Make WordPress Support

Updates from August, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 8:28 pm on August 30, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Chat, write up   

    Chat Recap – Aug 30 

    We did a lot in an hour!
    Handbook Changes

    The ‘user handbook’ is now at https://make.wordpress.org/support/user-handbook/

    However this is temp! We’re going to build out at https://make.wordpress.org/support/user-manual/ starting with a more clear Table of Contents. Once we have that done, we can bring pages over one at a time. In the mean time, edit in https://make.wordpress.org/support/user-handbook/ and when you’re done tag the page (oh yes, we haz tags!)

    We’re going to try to split the handbook into ‘weeks’ with the goal of being done by WPCS. So two months! (possibly get this so it can be used by https://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-help/ or something similar for end users on their own WP installs?)

    Week One: TOC! Let’s sort out the best way to present the basic info.

    Please go to https://make.wordpress.org/support/user-manual/ and weigh in (yes, comments r good). We’re not doing a straight copy-over, but as we find pages that are relavent, we’ll sort ’em that way. Come up with what sub-topics we should have in each section. We’re trying to KISS, so think of the least technical person you know and start there. Where would they start.

    The TOC will drive the next weeks topics.

    Mod Handbook

    The mod handbook – https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/ – needs your love too.


    Nacin List

    @nacin‘s to do 😉

    Wish List

    Things @Ipstenu needs to harangue @otto42 about.

    • Siobhan 10:19 am on September 2, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      i have copied over all of the stuff to do with editing the codex: https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/contributing-to-the-wordpress-codex/

      However, it needs editing to get rid of duplicate stuff and to make it easier to follow and more logical.

      For the record, I hate MediaWiki – I know that lots of people love it but it’s a serious barrier when it comes to getting people to contribute to the codex. People may be able to edit with just HTML but they don’t know that and people do say that they would help if it was built on WordPress.

      Also, eating own dog food? A beautiful, usable WordPress Codex built using WordPress would be a fantastic way to show of what WP can do.

      Update: Could add another to-do on to that list for me to edit the codex contributing stuff in the SP handbook. Will get on it asap 🙂

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:06 pm on September 2, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The ability to handle linking on a wiki with juste [[pagename]] and the flat-level design there of is much easier than on WP (there, I said it, okay?). I’ve done tons of doc’ing on both (and installing), and there’s a time and a place for ’em.

        Mind, I think the user manual doesn’t need to be that time or place 😉

    • Siobhan 7:57 pm on September 1, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Can we rename the Moderator Handbook as the Support Handbook? Moderator implies forums but the handbook should encompass docs too

    • Siobhan 8:14 pm on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Now that we have tags for pages how about a simple tagging system for the user manual that we can keep consistent? I suggest using:

      Needs input (use the comment form to make a note of what input is needed).

      Erm… dunno what else.

      [P.S. Is it just me that wishes that when I comment on a blog the checkbox that is automatically checked should be “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” rather than “Notify me of new posts by email”? I have to switch them every time]

    • esmi 2:49 pm on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Aha! So would it be OK to start editing the references out and massaging the text appropriately?

    • esmi 11:47 am on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m seeing multiple reference to WordPress.com in the handbook. Is this correct or have I missed something (sorry – been out of the loop for a while).

    • @mercime 11:51 pm on August 30, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      == bbPress/BuddyPress docs need lurve too! ==

      i lurve them both. Wasn’t at the chat so are you referring to https://codex.bbpress.org/ and https://codex.buddypress.org/ or something else entirely?

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 12:21 am on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Their codex’s 🙂 @raggedrobins pointed out they could use some doc attention.

        • @mercime 3:50 pm on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Thank you Ipstenu. Yes, more lurving needed. Articles in BP codex are updated or added around the time a new version rolls out or whenever needed. Those tasks have been done by BP Core Devs, BP Forums Mods and a few active members of BP community … a mirror to what’s happening at a bigger level with the WP docs I see.

          BP 1.7 is coming up the pipeline with new major theme compatibility features, internal group forums integration with bbPress plugin, new groups panel in wp-admin, among many others. All are welcome to help out now to improve BP docs :-).

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:28 pm on August 30, 2012 Permalink

    Topics for today's Chat 

    The chat is at 1800 UTC – translate as need be 😉 IRC room #wordpress-sfd

    • Handbook – How do we feel updating it is going? Suggestions to handle workflow better?
    • Support Handbook (aka our handbook) – What’s it missing?
    • Forums – Do we need more mods? Is there a growing problem?
    • Upcoming Dev Changes – The media upload, JS changes
    • Anything else?

    Toss in suggestions below 🙂 I’m going to try to keep this to an hour-cold, as I have a meeting right after and then again! Woo!

  • Christine Rondeau 12:22 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ideas   

    It’s 5 am and here I am not being able to sleep because I have a couple of ideas about the forum. 🙂
    I thought I would pass them on and see if we can discuss these later, (maybe at the wpcs?)

    I find myself repeating 2 things over and over again in the forum. 1) Please provide a link to your site 2) …making a child theme would be good idea. Here are some instructions….

    1) Could this be “solved” by adding a text field when people first submit the thread? The field could be optional, but at least if it’s there, people might use it.

    2) When theme developers submit a theme, it might be a good idea, to provide a folder for the child theme with the styles.css ready to go with proper commenting and instructions on how to get started. Not sure if this would fly by the theme reviewers. I noticed that Emile’s theme – Responsive – has a folder for custom templates with instructions on how to use it. There are tons of tutorials on child themes, yet so many questions about them. This might encourage them to get started.

    Anyway, these ideas were in my head and keeping me up, back to bed. 🙂

    • dkatowitz 6:29 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I am sorry if I am posting this comment in the wrong place. I have used WordPress for my website and blog since May. I am wondering how I might be able to view statistics regarding views of the various pages. Many thanks.

    • Otto 2:31 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Child themes were never intended to be a way for end-users to preserve their information/changes. They just ended up being used that way, because it was handy.

      Now, I’d recommend using the Custom CSS functionality of Jetpack for most theme modification instead of using child themes. It’s amazing what you can do with just CSS tweaks.

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 1:20 pm on August 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We’ll keep coffee on hand for you in a few hours.

      The ‘please link!’ is actually below the text box, but I think if the ‘Dude, CODE TAGS!’ gets missed so often, we’re not going to get a huge amount of traction on the link field. Also you don’t always need it (75%?).

      Now if we had an auto-reply bot, like .com, that would pick up catch phrases ‘Hi, you seem to be asking about your site display, but you didn’t include a URL. Please consider replying with your link so the volunteers can review your site and provide help…’

      My tl;dr thought is unless we make ’em required fields, they’ll just be more clutter :/

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 4:19 pm on August 23, 2012 Permalink  

    Related crosspost for Esmi.

    If you’re hip with accessibility (screen readers, etc) she’s working on the Codex page for all that. Discuss Here

  • Andrea Rennick 3:17 pm on August 23, 2012 Permalink  

    Chat for this weekend is cancelled. See you next week!

  • Andrea Rennick 6:58 pm on August 16, 2012 Permalink  

    Meeting recap 

    We had our first ever IRC chat today at 1800 UTC in #wordpress-sfd. Since this was our first ever, we mainly clarified a few things and went over projects in progress.

    For the post below about editing pages ported in from WordPress.com, no one present was actively working on any specific pages. We should probably group them out somehow and assign or volunteer for those, so we know who is working on what, and so we’re not tripping over each other and duplicating work.

    I suggested a mentorship drive at pretty much the same time Siobhan did, so look for a post about that soon.

    Jane popped in and suggested that our two pages listed support might want to be tweaked. The page for the handbook on how to contribute for support personel is one, and the https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/ should maybe be renamed to current projects or just Projects, since it’s going to be moved anyway.

    My apologies if I missed anything. The chat log can be accessed here.

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 10:11 pm on August 6, 2012 Permalink

    Handbook, Pass One 

    Okay, I removed all the pages that I knew were 100% .com

    I left the pages that are maybe .com

    What I’d like to see as a first pass is if people can, in the comments, rewrite them (in sections if you want) to correct them for the Codex. Once we have the info ‘right’, or right enough, we can do something like https://codex.wordpress.org/Handbook (I just stubbed it out to ‘save’ it) – Note: I do not know 100% if we’re going to stay ‘here’ or go to the codex with this, but either way, the principle’s the same.

    We will need a ‘table of contents’ so if you have an idea, I’d really love to see this done like a book, and I want to aim it so that the new user (think about your most un-technical family member) sees the stuff at the top, and then follow things down logically. Check out https://make.wordpress.org/core/handbook/ for an example of what @hanni and I did there. It starts with learning, goes to contributing, and so on. Obviously this isn’t the exact same flow, but you see the idea.

    It’s possible we’re going to end up with Handbook, Handbook/Themes, Handbook/Plugins, and then send ’em to Core/Handbook for Handbook/Core. I’m 99% sure I can redirect a codex page to any HTML in mediawiki, but I may need to harangue Otto about that. We can decide how later on.

    So our todo!

    Then? We tackle that main codex page (once we know what info we want, we can organize how to coerce people that way). I’m not terribly worried about changes we don’t like, since MediaWiki has awesome revisioning.

    Let’s get started!

    The Handbook

    On this post, let’s comment to get the BIG sections first. My spur of the moment ToC is this:

    • About WordPress – I know nothing, what is this thing.
    • Installing – How do I do that?
    • Settings (maybe ‘Configuring’?) – How do I make it look more me-ish
    • Just Write – Forget all this! I wanna blog!
    • Customizing – Themes and plugins and widgets, oh my!
    • Miscellaneous – The rest of the stuff 😉

    Open for improvements. We can either ‘edit’ the pages in comments, or if you want to be an editor and be able to, er, editor the pages, speak up. Top level table of contents, let’s fight out here in the comments. Sub-page organization is going to be a nightmare no matter how we do it.

    • JerrySarcastic 7:02 pm on August 20, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Not sure if this is on the radar for this project, but over on the Make:UI Blog there is a post that is starting to explore “New User Walk-Throughs” (See this comment) to create guided tours for new users. Considering how so many of the activities in first getting accustomed to WordPress take place in multiple dashboard panels, this seems like a good thing to have in the new user manual as well. Plus, I want to help. 🙂

    • Siobhan 9:59 am on August 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @vanillalounge has pointed out that if we want the user manual to be translated it should be started while it’s being written.


      Is this something that we should take to Polyglots?

    • juanfra 8:40 am on August 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      There are also some pages that can be taken from .org – For example, there’s a page for “Installing WordPress” (https://codex.wordpress.org/Installing_WordPress).

      I can help with spanish translations also 🙂

    • vajrasar 6:44 am on August 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Maybe multiple examples for simple stuff like post vs page, sidebar vs widget, theme vs template etc won’t hurt, as it helps a rookie a lot. Plus, when it comes to dirty details, then hooks, actions and filters should be taken way deep (with example – something like NickTheGeek do in his genesis series.).

    • Nick Hamze 9:26 pm on August 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What can I do? I’m a little rusty on WP.org stuff but I know the WP.com docs like the back of my hand so I can help pull all the WP.com specific stuff out.

      Off the bat I noticed some WP.com specific pages that you can probably remove:
      Self-Harm and Online Safety
      Translation FAQ
      Support Options
      Request Feedback
      My Upgrades
      List Pages Shortcode
      Delete Site
      Delete Blog
      Changing a Blog Address
      Change Your Username
      Cancel Domain
      Disputes: Defamation, Court Orders, Subpoenas, Privacy
      Custom Design
      Custom Colors
      Editing CSS

    • Siobhan 8:59 pm on August 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Ideas page added to the top of the page list. If I feel like a page is in the wrong place should I move it?

    • Siobhan 4:59 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It might be useful to have a basic troubleshooting section at the end, with the most common errors and problems listed – the type of stuff that comes up on the forums again and again. Most of it can be grabbed from the codex and dropped in.

      Can i have editor access please? I can do some editing.

      Also – it would be good to have some sort of system for marking pages as having been edited. Maybe something like tagging them as either “in progress” or “complete”. That way we’ll know what has been done so we’re not retreading over each others’ work.

    • andrewspittle 4:08 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Quick thought on the outline: might make sense to try putting writing and customizing before settings as once someone has a grasp of how content and presentation work the settings can make a lot more sense.

      Looking forward to seeing this take shape!

    • Darren Meehan 3:18 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi. On call to help. Do I pick a page and get started?

    • Andrea Rennick 3:00 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What about pictures? FIrst time I looked they were all linked back to wp.com?

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:07 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yeah, I think it’s because @otto42 and @hanni did a DB import instead of an export/import. 😉

        Should probably sort out how to pull those in *sigh* WP needs a better media importer. And a sitewide search/replace for all the damn instances of en.support.wordpress.com

  • hanni 11:09 pm on August 5, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: goals   

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc: approaching and defining support goals

    Breaking out from the Codex thread below – and using, inter alia, Siobhan’s comment as a starting point, let’s get some outlining goals going on:

    • A clear division between developer docs and user docs
    • A self-contained, concise yet complete landing page for the user coming in
    • Plot a useful journey for different people who want to “learn WordPress”, from beginner to ninja/rockstar/whatever the individual wishes to be – (imho this needs to both respect that not everyone will want to do everything, nor indeed have the nouse (everyone is unique, and has their own strength), whilst respecting and encouraging the learning process – it’s a balance to ensure that eveyone gets to where _they_ want to be, with the best tools and information not where we, or anyone thinks they should be. Without passion, we’d not be here – I think at this point I’m merely restating what everyone thinks and goes without saying, but, let’s just get it documented.)

    So, there’s some overlap and a meeting point with the core contributors‘ handbook, and this is where we need to be super disciplined. I know so many of us, @ipstenu, @andrea_r, @lorelle, @esmi (and everyone here, and more!) have been mulling this over for a good deal of time, so I’m just very much about grouping the discussion and the years of thought and care into a thread.

    Let’s go!

    • Lorelle 4:55 pm on August 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Wow, I duck into academia and miss out on all the fun. Is there a place to find all these? What can I do?

      WordCamp PDX is coming up and some people have asked me to do a Codex unconference meeting during it. I’d love to tap into their brilliance and point them at specifics. The WordPress PDX Meetup team also wants more directions when it comes to how they can help with the Codex, especially after the very successful recent Codex events.


    • hanni 11:52 pm on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @ipstenu, you are a marvel.

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 11:49 pm on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Pages sorted and done. I have a draft post, but since the handbook doesn’t list them all, I asked @otto42 and @nacin if we could have the shortcode for child pages like they do on .com (and like the plugin in the repo) so we could just list ’em.

    • Siobhan 3:42 pm on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Amazing – I go to bed and loads of stuff has happened! Is there anything I can do to help? Have some time to review pages tomorrow if needed.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:38 pm on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        As soon as we can go through and delete the totally non-relevant .com stuff (like how to set up email/domains with .com etc), and remove the links to .com support, I think we can roll the pages out, have everyone comment, and figure out how to structure a ‘user handbook’

        @hanni and I were talking about this with the Core Handbook, and she has a great idea for overviews.

        If we can come up with big ‘header’ sections, like in a book, and lead people through what you need to know, then we can present a guided path.

        So with WP Codex we should figure out what our ‘path’ is.

        1) What is WordPress
        2) Installing
        3) Using
        4) Extending (? Themes and/or plugins … maybe Personalizing)
        5) Coding

        And then the Coding one would be where we’ve got all that advanced function calls etc. Core can link back to the Core Handbook.

    • andrea_r 11:25 pm on August 5, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Probably first point is to identify actionable items, break ’em down into manageable tasks and start the delegating / voluntold process?

      I;d say first thing is to get the wp.com useful docs over here with a first pass at editing to replace terms, then link it up to the main.

      • hanni 11:28 pm on August 5, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        sidenote on wp.com docs – @andrea_r I’ve just grabbed an export of en.support.wordpress.com. Where’d you like to start gathering these? A category here?

      • hanni 11:56 pm on August 5, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        OK, we had some quick ad-hoc “IRL”conversation action going on here with @Ipstenu, @nacin, @otto, @jane and others – noting:

        • Since even /handbook/ etc wouldn’t potentially even be the “final destination for this info, it’s pretty academic where we put them, as long as we keep them as pages (arguably most flexibility wrt simple portability
        • With all of this in mind, we don’t need to ask of anybody’s time (would require a couple of hurdles @nacin‘s part which just make it not worth it) to just create a page and import as a sub of the Handbook page @Ipstenu has already created
        • hanni 12:05 am on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Done! @otto helped me mass move everything to under “Handbook”. Falling timber, but it’s something.

          • andrea_r 12:14 am on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Dang, you guys work fast – and yeah, something somewhere anywhere. 😀

          • hanni 12:42 am on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            So, the general principle of restricting isn’t something you’ll ever see me getting behind, and, was careful to only export / import “published” pages so there is no sensitive anything, I have made the pages private whilst we do a very quick _ initial triage – otherwise 340+ pages is a bit overwhelming to just dump out there, so:

            • @andrea_r, @esmi @ipstenu @hanni– let’s grab any and all pages where we can and, without investing the time to reformat it, or whatever (should this be hard), do a quick once-over to see if the actual page itself is something useful for .org and then make it public, if it’s not relevant, delete – I’ll presume, by Wednesday morning 10AM PST that anything still private can be made public.
            • Then, once we have the public set of pages which are, in theory, the relevant ones, we can do deeper triage, updating, and editing – as @ipstenu pointed out, this may actually be quickly done too! 🙂
            • This is just for 72 hours, whilst we scrub. If we can do it before then, that’s great.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help
shift + esc
Skip to toolbar