Agenda for December 5th Support Meeting

  • WordPress 5.3 – How are we doing?
    • 5.3.1 information
  • 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 2019-12-05 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

Agenda for November 21st Support Meeting

  • WordPress 5.3 – How are we doing?
  • 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 2019-11-21 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

November 14th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

bbPress 2.6 was released this week, and has been deployed to the various forums. Please note that an upgrade notice will show up in wp-admin if you have the appropriate access, don’t click this, the meta team will handle the upgrade routines accordingly once they’ve been tested in our large setup scenario.

WordPress 5.3

The new version of WordPress, version 5.3, was released this week.

As is customary after a major release, the WordPress 5.3 Master List has been published, and is a living document being updated with anything we find that breaks WordPress for users.

Discussion on linking to off-site support platforms

A hot topic this past week has been linking to support-topics that are outside of WordPress.org.

Some good conversations were covered during the weekly meeting, and a make/support post has been published outlining what we discussed, and allowing for input from those unable to attend the weekly meeting.

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

When contributing, remember that you are not alone, your friends and teammates are here for you, don’t be afraid to seek help or assistance.

#weekly-chat

Linking to your own support sites

After a lively and engaging discussion during this weeks support meeting, a few scenarios were brought up relating to plugin and theme authors linking to their own support resources.

There are different views on what is considered appropriate times to do so, and what is or isn’t allowed when viewed in relation to the established support guidelines. It’s also clear that the current guideline is not clear enough, and needs updating to be much clearer.

This post outlines some of the ideas that came forth during that discussion (which can be read on Slack in its entirety), not all of which are guaranteed to be implemented, but are recorded for the sake of completeness. We then open the floor to input and comments by those who were unable to attend our latest meeting, or those who did, but have more to bring to the table, all are welcome.


Scenarios not up for discussion

There are two fixed parts that are not up for discussion, but are reiterated for context. No one, no matter who, should ever ask for any kind of credentials (this includes, but is not limited to, WordPress itself, remote viewing applications like TeamViewer, or basic authentications on sites).

An average user should never link a user to off-site platforms for continued support. There is no reason for this, this is exclusively for plugin and theme authors who may have their own systems in place to better follow up and help users.


Points brought up

Currently, it’s possible to link to different platforms, it may be an idea to stop allowing the in-between, either you provide support on WordPress.org, or you don’t.
Would need changes to the plugins side to lock down forums, as it was noted that those who claim to not offer support do it any way at this point, so to avoid confusion, locking down would be the way to go. This does have some disconnects from the expectations of plugin authors when they choose to use the plugin directory though.

If you are a SaaS (Software as a Service), you may require private information like an authentication token or similar to troubleshoot a problem, which should not be posted in a public forum.

If the plugin or theme has a paid version, any conversation relating to premium only features should be taken to their private support platform, as they are not allowed to support customers through our platform for free users.

Currently we do allow authors to post their support email and there is no plan to stop allowing this, but we do recommend that if they need this direct contact, it should be with a proper support system, for both theirs, and the users sake.

The forums are ideally for users to lean to help themselves. It’s important to keep in mind that for the majority of end users, who have no familiarity with the forums or those who help out on them, it is a place to get their problem fixed and nothing more.

Grabbing links and put them behind an intermediary page on WordPress.org with a disclaimer about the dangers of sharing credentials is mentioned as a possible solution to the scenario of links going off-site.
This brought up a continued discussion on a need for whitelisting known good locations, and the increased administrative wok that would lead to in the long run. A whitelist feature may also lead to perceived favoritism towards specific plugins or themes.

When is it OK to link off-site?

  • premium plugins/themes (which should also result in a post closure)
  • services related to plugins/themes

Clarification to the guidelines

A proposition for an improved clarification on linking was put forth, and

Linking to support off-site is allowed for plugin/theme developers and support personnel, but it should only ever be used as a last resort, and never to collect access credentials.

Please keep in mind that the forums here are searchable, so a fully resolved thread here may help another user down the line.

Agenda for November 14th Support Meeting

  • WordPress 5.3 – How are we doing?
  • 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 2019-11-14 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

November 7th Support Team Meeting Summary

We had our final call for changes to the WordPress 5.3 Master List, along with a call for testing of WordPress it self, as the next version of WordPress is scheduled for November 12th.

We discovered that there’s a need for a specific page for Twenty Twenty that the feature theme team has already finalized (teamwork makes the dream work!), which will be linked up properly after the upcoming release.

Fair warning as well, that next meeting we will be utilizing the meeting-opener used by many other teams. The support team in general doesn’t use the /here command, as we wish to avoid notification burnout, but we will be using it for the first meeting after a major release to make sure we can gather any important information that surfaces from users after a release.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of our community from Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, India, Russia and Spain were part of this weeks meeting, with some new members from a few of them stopping by!

One of the contributors asked about information on highlighting topics to see which ones need addressing still, which the support team has a tool for at https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/appendix/helpful-tools/#clearer-plugin-and-theme-support.

Open floor

A request for more details for those running a contributor day was put forth. Turns out the existing page had been edited, and left in a state pending review. This has been re-published and is available at https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/.

We would like to improve the getting started documentation, so if you’ve ever held a contributor day and done support, input on what worked, what information you felt was missing, and what could be improved upon is very much welcome at any time.

If you would be so kind, please leave a response to the annual WordPress user survey for 2019.

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

🎉 With the influx of new users lately, we’ll revitalize the contributor tips, a crowd favorite.

Helping out is awesome, but be selfish now and then, take the time you need to relax and unwind.

Contributor Tips

#weekly-chat

Agenda for November 7th Support Meeting

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 2019-11-07 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

October 31st Support Team Meeting Summary

First a reminder that we’re still working on the WordPress 5.3 Master List, to cover items that we foresee users being confused about, viewing as potential issues and so forth.

And of course, please help test the new version before it goes live.

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives from Sweden, Russia, Brazil and the Netherlands took part in this weeks chat, mostly focused on the upcoming release.

Open floor

A question was brought forth on the process when requesting data deletion from WordPress.org. Although we don’t know the exact procedure, the privacy policy does make note that historical data such as commit history for plugins, themes and WordPress core are all retained. There’s also a section on forum posts and topics being historical data, and removing them would cause holes that may destroy the overall understanding of information., As such the user profile is scrubbed and anonymized.

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

With spooktober in mind, and it being the spookiest of days, enjoy the most thrilling video ever made!

#weekly-chat

Agenda for October 31st Support Meeting

👻 Spooktober edition

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 2019-10-31 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

October 24th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

There’s been a few questions, and comments, about access to WordPress.org access being limited from the Chinese region of late, so we figured we’d give some information when possible.

There’s an ongoing issue with a lot of malicious traffic originating from the Chinese region. This is making the WordPress.org security systems limit connectivity from affected areas, and unfortunately also negatively affecting legitimate users.

We’re actively monitoring the situation, and are looking into ways to remedy this for real users, but due to how internet traffic is routed it’s not something that is likely solved quickly.


The initial post for the WordPress 5.3 Master List has also gone up at https://make.wordpress.org/support/2019/10/wordpress-5-3-master-list/.

The Master List is a forum thread created by the support team for every major release of WordPress where we pre-emptively gather information on what users may face and be confused by, mistake for bugs or need ot be aware of. It’s a living document, and as the release lives on the thread is populated with information of broken plugins or themes that impact a larger amount of users, bugs that are discovered etc. This allows us to have one location to reference for information, and to link users towards for troubleshooting steps.


@bethannon1 will be leading the Support Desk (aka Happiness Bar) at WordCamp US, and is looking for potential volunteers to help staff it. If this sounds like you, feel free to reach out to her!

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our international parts of the community in Italy, Sweden, India, Brazil, Portugal and Russia were part of this weeks meeting.

We also looked into if the Master List could be made more easily available for translations for our international crew. @tobifjellner has some good insights on utilizing HelpHub/SupportHub once it’s ready for synchronization between locales, and we will revisit this at that point as it becomes more viable when those systems are in place.

Open floor

A question about process with user management was brought forth, in relation to theme submissions on WordPress.org.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough information to make informed recommendations on the scenarios mentioned, but we invited those responsible to return to #forums with more details for a more thurough check.

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

For this weeks relaxation, we’re traveling east.

#weekly-chat