues use it and like it?

With more data and information available to us than ever before, most of us rely on the judgment of those whose opinions we value to help guide our decisions. This is true for technology as well as things like meal delivery services, electric toothbrushes, or the next book you’ll read. We experienced the effects of social proof not being on our side early on in the Gutenberg project, and turned that around through substantial after-the-fact efforts from contributors all over the WordPress project. There is enormous potential to proactively reach audiences who are either unaware of WordPress or have been holding off trying the new editor for whatever reason.

So now what?

For many of us, this post will finally be putting words and concepts to processes that you’ve been participating in already. If that’s you, there’s nothing to change about what you’re doing, but I hope this gives you some insight into why you’re doing it. 

For some, this post reminds us of everything you have already gone through and learned during the Phase 1 merge and iteration cycles. If that’s you, I want to thank you for making this work easier for everyone coming after you. As with anything in WordPress and open source, we are all standing on the shoulders of giants and today you are those giants.

For everyone, it’s wonderful to witness the work that you all have done, and continue to do, to make sure that we are meeting people where they are while also urging them forward. It is unusual, in my experience, to see people who strive to make things better while also being able to acknowledge how far forward their work has brought us. If that’s you, let me clearly acknowledge the powerful impact your work with WordPress has:

The work you’ve done here is empowering people across the world. It enables positive changes for people whom you will never meet, but whose lives will be changed forever. You are providing knowledge and access to people who have felt shut out of this arcane mystery of “the web” for as long as they can remember. And on behalf of all of those good people in the world, I will say thank you. 🙂

Big Picture Goals 2022

During 2021’s State of the Word, Matt revisited GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/’s timeline, what has been accomplished, and what is ahead of us. The project is at something of a halfway point, and I want to offer my unending thanks to everyone who has contributed and welcome anyone who wants to join our efforts. This post contains some goals for the year (and will be updated with links to individual team posts when I start to see them), but there are some things you should know first.

These are intentionally broad

There is more to WordPress’ success than the code we write or the 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. freedoms we support. While the goals below focus on shippable projects, I understand that supporting contributions (translations, testing, triage, 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). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility), support, performance, etc.) are part of these goals.

These are intentionally incomplete

There are always small projects that arise over the course of the year. And there are big projects to move forward in pieces over the course of multiple years. This project is too big for me to see everything all the time, and I rely on the information from team reps and the vision from project leadership to help navigate any surprises.

If you don’t see a project here, keep in mind that there are many that are still valuable to the overall success of our work. 

The Big Picture

2022 is all about committing to the co-creator relationship with WordPress users.

  1. Drive adoption of the new WordPress editor – Following WordPress 5.9, our focus will be driving user adoption by making full site editing (and its tools) easy to find and use.
    1. For the CMS – Get high quality feedback, ensure actionable tickets come from the feedback with collaboration from design as needed, and ship code that solves our users’ most pressing needs.
      1. Invite more users and extenders to participate in the FSE Outreach program (10-12 calls for testing).
      2. Host regular design-driven user testing (one test a week).
    2. For the Community – Share our knowledge and resources in a way that inspires and motivates our users to action.
      1. Invite more users and extenders to augment their skills through LearnWP.
      2. Turn routine support issues into new evergreen content (10-15 pieces of canonical content using Learn, Docs, WordPress.orgWordPress.org 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. https://wordpress.org/, etc).
      3. Translate high impact user-facing content across Rosetta sites (15-20 locales).
      4. Host audience-specific WordPress events (10-12 by common language, interest, or profession).
    3. For the Ecosystem – Prioritize full site editing tools and content across the ecosystem for all users.
      1. Highlight 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. themes and plugins in the directories.
      2. Provide tools/training to learn how to build block themes.
      3. Improve the block developer experience.
  2. Support open source alternatives for all site-building necessities – Provide access to open source elements needed to get a site up and running.
    1. For the CMS
      1. Update new user onboarding flow to match modern standards.
      2. Integrate Openverse into wp-admin.
      3. Integrate Photo Directory submissions into wp-admin.
      4. Pattern creator
    2. For the Community
      1. Ship LearnWP learning opportunities (1 workshop/week, 6 courses/year)
      2. Increase the number of social learning spaces (4 SLSs/week)
      3. Block theme contribution drive (500 block themes in the repo).
    3. For the Ecosystem
      1. Update the theme previewer to support block themes.
      2. Update the content & design across WP.org.
      3. Update Polyglots tools to Improve the translation experience.
      4. Create a developer-focused communications site.
  3. Open Source stewards: Iterate on WordPress’ open source methodologies to guide and sustain long term success for WordPress as well as the overall open source community that we are part of.
    1. For All
      1. 5ftF program expansion
      2. Recruitment of future leaders in the community
      3. Onboarding of current leaders in the community
      4. Upstream contributions to other OS projects (PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php., JS, Matrix, or the like)
      5. WordPress Project maintenance
      6. Ancillary programs
  4. Bonus: Preparations for WordPress’ 20th birthday

How can you help?

As I mentioned above, I know that our code isn’t the only measure of our success. If you already know what sort of contribution you’d like to make, you can check out this list of teams (with links to their community sites) and team reps. If you’re not yet sure, here are the areas that each team falls into:

  • Development, Technology, Code: CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress./Editor, Mobile, CLICLI Command Line Interface. Terminal (Bash) in Mac, Command Prompt in Windows, or WP-CLI for WordPress./Tide, Security, Performance
  • Design, Product, UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it./UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing.: Design, Accessibility, Test, Triage
  • Community, Extending WP, Education: Community, Themes, Plugins, Polyglots, Training
  • Contributor Experience: MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress., Docs, Hosting, Privacy
  • Communications: Marketing, Support, WPTV

A Note on Specialized Groups

A couple of coordinated efforts provide essential support to the progress of multiple teams.

  • Triage: The triage effort happens across multiple teams and has two purposes. One purpose is to make sure tickets are sorted and have all the elements needed for someone to work on them. The second purpose is to determine priority. Not everyone has the information to set priority, but anyone can help sort and replicate reported bugs!
  • Test: The testing effort also happens across multiple teams and has multiple purposes. One purpose is to validate bugs, bug fixes, and new features before they go to users. The second purpose is to bring continuous high quality feedback throughout the entire release cycle. A lot of that coordination happens on make.wordpress.org/test, but there are also calls to test during various points of the release process in the Core channel.

#planning #goals