Agenda for December 13th Support Meeting

  • General announcements
    • “Finishing” the first iteration of guideline updates/changes
    • Update on support tools (userscripts)
  • WordPress 5.0.1, how are things going
  • Checking in with international liaisons
  • Time permitting: Open floor

For any other items to discuss, please add them to the comments below, or bring them up in the meeting.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, December 13, 2018, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

Concerning forks and recommendations on the forums

With the recent release of WordPress 5.0, some users have found them selves puzzled or confused by the new interface, or have plugins and themes that introduce conflicts with how the WordPress editing experience is now presented.

In light of this, we’ve seen many great works from the community both with plugins to address this, but also various forks of the project it self to better suit their various scenarios.

The WordPress support forums are a place to help users with WordPress, and if the best approach to their problem is through any non-official plugin, or a fork that better serves the user, we are happy to accommodate such suggestions.

What we have unfortunately seen after the release, is an increase in fake or angry users setting out to promote these solutions in manners which do not comply with the Support Guidelines (specifically “Do not spam”). This includes, but is not limited to, copy-pasting links to multiple topics without anything other than a link and no real “purpose” and multiple accounts from singular users using proxies to avoid spam protection.

We wanted to address this, as such behavior not only gives a bad reputation to those who have worked hard on other solutions but are not behaving in nefarious ways, but also to the volunteers who are tasked with keeping the forums helpful to all.

It all boils down to this:

If there’s nothing nefarious behind the recommendation of using a WordPress fork or unofficial plugin, it will be left alone, we may chime in about it if it appears premature to change to another solution, but we won’t moderate it.

If at a later date we find the user to be doing it in a nefarious manner, we will moderate the previous entries as well, but the user will be informed about what is going on.

New Volunteer Orientation on Dec 9

We had a New Volunteer Orientation on Dec 9 in Slack. We had 15 participants who were live in Nashville at WordCamp US, and another 8 participants who joined us from places like Chicago, Texas, India & Pakistan.

If you missed this orientation and would like to check it out, here is the archive link:
https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C02RQC6RW/p1544373011742700

We are tentatively planning to do orientations like this a couple of more times in the year. If anyone from one of the non-English forums would like to get resources for adapting for their own onboarding, reach out to @bethannon1 in Slack DM.

December 6th Support Team Meeting Summary

Starting with a quick reminder: It’s OK to take a break, everyone’s been a bit on edge with this release, remember that you are volunteers and have no obligations here, walk away and unwind instead if you feel like it, we’ve got this covered.

And as always with major releases, please keep general banter in the #forums Slack room to a minimum to avoid us missing important shared information after a release.

We hope to have the revised support guidelines released this weekend if all goes well, input is still welcome via GitHub though, and we’ll get it moved to a more appropriate location once the first iteration is out.

The Master List has been updated and is ready for the upcoming release, with the modifications proposed in the associated p2 post.

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives from the Swedish, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian and Urdu communities took place in our preparational meeting this week!

Open floor

Some questions for the new editor may need various answers we don’t have a predefined reply for, in those cases you can also reference the plugin sticky topic we’ve used before the release.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#weekly-chat

Agenda for December 6th Support Meeting

  • General announcements
  • Checking in with international liaisons
  • Time permitting: Open floor

For any other items to discuss, please add them to the comments below, or bring them up in the meeting.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, December 6, 2018, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

November 29th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The plan is to launch HelpHub tomorrow, Friday November 30th. This has a slight impact on the support team, as it means the first page you are presented with when you look for support is HelpHub, instead of the list of forums that exist as of right now. This is to encourage self-help first, but it links to a proper list of forums as well for those who feel they didn’t find what they need. The original list of forums still exists as well, and can be found at https://wordpress.org/support/forums and looks like it does today.

The next volunteer orientation has now been scheduled, the details and times are available at 
https://make.wordpress.org/support/2018/11/new-volunteer-orientation-for-wp-support-contributors-dec-9/

In preparation of WordPress 5.0, we’ve now started working on the changes to the Master List that we put out with each release, the collaboration of which is taking place at https://make.wordpress.org/support/2018/11/support-master-list-for-wordpress-5-0/

During the Contributor Day at WordCamp US this year, we’ve been asked to join in discuss a proposal for making Lighthouse more WordPress aware. You can read more about that at https://make.wordpress.org/support/2018/11/wordpress-localized-lighthouse-audits/

Checking in with international liaisons

Our fantastic representatives from the Swedish, Serbian, Dutch, Urdu, Russian and German communities took part in todays chat and provided insights from their sides of things.

Open floor

The not a bug section of our Master List should have a section about how the new editing experience behaves, and questions that may come up from it, see the Google Docs sheet at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XaARXrJBF9CQ0qNHHbDxvvlZTtyrG7b9scjuFFJll7E/edit#heading=h.vj8fogmps05y for more details.

A quick reminder that we don’t know when WordPress 5.0 lands, and should it be during your holiday periods, there are no obligations to stop by and help users, enjoy your time off!

Attendance

@abdullahramzan, @bcworkz, @bemdesign, @clorith, @contentiskey, @fierevere, @firoz2456, @futtta, @howdy_mcgee, @jcastaneda, @jdembowski, @joyously, @macmanx, @nikolam, @numeeja, @RDD, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner and @zodiac1978 attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Albert Camus

#weekly-chat

WordPress-localized Lighthouse Audits

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You give Lighthouse a URL to evaluate (public or requiring authentication), and it runs a series of audits against the page for performance, accessibility, progressive web app capabilities, and more. It then generates a report on how well the page did. Using the failing audits as guidance developers and site owners can get insights on how to improve their pages. Each audit has a reference doc explaining why the audit is important, as well as how to fix it.

However, when running a Lighthouse audit on a specific environment such as a WordPress site, the recommendations are often too generic to be applicable. For example, when Lighthouse asks you to concatenate resources, how could you actually go about it in a WordPress context? This becomes especially tricky because several of those assets are likely not under your control, but are introduced by a third-party extension.

We are considering the development of a project called WordPress-localized Advice Packs for Lighthouse, with the goal of providing WordPress-specific guidance using Lighthouse. With it, WordPress developers and site owners will get the results from Lighthouse audits tailored to the realities of the WordPress platform. 

This is a project to be maintained by the WordPress community, working together with input from the Chrome and Lighthouse teams at Google. As with WordPress coding standards, the WordPress community is best positioned to make sure that the Lighthouse WordPress Localized Advice Pack is accurate, up to date, and satisfies the needs of the community as a whole.

We will be at WCUS Contributor’s Day in Nashville next week, and will discuss this proposal at the support table. If you are interested in learning more about this proposal and possibly contribute to the project, we would love you to join the conversation. Looking forward to it!

Support Master List for WordPress 5.0

WordPress 5.0 is under preparation, and we’ve hit the Release Candidate stage. As per usual, this means we’ll start preparing for the Master List we generally provide for every major release.

For reference, you may view the WordPress 4.9 Master List (formerly known as the “OMGWTFBBQ” thread, but that term didn’t mean much to users, so we simplified it).

This time around, the release has one focus, which makes things a bit more streamlined for our sake. We’ll include the default stuff we always do, but with some added emphasis on JavaScript debugging, as this the new editing experience relies heavily on that.

Notable exclusions is the 2nd reply, noting “Core changes”, as the release is all about one feature this isn’t needed. We also need to go over the links once the new user documentation is launched properly, as better documents than the Codex pages will exist at that point.

We’ll retain the other sections as they are today, there’s not much we need to change there, so this will be to field input on the first reply which focuses on troubleshooting. Let’s focus it a bit and expand the JavaScript section.


The Troubleshooting Section

Before posting, please make sure you’ve tried started by performing the troubleshooting steps outlined below:

  • Flushing any caching plugins you might be running, as well as server and/or browser caches. Not just your browser, but any op cache or content network cache as well such as Cloudflare. That will solve many weird JavaScript issues.
  • Flushing Managed host caches. Managed WP hosting often has special caches. If your host has a “Purge Varnish” or “Flush Memcache” tool, try that. You can ask your provider to flush memcache and Varnish for you if necessary.
  • Troubleshooting with your browser. Your browser can help you identify JavaScript issues or conflicts and this article can assist you in doing that diagnosis. This could help identify Visual Editor issues as well.
  • Deactivating all plugins (yes, all) to see if this resolves the problem. If this works, re-activate the plugins one by one until you find the problematic plugin(s). If you can’t get into your admin dashboard, try resetting the plugins folder by SFTP/FTP or PhpMyAdmin (read “How to deactivate all plugins when you can’t log in to wp-admin” if you need help). Sometimes, an apparently inactive plugin can still cause problems. Also remember to deactivate any plugins in the mu-plugins folder. The easiest way is to rename that folder to mu-plugins-old
  • Switching to the Twenty Sixteen theme to rule out any theme-specific problems. If you can’t log in to change themes, you can remove the theme folders via SFTP/FTP so the only one is twentysixteen. That will force your site to use it.
  • Manually upgrading. When all else fails, download a fresh copy of the latest.zip file of 4.9 (top right on this page) to your computer, and use that to copy up. You may need to delete the wp-admin and wp-includes folders on your server (NOTE: do not delete the wp-content directory or your wp-config.php file) Read the Manual Update directions first.

If you need to create a support topic, consider getting the Health Check plugin to provide debug data for the support volunteers.

Agenda for November 29th Support Meeting

  • General announcements
    • HelpHub launch
  • Checking in with international liaisons
  • Time permitting: Open floor

For any other items to discuss, please add them to the comments below, or bring them up in the meeting.

The meeting will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2018, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

New Volunteer Orientation for WP Support Contributors: Dec 9

WP Support Team is planning an orientation session for new Support Contributor volunteers on Sunday, December 9 at 10:30 am CST, in conjunction with Contributor Day at WordCamp US.

We will “meet” in the #forums Slack channel, and walk through the basics of helping out on the wordpress.org support forums, and give some pointers for getting started. We anticipate that this orientation will last 15-20 minutes.

If you know someone who would like to start helping in the forums, please do encourage them to come and start contributing to WordPress!

To participate, new volunteers will need to create a wordpress.org user account if they don’t already have one, then create an account on Slack and join the #forums channel. If you already have a wordpress.org user account (perhaps you have posted a question in the forums before), then you can use that account.

Long-time volunteers are welcome to participate as a refresher, but we especially welcome any new volunteers who might be interested in helping answer topics in the wordpress.org support forums, whether you are present in Nashville for Contributor Day, or somewhere else in the world. Support is a great place to start helping with WP and give back to the community!