Proposal: Updates to Five for the Future from the Community Summit

Last year, I published a blog post requesting feedback from contributors on how to improve the contributor journey of WordPress. The post, which garnered insightful feedback, was followed up by an innovative session on Five for the Future at the recent WordPress Community Summit. What follows below are actionable recommendations for our program based on Community Summit discussions to achieve our collective goal of making the WordPress contributor experience the best it can be.

Effort Impact Analysis

In view of our contributors’ precious volunteer time, we can only implement the most impactful ideas from Summit Discussions. Experienced Five for the Future contributors @nao and @jeffpaul joined me to find answers to this problem by diving deep into the Community Summit Discussion notes and dividing them into four sections as the first step: increasing program awareness, matching contributors with projects, improving participation, and addressing problems. We then rearranged the discussion points based on these action items in the following Google Doc for clarity. 

Next, we further divided the ideas into four discrete categories: Process Improvement, Visualization, Sponsorship (of contributors by companies), and Mentorship. We then listed all the ideas (and their corresponding categories) in an ‘Effort Impact Matrix graph’ with ‘Effort’ on the X-axis and ‘Impact’ on the Y-axis. Last, we shortlist a final set of action items that are impactful, actionable, and can be achieved successfully in a shorter timeline. You can find a visual representation of our Effort/Impact Analysis in the image below, where different action items are listed in boxes on the quadrant where we felt they would best fit.
The boxes with thick blue borders are the action items we identified as most likely to have a significant impact and are achievable in 2024. You can also find the source slide of this matrix in the following link.

Effort/Impact Analysis for the Five for the Future Next Steps

Final List of Recommended Action Items

Here is our final recommended list of action items as depicted in the list below:

Process Improvement

  • Implement the Make/Contributor Tool into contributor recruitment for Five for the Future.
  • Establish constant communications with current and new pledgees to help them stay active (automated email check-ins for existing pledges and email onboarding for new pledgees)
  • Improve Onboarding Processes for Make/Teams – Identifying and sharing impactful projects for teams, standardizing handbooks, simplifying team handbooks, and onboarding.
  • Treat 5ftF Sponsorship like 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. sponsorships with similar benefits.

Sponsorship

  • Task-based or project-based contributor sponsorships, where companies sponsor contributor time for a certain task or project in a Make/Team.
  • Project/release-based contributor sponsorships where companies could sponsor external contributors for a limited time as they work on specific projects.

Visualization

  • Create team health dashboards for all Make/Teams, which help contributors identify impactful projects and areas that need help (Already underway).

Mentorship

  • To Provide dedicated mentoring and onboarding for Five for the Future companies and self-sponsored contributors. 
  • Helping companies set up contribution teams and onboarding sponsored contributors to Make/Teams
  • 1:1 or group mentorship to help self-sponsored contributors onboard effectively.

Next Steps and Request for Feedback

Our next steps are to incorporate feedback to refine Action Items, publish a program direction page on the Five for the Future website, and recruit contributors to focus on these items.

We would love to have your feedback before we finalize these action items and proceed toward implementing them in 2024. 

  • Do you have any feedback on the recommended action items for Five for the Future implementation? 
  • Which among the suggested ideas could have the highest impact, in your opinion? 
  • Are there any missing ideas from the Community Summit Discussion in the recommended list that you strongly wish to implement?
  • Are you interested and available to help with any of the recommended action items?

Your feedback goes a long way in improving our project’s health and long-term sustainability. Please leave your comments on the post by February 7, 2024 February 16, 2024.

The following people contributed to this blog post: @harishanker @nao @angelasjin @jeffpaul

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

Big Picture Goals 2024

It’s been exciting to see how this community of contributors has come together in the past year to rebuild so much of what we lost in the wake of covid. It has not been an easy journey, but it has certainly been rewarding. With this renewed foundation, I invite you all to join me in focusing our energy on engaging and attracting users of closed-source products.

A Quick Caveat

There are always unexpected projects that arise over the course of the year. And there are big projects to move forward over 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 both Matt as project lead and Matías as technical architect to help navigate any surprises.

Keep in mind that even if a project isn’t listed here, many unmentioned ones still contribute significantly to the overall success of our work.

The Top Focuses

Projects

There are three focuses for our projects this year:

  • CMS: Test, iterate, and ship Phase 3 of 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/ project
  • Community: Continue to support the community through learning, events, and mentorship of current and future contributors
  • Ecosystem: Address the difficulty in moving platforms through the Data Liberation project as well as streamline existing review processes across repositories

Obstacles

  • Growth: Our new installations are stagnant year over year. The time to encourage the use of 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. software solutions like WordPress is now. Our project is pro-business and pro-commerce, and we’re committed to aiding in our users’ success by providing access and opportunities to those who might not have them otherwise.
  • Differentiation: Our event series needs to grow past a “one size fits all” strategy. With more advanced topics and more focused events, we can meet our community where it is—in a moment where time is valuable and joining an event should clearly help them reach their goals.

I believe that the WordPress software, ecosystem, and project can be the open source alternative of choice to any proprietary system you need to get your business going. And I need your help to get us there.

How Can You Help?

Code isn’t the only indicator of our achievement. If you already know what type 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 a few teams and the areas they fall 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, 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), 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
#goals, #planning

Incident Reports 2023 Recap

The Incident Response Team (IRT) receives and handles incident reports following the Community Code of Conduct. This handbook page includes information about the Incident Response Team, its members, and insight into their processes. 

If you witness behavior that doesn’t align with the project-wide or events code of conduct, please contact any IRT members, email reports@wordpress.org, or submit a report via this form. The IRT is also available for general inquiries, clarifying how incident response functions within WordPress.

Per Incident Response Team practices, this is an annual recap of reports received in the prior year, the method of reporting, and the action taken after investigation into each report. 

The Incident Response Team received 17 reports in 2023, 5 of which were resolved through mediation*. The remaining 12 reports are summarized as follows:

Report #1

Reports were received between December 2022 and January 2023 alleging that local community members influenced 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.’s organizing decisions to benefit particular companies and individuals.

Outcome: The inquiry process revealed insulting and personal attacks, public and private harassment, influencing and inciting harassment, retaliation, and discrimination. As a result, the Incident Response Team took several actions. The WordCamp was cancelled, a Community deputy and mentor role was removed, and involved companies were banned from sponsoring WordPress events for one year. As the issue also extended to the local meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area., all organizers were removed from their roles and asked to complete Meetup organizer training before becoming an organizer again. 

Due to the unique nature of this situation, an announcement was shared with the community.

Report #2

In May 2023, reports alleged gatekeeping behaviors by a longtime Meetup organizer. 

Outcome: Following the inquiry, the Incident Response Team issued a warning and provided guidance to the meetup organizer.

Report #3

A WordCamp in late 2022 did not provide a thorough financial transparency report despite Community Program Supporters reaching out to request information. After giving significant time for the lead organizer to provide the requested information, the issue was escalated to the Incident Response Team due to the missing funds. 

Outcome: The Incident Response Team deduced that ample time had been offered to the individual to provide the information. As such, and due to the financial severity of the situation, the Incident Response Team took steps to remove the reported person from organizing roles. The individual eventually provided the requested information and was able to regain roles. 

Due to the unique nature of this situation, a reminder and clarification around the process were shared with the community

Report #4

In July 2023, reports alleged financial fraud by a WordCamp. 

Outcome: This report is still under investigation.

Report #5

In September 2023, reports shared that a member and speaker of the local community was directly insulting other community members and expressing derogatory comments.

Outcome: The Incident Response Team’s inquiry learned that the individual’s behavior did violate the Code of Conduct. They were removed as a speaker from an upcoming event and issued a warning. 

Report #6

In August 2023, a WordCamp attendee found an unwrapped condom hidden in the roll of toilet paper at the venue. 

Outcome: Incident Response Team members reported this to the venue, requesting increased security. 

Report #7

In September 2023, reports alleged hostile and aggressive behavior from one community member to another. 

Outcome: After an inquiry, the Incident Response Team issued a warning to the parties involved with a reminder of the Code of Conduct in place for all events. 

Report #8

In September 2023, reports alleged insulting and derogatory comments from one community member to another.

Outcome: This report is still under investigation.

Report #9

In August 2023, reports alleged harassing and inappropriate behavior from one community organizer to another. 

Outcome: This report is still under investigation

Report #10

In September 2023, community members reported an unfair banning from wp.org and requested additional review. 

Outcome: This report has gone through an investigation and is now working toward a resolution.

Report #11

A WordCamp attendee reported frustration with the organizing team. 

Outcome: In investigating this further, the Incident Response Team determined that there were misunderstandings on the attendee’s part and that their behavior (continuous contacting and harassing of event organizers) was inappropriate. The attendee was asked to refrain from attending the event. 

Report #12

In December 2023, a WordPress event organizer reportedly used threatening and rude language towards a Community Event Supporter. 

Outcome: This report is still under investigation.

Thank you

The Incident Response Team is essential to supporting our community, providing a straightforward method for members to report and address incidents that go against the WordPress Community Code of Conduct. A huge thank you to the Incident Response Team Members this year for their tireless, often invisible work to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all participants. 

Incident Team Members this year include Aaron Campbell (@aaroncampbell), Aditya Kane (@adityakane), Angela Jin (@angelasjin), Cate DeRosia (@mysweetcate), Devin Maeztri (@devinmaeztri), Destiny Kanno (@piyopiyofox), Evangelia Pappa (@evelina87), Harmony Romo (@harmonyromo), Hari Shanker (@harishanker), Isotta Peira (@peiraisotta), Julia Golomb (@juliarosia), Katie Richards (@katiejrichards), Kevin Cristiano (@kcristiano), Megan Rose (@megabyterose), Naoko Takano (@nao), Rocío Valdivia (@_dorsvenabili), Sam Suresh (@samsuresh), Timi Wahalahti (@sippis).

And thank you to the reporters and the individuals who assisted along the way. Reporting can be scary, especially if you’ve experienced an uncomfortable situation. At the same time, reporting allows for the opportunity to address and prevent unwelcoming challenges in the future. 

Looking forward to 2024

The Incident Response Team will continue to do this critical work in 2024. Additional activities will include refining and adding to existing training for Incident Response Team members and inviting and onboarding new members to the team. If you have questions about the Incident Response Team’s work, join us in the #incident-response 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/. channel or email us at reports@wordpress.org.

*Mediation is when the involved community members, with or without support from the Incident Response Team, work through issues by discussing them. This is a common and effective step to take before any enforcement guidelines. The Incident Response team appreciates being notified of these situations in case they escalate. 

X-post: Call for Mentees & Mentors: Contributor Mentorship Program Cohort #2 (2024 Q1)

X-comment from +make.wordpress.org/community: Comment on Call for Mentees & Mentors: Contributor Mentorship Program Cohort #2 (2024 Q1)

WordPress End of Year Celebrations!

Amidst the myriad events and releases that get highlighted during the course of a year in WordPress, countless other projects and contributions quietly move us ever closer to our goals. The items listed below were submitted by team reps and are just a selection of the projects that their teams are proud of. Give it a read to see a few hidden projects and celebrate how much we did together in 2023!

  • Training
  • Openverse
  • Themes
    • Themes waiting queue is so short!
    • Provided ideas and support 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. theme authors and encourage them to develop more block themes.
    • Super props for the work @greenshady did on the Theme Handbook Overhaul. It will help other block theme authors to create more powerful block themes.
    • Create Block 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: improvements to site editor integration, font management, export options, theme 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. data management, asset management and improvements to the 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.
  • CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.
    • As of Oct 9th, 304 new Core contributorsCore Contributors Core contributors are those who have worked on a release of WordPress, by creating the functions or finding and patching bugs. These contributions are done through Trac. https://core.trac.wordpress.org. got commit props (In 2022, there were 269 new contributors by Oct 1, 2022)
    • Shipped releases:
      • 3 major releases: 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
      • 6 minors: 6.4.1, 6.3.2, 6.3.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.2, 6.2.1 (+ security releases)
    • Core Editor
      • Phase 3 Collaboration foundational early work underway in Gutenberg
      • Phase 2, Finale: this year saw big improvements in the writing and styling and customization experience including Do everything in the Site Editor (content, templates, and patterns together in the Site Editor), Openverse in the editor, distraction free mode, fonts management, block theme previewer, and more
      • Greatly enhanced performance in both the front end and the editor
      • Global styles, Footnotes, Real-time editing/sync engine, Enhanced writing flow, Data Views
      • HTMLHTML HTML is an acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a markup language that is used in the development of web pages and websites. tag processor and 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., Interactivity API and Lightbox, Custom Fields and Block Bindings, Partially Synced Patterns, Layout API
      • PHP:
        • Got 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. 8.0 and 8.1 out of “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. support”
        • Dropped PHP 5.6 support
      • Focus to triage and resolve old tickets
      • New Features such as the plugin/theme update rollbackframework for storing revisions in post meta, etc.
      • 5,761 = TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.https://core.trac.wordpress.org/. tickets + 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/ PRs
  • Community
  • Polyglots
    • Launched Translate Live using the WordPress playground, this vastly lowers the barrier for translating plugins with inline translation
    • Launched the Tour plugin, which was first created for GlotPress, and made it available on all Make P2s
  • Five for the Future program
    • Ended the year with a 45% increase in companies pledging to 5ftF and 24.53% increase in confirmed contributors
    • Launched the contributor working group and the pilot edition of the mentorship program, where 11/13 mentees graduated, with at least 7 continuing to make ongoing contributions to the project as active contributors, and with an 89% course completion rate!
  • Meta
  • Design
    • WordPress 6.3 – The release introduced a refreshed site editor focused around letting you build and deployDeploy Launching code from a local development environment to the production web server, so that it's available to visitors. your entire website from that one section alone. It also introduced a new process of WordPress release micro-sites, already on top of Google’s search results for the keyword WordPress 6.3, and we are continuing this release microsite tradition for subsequent releases. WordPress 6.3
    • Block themes – These themes are 100% pure block editor and uses core blocks only, making them incredibly compatible, fully editable in every aspect by users, and trivial to switch to and from.
    • 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/ – Launched a refreshed WordPress.org Showcase, a solid and evolving design system, and numerous other sections of the site, including WordPress Remembers & Memorial Profiles, WordPress 20th Anniversary, Documentation, Developer Resources, Developer Blog, Blocks, Playground, and Events.
  • Extenders
    • Developer Blog – the Developer Blog has settled as a great and official reference for extenders to complement the info provided by the handbooks and to help extenders navigate through the news in the WordPress project relevant to them
    • Better onboarding experience for block developers (Block Editor Handbook) – The Getting Started chapter has been completely revamped, providing a better learning path for newcomers. This new content has been complemented with a new hub of examples for block development block-development-examples (with live previews and downloads) referenced in the handbook.
    • Theme Handbook Overhaul – The first five chapters have been completely rewritten and published (Getting StartedCore ConceptsGlobal Settings and Styles (theme.json)TemplatesFeatures). A new hub of examples for theme development block-theme-examples (with live previews and downloads) has also been shaped to complement the info of the Theme Handbook.
  • Marketing
    • Expanded live event coverage for the three major WordCamps and SotW, streaming live to 4 platforms, live-posting, publishing numerous supporting materials, and netting millions of views. Fun fact: Our video content has roughly 7.5M views this year.
    • Published over 3k posts across 8 platforms, including Tumblr (new this year), and grew our audience by over 100k followers.
    • Promoted all releases and 22 episodes of the WordPress Briefing
    • From Blogs to Blocks campaign for the WordPress 20th Anniversary
    • The Contribute page and the brand new Join page as part of our work to refine the Contributor onboarding process
    • The Get Involved tab in the Admin Dashboard driven by @OGlekler that launched in WordPress 6.3
  • Playground
    • Adoption
      • Calls for testing, like this one for Font library
      • ~60k users visited the Playground website, ~13k downloaded wp-now and the VS Code extension.
    • Integrations
      • Live previews in the WordPress plugin directory
      • Live demos in the Block Editor Handbook
      • Live Translations enable instant translation contributions
      • All WordPress core PRs now get a Playground-powered live preview link
      • Plugin Editor Block for Gutenberg was proposed by a community contributor
      • wp-now and the VS Code extension provide a single-click local WordPress dev env
      • Local directory sync turns the in-browser Playground into a development environment. Built a WordPress plugin with no local WordPress and just Playground
      • 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/ integration – submit PRs directly from Playground, “host” it in a repo, share a live preview link to the Playground you’ve built
    • Explorations started

Congratulations!

I said it at State of the WordState of the Word This is the annual report given by Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress at WordCamp US. It looks at what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and the future of WordPress. https://wordpress.tv/tag/state-of-the-word/., and it’s worth repeating here—what a time to part of the WordPress project! We have built so many foundations and processes, and battled our way through twists and turns in the road. And yet, we find ourselves poised for an incredibly exciting year in 2024. The work you do, unseen as it feels, makes possible the powerful and abundant ecosystem that has grown around this CMS we all love.

I look forward to seeing what else we can do from here. Cheers to 2023, and welcome to 2024!

Update on Matrix Migration: Pausing the Transition

In recent days, we (Matrix contributors @ashfame, @psrpinto, and myself) have been closely evaluating and engaging with testing, feedback, and discussions stemming from this recent post about the transition to Matrix by the end of the year.

First, I would like to acknowledge the great work Matrix and WordPress contributors did this past year. The explorations and progress made have been admirable, and I appreciate all the community collaboration and participation in testing and providing valuable questions and feedback.

As you may have heard during yesterday’s State of the Word Q&A, the migrationMigration Moving the code, database and media files for a website site from one server to another. Most typically done when changing hosting companies. from 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/. to Matrix is being put on hold after careful consideration. Several factors, as mentioned by Matt, have contributed to this decision:

We, both Matrix contributors and project leadership, have listened and taken into account the concerns shared regarding 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) and usability. While significant progress and efforts have been made to address issues during the past few weeks, especially around accessibility, we understand that the current experience provided by Matrix clients is not yet where the WordPress project and community expect for their communication and collaborative needs.

On the other hand, we are concerned about the recent developments and license changes announced in the Matrix ecosystem. WordPress prioritizes tools and platforms that align with the project’s principles and values, and this includes considerations around licensing implications when it comes to choosing or contributing to software. In this case, the switch to the Affero General Public License (AGPL) and the requirement of signing a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) to contribute.

This decision allows for reassessing the current situation and ensuring that any transition aligns with WordPress’ standards.

Moving forward

As a result, Slack will remain the primary chat platform for the WordPress community, with no changes expected by the end of the year.

We found that the Slack-Matrix bridge and integrations, such as Chatrix, are still valuable for contributors and will keep working. This allows for flexibility and the continued use of the achievements made so far, especially to help onboard new contributors. We encourage Make teams to further explore and take advantage of all the opportunities that Make team chat pages have to offer.

Thank you for your support and understanding while we navigated to this decision. If you have any further thoughts or questions, please share them in the comments.

Overflow Questions from State of the Word 2023 in Madrid, Spain

Will put them in comments. We need something like Tumblr’s Ask feature. We had tens of thousands of streamers across Facebook and Youtube! Here’s the cleaned-up video with chapters:

Embracing Matrix for Enhanced Communication

As WordPress continues to evolve, so do the tools the community uses to connect, collaborate, and contribute. The shift from IRC to Slack in 2014 was an important transition, making 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/. one of the primary tools for contributors’ communications and chats. For over a year now, in the spirit of the project’s continuous improvement, we (Matrix and WordPress contributors) have been actively exploring Matrix as a possible replacement for Slack, providing regular updates, and listening to feedback.

The work done so far represents an effort to bring in a new 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. chat system that meets WordPress’ evolving needs and aligns with the project and community’s ethos. We need your help to see this next transition happen.

Progress and achievements thus far

As a first step in getting the community to test and use Matrix earlier this year, a Matrix server went live at community.wordpress.org. We enabled a bridge that allows you to follow chats and participate from either Matrix or Slack, with real-time messages showing up.

Since then, Matrix has been used by several Make WordPress teams for discussions and contributions, including successful meetings with a significant percentage of participants joining via Matrix. During this phase, insights continued to be gathered from contributors, and more enhancements were made.

Here’s what’s been achieved as part of the ongoing explorations.

Better contributor onboarding

A significant amount of time is spent on helping new and casual contributors get onboarded to Slack. At the beginning of the year, we successfully implemented a Single-Sign-On (SSO) flow to streamline the Matrix login process.

This approach provides a straightforward and convenient onboarding for contributors compared to Slack for several reasons. First, it allows them easy access to Matrix chats with their 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/ credentials, eliminating the need for invitations and going through several steps required to join Slack. Second, it reduces the need to remember and manage multiple passwords.

More ways to join Make team chats

Each Make team now has its own Matrix chat page integrated into their respective Make WordPress blogs. For example, make.wordpress.org/test/chat/. This method leverages the SSO login experience to access chats. It facilitates a simpler, direct avenue for contributors to attend meetings, collaborate, or participate in conversations with other community members—directly within the familiar WordPress.org interface.

Moreover, Make teams can create dedicated chat pages with different rooms depending on their needs. This is made possible through Chatrix’s integration, which allows embedding a Matrix chat as a 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/ 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. into any WordPress post or page.

Preserved chat history

All Making WordPress Slack chat history in public channels has been migrated to Matrix, ensuring no past conversations are lost. While the search functionality is not (yet) as powerful as Slack’s, efforts are ongoing to improve this aspect.

Room joining

Questions about re-joining or looking for your existing channels (called “rooms” in Matrix) have been resolved. When joining Matrix, you will automatically be in all the rooms you were part of in the Making WordPress Slack.

Additional opportunities

The open (source) advantage

Matrix provides a secure, decentralized, and real-time communication platform, encouraging a better collaboration and communication system for WordPress contributors without relying on a proprietary platform.

As an open source protocol, it aligns closely with the principles of the WordPress project and supports community-driven development, allowing anyone to contribute and fostering innovation and improvement. Consequently, this can lead to the development of new features and enhancements around Matrix and WordPress that benefit the entire user community and ecosystem.

While the WordPress project provides a homeserver for its community members, Matrix’s decentralized nature allows individuals to use the homeserver of their choice, empowering them with control over their communication environment and identity.

Bringing local communities into a unified platform

Currently, there are different Slack workspaces for local WordPress communities. Matrix has the potential to bridge this gap and allow these communities to coexist within a unified platform for better collaboration. By integrating them into Matrix at the community.wordpress.org server, the project encourages broader participation and a more connected WordPress community.

Interoperability and client flexibility

Matrix clients are applications or software that allow you to interact with the Matrix communication protocol. We have streamlined joining Matrix through the browser or chat pages, lowering the entry barrier by using pre-configured clients. This means that many contributors won’t need to start a dedicated client.

However, for those who prefer to join from a desktop/mobile app or upgrade their experience, Matrix supports a diverse variety of clients to choose from, catering to the different preferences and needs of contributors. These include feature-rich clients like Element (recommended), FluffyChat (similar to Telegram), and Hydrogen (a minimal Matrix chat client).

Known challenges

During the testing and exploration phase, we encountered and heard about a few challenges that may affect your experience. For transparency, the following are some known concerns the team is working on or has already reported to the Element client community:

  • 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): The Accessibility team tried Matrix and identified some barriers to usability in the Element client, as detailed in this post. While we’ve tracked down and flagged these areas for improvement with Element, not all have been addressed yet. Further community explorations, testing, and feedback about alternative clients will be helpful in identifying opportunities to ensure an inclusive and positive experience for all.
  • Direct Messages (DMs): Exporting data from a proprietary platform like Slack is difficult because of the lock-in. And, unfortunately, Making WordPress Slack private messages cannot be directly transferred to the Matrix chat. As a workaround to save your DMs, you can use a browser extension to export them, as explained in this guide.
  • Slack-Matrix feature parity: Common Slack features and integrations are available in Matrix, such as channels, direct messages, file sharing, and search. However, others don’t have a direct counterpart or work differently, such as notification handling or group pings. Matrix presents an opportunity to work on a collaborative roadmap and contribute to enhancements that help meet the community’s needs. So, if there are specific features from Slack that you find essential and would like to add, please share them.

What’s next?

Progress so far has been communicated and shared with project leaders Matt and Josepha, who encourage the community to actively switch to Matrix in replacement of the Making WordPress Slack by the end of this year.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean Slack will go away overnight. The Slack-Matrix bridge will remain active until the community has migrated to help ease the transition and minimize disruption. All Making WordPress Slack public channels and content are accessible through Matrix, where you can follow and participate in existing conversations. Toward the end of December, posting to Slack will become more limited, though the history and chats will still be readable.

We will evaluate progress over the next month and expect to complete the migrationMigration Moving the code, database and media files for a website site from one server to another. Most typically done when changing hosting companies. early next year.

How you can help

The best way to prepare for the transition is to start using the Matrix chat and get acquainted with it and its features.

We recommend using the pre-configured instance of the Element Web client by visiting matrix.wordpress.net from your browser. However, as mentioned above, there are more ways to get started. Please visit this page to learn more and choose your preferred method.

If you’re familiar with Matrix, help support fellow community members in switching. Another great way to collaborate, especially if you are a Make team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts., is to spread the word about the transition within your teams and invite them to start running the contributor meetings from Matrix.

Your input matters

As you or your teams explore Matrix, please share your feedback, questions, and suggestions in the #matrixhelp room (available from Matrix and Slack) or on this Matrix GitHub repo.

Your input and engagement are instrumental in shaping the Matrix experience to meet WordPress’ collaborative needs. Together, we can contribute to making a powerful communication platform for WordPress and the open source community.


We know this move means changing how we chat and collaborate, so it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions, from excitement to concerns about stepping away from a familiar tool. Recognizing these feelings, we want to ensure we’re here to support and guide each other through this transition.

Thank you for your collaboration and continued support as WordPress embraces the opportunities Matrix brings to the project! Stay tuned for updates as we continue to work on the migration.

#matrix

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Request for Feedback: Make/Team Dashboards

Dashboards are more than just a collection of numbers and graphs; they are the pulse of a project. In the WordPress ecosystem, where collaboration and open-source principles guide us, dashboards can be a powerful team tool. Here’s why:

  • Improved visibility and communication: Dashboards can provide a centralized place for team members to view key metrics and data, such as the number of open and closed issues, the number of commits made, and the number of tests passed. This can help improve visibility and communication across the team and ensure everyone is aware of the progress. Additionally, this can show progress to those seeking opportunities to contribute where help is most needed.
  • Better decision-making: Dashboards can help teams make better decisions by giving them data-driven insights. This information can help them identify areas where they are doing well and where additional help is requested. 
  • Increased transparency: Dashboards can help increase transparency within the team by clarifying what is being worked on and what progress is being made. This can help to build trust and collaboration.

Which teams will be involved?

While feedback from all teams is needed, Sustainability and 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. teams are vital to this success.

Open-source sustainability is a multifaceted concept beyond just keeping a project alive. It’s about creating an ecosystem where the software, the community that builds it, and the organizations that rely on it can thrive long-term. 

The Sustainability Team can foster gathering information, identifying metrics, and partnering with the Meta Team on proposed tools to help us reach these goals.

Recap of progress thus far

Building stats dashboards is not a new idea; various contributor teams have considered the idea or have created proposals for the same in the past. Here’s a non-exhaustive summary of the work done so far. 

Feedback requests: Your Voice Matters

Examples of how other various open-source projects measure the health of their organizations can be found at https://chaoss.community/kbtopic/all-metrics/

  • Active contributors to WordPress:
    • What metrics would you like to see on a team dashboard? 
    • How would you use a team dashboard?
    • How do we help ourselves (and future contributors) determine the right metrics?
  • WordPress Team Reps:
    • What metrics would be most helpful for you to track to represent your team effectively?
    • What would help you make data-informed decisions or help you focus on your top priorities?
  • WordPress Project Leadership 
    • What metrics would you like to see on a team dashboard to help you make informed decisions about your project?
    • How would you use this data?
  • Hosts, Plugins, Themes, SaaS, and Extender Ecosystem: 
    • What metrics and statistics would you like to see from teams throughout the WordPress Project?
    • What data would help you support your customers? 
    • How would data help your organization contribute to WordPress?
    • What data do you want to know regarding how your organization contributes?
  • Agencies from solo entrepreneurs through enterprise agencies (& their customers):
    • What metrics would be most helpful for you to track to manage your team’s workload and deliver high-quality results to your clients?
    • What metrics might your customers want to know?
    • What data do you want to know or have visible regarding how you or your organization contributes?

Conclusion: The Community’s Role in Dashboard Success

Your feedback is not just welcomed; it’s essential. 

Dashboards can be a cornerstone in the success of open-source projects like WordPress. They can help us be more transparent, make better decisions, and ultimately, create a more robust and inclusive community.

We invite you to leave your thoughts, suggestions, and insights in the comments below. Your voice can help shape the future of dashboards within the WordPress community.

Please share your feedback by: Wednesday October 11, 2023

The following people contributed to this post: @harishanker