Make WordPress Support

Updates from December, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 11:02 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink  

    Open Issues from 3.5? 

    So what are the major hanging chads for problems we’ve seen in 3.5?

    Here are the noisy ones I’ve been seeing lately:

    • Cron (posts that are scheduled not being kicked off)
    • jQuery/wpdb::prepare() shenanigans
    • Image uploads (has anyone seen problems with GIFs resizing?)

    I also have two people claiming WP 3.5 upgrade moved their uploads to blogs.dir. Which sounds a little nuts no matter how I look at it. If anyone has an idea, help is welcome.

    FYI I’ve deleted everything that was a complaint, or one-off bug report. I understand that it may seem like semantics here, but I’m looking for bugs more than 5 people have, and I do not mean you and your four friends on your site. Every release will have some one-off bugs. It’s not that I don’t care about those, but that’s not the point of this post πŸ™‚ we’re tying to list, as moderators and volunteers, the issues we have seen come up most often, even if we personally have not experienced them. If you don’t understand the difference, please don’t post here πŸ™‚

    • elsafurtado 6:07 pm on February 20, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Does anyone know if there is gone be a version of the new gallery with slide and thumbnails?

    • Yassar 2:57 pm on January 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      i have an issue with handling widgets in 3.5. it did not dragged by mouse. is there any salution

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 4:03 pm on January 10, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Yassar – Please post in the support forums. I was looking for major issues that affected 50% of users, say. Yours is likely due to a poorly coded theme or plugin.

    • Joshua 12:27 am on December 29, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The “Set image as Featured Image” link that once was available when uploading a new photo is now gone. Now you have to click on the Set Feature Image link on the Edit Post page. Although this is a small change it really disrupts my workflow.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 9:33 pm on January 1, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        FWIW that’s not a ‘bug’ (not denying it’s a workflow hassle, though!). You can upload images from the featured image interface, but it doesn’t fix the extra clicks.

  • Drew Jaynes 5:05 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: commercial support, ,   

    What to do with commercial plugin/theme topics? 

    On the wp-forums mailing list this morning, there spawned a good conversation about how commercial plugin/theme support threads should be handled in the forums.

    There were several good questions raised including:

    • Should there be a better way to segregate commercial plugin/theme support topics?
    • How can we better organize said topics into one place? Should we?

    The conversation spawned from this thread and how these situations should be handled. Jan summed it up pretty well with:

    I was going to reply along the lines of “Please be nice to the plugin
    author, they are providing support for free and on their own time” when I
    realized wlbryan was their customer.

    Given that we routinely tell people that commercial code is not supported
    here, why is WOWsliders.com using the forums like this? Is that really
    permitted or even a good idea?

    As @jane pointed out, make:support might be a more apt venue for the conversation, so here we go.

    • alex27 6:03 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m sorry about this. I’ll try to direct all support questions to my website and communicate more clearly where to get support on my pages. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

    • Andrew Nevins 5:15 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Where has this progressed to?
      I keep seeing Gamepress Pro threads started on the Themes forums and not knowing whether I should forward the user somewhere else.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:17 pm on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Gamepress Pro is hosted on .org, so it’s up to Alex to redirect people. Mods aren’t responsible to keep track of all that (sorry, Alex, it’s just not realistic for us to keep up with who’s supporting where).

        When the code is hosted OFF .org, then we send ’em there.

    • Emil Uzelac 6:46 am on January 13, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      We just started something similar here: https://make.wordpress.org/themes/2013/01/13/theme-support-link/ please input if you can.


    • jcartland 12:28 am on January 1, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Just looking at WordPress again, first time in years, and I’m blown away. I do wish, though, that I could search .org without having to sift through references to commercial products.

      When learning Nodejs, even Drupal, search engines were my friend. Maybe I haven’t learned enough yet to craft my queries, but with WordPress the results seem to be mostly advertisement and self-promotion. It’s kind of annoying and off-putting, I’m hoping that the forums prove to be a refuge.

      Another wish– that license information be required in plugin and stylesheet headers, rather than optional.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 2:24 am on January 1, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        By default, if no license is specified, then the license is GPLv2. This is actually how license inheritance works for all GPLv2 derivative software, so the explicit statement isn’t required πŸ™‚ if we had to state it, believe me, we would. So amusingly enough, if a commercial shop doesn’t specify a license, they’re GPLv2 by default. Technically they have to be GPLv2 compatible anyway, but you can read more about that here: https://make.wordpress.org/plugins/2012/12/20/gpl-and-the-repository/

        • Andrew Nevins 3:10 am on January 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’ve seen themes that state certain technologies are released in GPL but not others, e.g ” HTML & Design released under GPL “. Does this mean any other technologies not stated are not released under GPL?

          • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 2:47 pm on January 3, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            The basic rule is this: unless otherwise stated, your theme and plugin code is GPLv2.

            IF otherwise stated, then… It’s whatever they say it is πŸ™‚ not too complicated, you don’t have to overthink that one.

    • Mike Schinkel 2:56 am on December 29, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      It would be really helpful if we could add an optional “Support URL:” entry for the WordPress plugin comment header so that we can explicitly identify where they will get their best support and having this will allow some of the use-cases mentioned above, i.e. for wordpress.org to indicate to the user that commercial support should happen elsewhere.

    • Jan Dembowski 5:57 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When there’s talk of a separate section just for commercial themes, will this still be within WordPress.org forums?

      If that does happen then I hope not. I also hope that doesn’t happen in case that’s not clear. πŸ˜‰

      There are commercial WordPress related marketplaces already and I think they do an admirable job. Mostly, folks like Japh make those better all the time.

      If someone is going to sell something then they ought to also support it by their own means too. The unpaid volunteer supported community forums shouldn’t be that place and I think having that there would be inappropriate.

      I think you can still volunteer at those commercial forums but their ought to be a separation.

    • Andrew Nevins 5:46 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      When there’s talk of a separate section just for commercial themes, will this still be within WordPress.org forums? If so, how will forum users be persuaded and informed to post on the segregated commercial-only section, and not where they’ve been posting before?

    • masonjames 5:33 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If it’s a premium (paid) product then the vendor should be supporting it on their own site right along with the download. No reason to add to the load on wp.org.

      That being said there are some (ahem) premium providers that ALSO provide free products hosted in the repository. We watch for new posts on these plugins and provide free support for them as much as possible and we encourage staff to pitch in on “regular” WP support as well.

      If it helps make the support more efficient somehow by putting things in once place then cool, but like Andrea said, some folks will post everywhere they can find πŸ™‚

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:40 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Mason, I actually feel strongly about it for another reason πŸ˜‰ If a premium (paid) product is purchased, going to the forums for free support undercuts the paid product and makes it nigh impossible for them to make a living πŸ˜‰ I personally want everyone who offers support on their products to make a living, durn it! (also, I don’t have access to your paid code).

        The crossover of free to paid products is where we get the angry emails about review, I find. “Hey, so and so was really mean to me on the forums about my paid product, and when I called him a doody head, he got worse! Delete these posts! It makes me look bad!” (ans: No, stop calling people doody heads.)

        if people post ‘everywhere’ just delete the extra posts, and reply once in the first topic posted (or the one in the right place) to explain.

        “Hi, posting all over the place actually doesn’t help at all. If you post once, in the [plugin/theme] support forum, the developer will see it much faster, and everyone will know that’s the help you need. I’ve deleted your extra posts, so we don’t have the same conversation going on in multiple places.”

    • Andrea Rennick 5:30 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      As noted on the mailing list from Japh – some people post in all the places they can find, hoping to get an answer sooner.

      If we send the same message from all places, diverting to one official spot, then that’s better all around.

      I say this with either hat on here. πŸ˜‰

      From a support perspective, all questions should be funnelled through to one spot. It’s exhausting to check multiple places.

      From a forum mod point of view – commercial places should not be expected to be allowed to support their plugin in the wp.org forums. If it’s a free one hosted here, fine. If there’s a commercial version – it should be bumped over to their commercial spot.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 9:10 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        commercial places should not be expected to be allowed to support their plugin in the wp.org forums.

        Caveat: If the commercial theme/plugin is hosted on the repository (see Disqus), their readme better damn well say that. Otherwise it’s open season πŸ˜‰

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:22 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Obviously we have to permit them to be able to reply to people πŸ˜‰ Personally once it’s been explained that commercial support happens on commercial sites (i.e. if you pay for it, go over to where you paid for help please), we should close the topic. If people come back and act like entitled children, it’s on them and we can (and will) flag them for that behavior.

      (If you represent your company/code/whatever, it behooves you to act like a mature adult. If you shout at your customers, free or paid, you’ve become your own worst advertising. Stop it πŸ˜‰ I won’t delete posts where you act like an idiot just because you got into an argument on the internet.)

      • Chip Bennett 5:26 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Or, if the forums had a way to identify a topic asked about a specific Theme/Plugin, if that specific Theme/Plugin is commercial (or otherwise not-WPORG-hosted), we could auto-respond with “this isn’t the right place to seek support for this Plugin/Theme. (Here’s why….) Go here for this Plugin/Theme’s support.”

        • Jan Dembowski 5:33 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Geez, I was half way done when Chip’s reply popped up. πŸ˜‰

          A boiler plate reply with an option link to the commercial support forums gets my vote.

          The bolier plate doesn’t need to be chapter and verse just something along the lines of “We don’t support those here, see vendor’s support link instead” just like we currently do for commercial themes.

          I’m thinking of what Japh replies with as a model.

          Should there be a better way to segregate commercial plugin/theme support topics?

          But what about a scenario where someone has code hosted on WordPress, get’s a donate link or more openly has a site to make a “purchase” but uses the WordPress support forums as the support venue for their paying customers?

          I’m hard pressed to find such an example exactly but that list thread I started is pretty darn close.

          • Andrea Rennick 7:34 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            A donate link is different than paid support. πŸ™‚ I don’t think paid support should happen on dot org.


            • Jan Dembowski 7:46 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

              Yep, I should have excluded donate links, I really did mean paid support. Donations are perfectly fine. πŸ™‚

  • Jen 11:59 am on December 28, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Stats   

    Support Stats 

    When I go to conferences like Open Source Bridge and see the other project community managers trotting out their activity stats, a little part of me always dies, because we ain’t got none. Not this year! Yes, I know our systems aren’t set up well for automated stats. Pretend that’s not the case. For the next two minutes, pretend we live in a world where anything is possible, and suggest any and all stats you think it would good or interesting for us to start tracking. Don’t worry, Otto will bring us back to earth soon enough.

    P.S. This team more than any other will likely need some infrastructure changes if we want to start measuring progress/success. Feel free to add what you think is needed in your comment, but that’ll be my next round: “Hey, what infrastructure changes would make the forum experience better for users and moderators,” since the forums is the first point of entry for a lot of people, so improvements here can have a big impact on all the projects around contributor growth.

    • Andrea Rennick 12:39 pm on January 8, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Most prolific posters.
      Activity on non-english forums as well as top posters / mods there.

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:47 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      • Number of posts marked resolved per week
      • Number of deleted posts
      • Number of users flagged as spam

      (Drew – Number of unanswered threads is 242,580ish right now. Probably +20.)

    • Drew Jaynes (DrewAPicture) 3:33 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I really like @jane‘s “How often a reply links to the Codex” as well as the “This suggestion is correct” button suggestions

      • Number of users active in the last X days
      • Average number of threads started by users
      • Average number of answers per user
      • Number of unanswered threads
      • Total number of threads
      • Total number of resolved threads
      • Total number of closed threads
    • toscho 12:38 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If you need these numbers from external sources too, I can provide some (but not all) for WordPress Stack Exchange. For example: we had ~13000 unclosed question in 2012 and an answer rate of 88% (answers with at least one upvote).

    • Jane Wells 12:05 pm on December 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Some of my ideas:

      • Number of questions asked (threads opened)
      • Number of questions that have been asked before
      • Number of responses per thread
      • Time from open until resolved
      • Number of comments per ticket
      • Number of people commenting per ticket
      • Number of tickets with activity per person (general and for official moderators)
      • How often a reply links to a codex page (or handbook, when those exist)
      • How long between ticket opened and first response
      • Percentage of responses from general users vs moderators

      Infrastructure ideas that might make tracking easier:

      • Having a “This solved my problem” button.
      • Having a “This suggestion is correct” button that moderators could use to endorse help given by random people
  • Jen 5:14 pm on December 24, 2012 Permalink

    Team Rep Voting Results 

    Hola! Here are the results of the voting for this team.

    11 people voted. The breakdown:

    Please describe your role with the support team

    • 5 – I am an active forum moderator, and have been active on the forums within the past 3 months
    • 4 – I’m an active participant and would like to level up to moderator status
    • 1 – I don’t plan to get involved
    • 1 – I have not been involved yet, but I plan to start
    • 0 – I’m a moderator who wasn’t active in the last 3 months, but I have been in the past

    Describe your forums activity.

    • 8 – I troubleshoot more difficult issues
    • 8 – I troubleshoot basic issues
    • 7 – I check for spam and inappropriate content
    • 6 – I help other people learn how to contribute in the forums
    • 4 – Other Option
    • 4 – I post questions in the forum
    • 2 – I don’t contribute to the forums
    • 0 – I comment on other people’s questions/answers but don’t troubleshoot
    • The four “other” responses were 4 docs and 1 IRC

    Mika won the 1st slot in a unanimous vote.

    The 2nd slot is not so clear. 9 of the 11 voters entered a name for the 2nd slot.
    Both Siobhan and Jan got more than one vote. Since we just broke out docs into a separate group, Siobhan will be the rep for that team. Jan hadn’t said he was interested and voted for someone else. πŸ™‚ Other names put forth only got one vote each (and a couple of those are reps on other teams now, too). I’ve pinged Jan to see if he wants to take the 2nd rep role, but probably won’t know until after the holidays. If Jan chooses not to take the role, I think it makes the most sense to have Mika choose from the other names that were proposed (if they are interested).

    Eventually I think we should rethink the “team” vs “project” designation, as we have already spread ourselves into so many teams (and so many people work on multiple teams’ projects) that appointing team reps is hard, which wasn’t the intention of creating teams/team sites. When we get to June and it’s time to vote again, we should consider consolidating some teams. I think the main reason separating them out seemed better now is because P2 makes it that way. If we had a modified theme that made it visually easier to have site sections for various projects (vs the plain text pages/cat list in the sidebar widget), we could bring more of the groups together.

    Anyway, Mika is re-upped! 2nd slot TBD.

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:58 pm on December 17, 2012 Permalink  

    How do I get started? 

    This question comes up a lot, and my usual reply is “What do you want to do?”

    Here’s a Getting Started primer. It’s very much a work in progress, and I’m very open to suggestions πŸ™‚

  • Jen 5:18 pm on December 9, 2012 Permalink

    Team Reps 

    Howdy, support team!Β It’s that time again, for your group to elect a couple of team reps to communicate on behalf of of forum folks. You can vote for 2 people. They should not be responsible for any other team rep duties, so to that end, of your current reps, Ipstenu is still eligible, but Andrea_r and Esmi are already taken by other teams (assuming they keep those roles). Who else has stepped up lately that wants to join in the fun?

    These folks will be responsible for reporting on the progress of the group to the other team reps viaΒ weekly updates, as well as occasional chats and such. If you haven’t seen the spiel on one of the other team blogs about how team reps/voting/terms work, the longer explanation is after the jump.

    Note: It should be people who want the responsibility. Anyone interested in being a support team rep should leave a comment saying as much so people know who they can/should vote for.Β Voting is open until December 15, and results will be posted here once voting closes.

    Go vote!

    (More …)

    • cinghaman 7:11 pm on December 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Have always looked forward to supporting / contributing in any way possible to the growth and development of WordPress in general directly or indirectly.
      Would totally be interested in being a support rep.
      yee πŸ™‚

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:04 pm on December 9, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m still interested in being your rep for the next 6 months πŸ™‚

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 4:45 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink  

    IRC Meetup Recap – Dec 6 

    Yesterday’s meetup was going over the support points for 3.5, writing a kick ass doc (thank you @raggedrobins ) for JS debugging, tweaking the wiki, and getting the ZOMG! post ready.

    Next week will probably be cleanup from 3.5 and going over anything we’ve learned to make the next time better.

    Also! Starting January I want to have ‘rotating’ meeting times, since support is way worldwide. If you can comment with the best time (in UTC hours) for the IRC meetup, that will help a lot πŸ™‚

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