Make WordPress Support

Updates from December, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 11:07 pm on December 18, 2013 Permalink  

    Trac Tickets for 3.8 (AKA: Support Works Backwards) 

    I made a ticket for a weird caching issue: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/26676

    I think the ONLY other one that’s jumping out now is the plugins page is blank. If you’ve managed to solve that one (all I can see is ‘host fixed it!’), reply here. This is probably related to @andrea_r‘s comment: https://make.wordpress.org/support/2013/12/wherefore-the-wtfbbq-post/#comment-157012

    • Andrea Rennick 9:58 pm on December 20, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      ALso seeing issues with people unable to manage widgets. COuld be user error, dunno.

    • Samuel Wood (Otto) 11:15 pm on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      This is a problem that was found in the forums and turned out to be a legitimate core bug:


      Warning signs: People (or plugins/themes) using the pre_get_posts filter combined with the is_category() check can trigger the issue.

      It is a regression from 3.7 behavior, so I think that it will probably be fixed in 3.8.1. In the meantime, there is a patch in the ticket.

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:37 pm on April 4, 2013 Permalink  

    WordPress 3.6-Beta has landed for @andrea_r‘s birthday.


    PLEASE test πŸ™‚ I will send you cookies.

  • Andrea Rennick 9:27 pm on October 11, 2012 Permalink  

    Again with a meetup 

    The awesome Jerry is taking on Gravatars because it fits with the user section he has just completed.

    HTTPS is still up for grabs.

    Some proofreading going on and we’re wondering if we can un-techie “install on your own server” for newbies. Maybe soften it to “your web host”.

    Jerry has moved “your Profile” from chapter 7 and put it under “Managing Users on your WordPress Site” in Ch06.

    Also we noted about being careful with internal linking in the manual, depending on final home.

    Fastest meetup ever! There were only 3 of us.

  • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 7:02 pm on October 11, 2012 Permalink  

    Today’s Meetup 

    In keeping with my whirlwhind crazy, I may miss today’s meetup (there was a baby born!). In case I miss it, here’s a quick update of who needs to do what πŸ™‚

    @jerrysarcastic – You’ve got ‘Adding Users’ which needs to get done.
    @ericlewis – It looks like you finished comments (yay!) so remember to check it off on https://make.wordpress.org/support/user-manual/ πŸ˜‰
    @andrea_r and @Ipstenu – Multisite, you lazy moving pair!


    I cannot express how awesome you all are for getting us this far so fast!

  • 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. πŸ˜€

          • 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! πŸ™‚
            • This is just for 72 hours, whilst we scrub. If we can do it before then, that’s great.

  • Andrea Rennick 10:44 pm on July 26, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Codex work 

    We should probably get a conversation going not only about needed Codex work but *how* to approach a better structure and how to get the work done.

    I’m leaning towards a re-org and maybe a bit of a division between users docs and programmer notes. A good example of this the Pages page. It starts out as a user doc then jumps right into code.

    Things like Handbooks need to be sorted out and linked to as well.

    I think if we could sort out the right approach first and focus on specific pages or topics later, then we’d start making big progress. Possible if we even approached it like a WP dev cycle, with clear targets and a deadline.

    Possibly a mentorship program as well, wehre we could round up people to help and start handing out assignments and being there to keep people on task and for any questions they have.

    All thoughts welcome here. πŸ™‚

    • Darren Meehan 12:40 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi. Helping out with the Codex is something I’m interested in. I’ve been looking for a way to start properly contributing to WordPress and I feel this is it. I’m used to writing guides, and helping people with WordPress, though the workflow and finer details of the Codex is something I’ll need to get used to. Where can I start?

      I hadn’t seen this post, but I made a ticket this morning about the Codex’s header not being updated. https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/21588 I’ve proposed porting the Codex to WordPress. This is also something I’m keen to help with.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 1:36 pm on August 15, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That’s … well. That’s a small part of what might go on here.

        I suspect the Codex, in so far as a repository for what all the various code bits are, will remain as it is. After all, it’s a great coding resource. But the handbook, in whatever form it takes, will be the first run up for ‘How?’ without all the coding.

        For now, go ahead and edit the codex with impunity, especially if you see functions and all that missing info.

    • Anca 2:50 am on August 14, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’d like to help out with this as well. As someone who teaches WordPress to people who are just users and also to programmers, the Codex is a great, if frustrating resource. I have limited time to help with this, but I look at the Codex all day long so I’d be happy to tag or propose corrections or questions on discussion pages for review.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:12 am on August 14, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        While we’re hashing out layout (and I need to nag @nacin again to read his email, he gets a lot), if you guys see stuff in the codex that’s outright wrong or needs explaining more, just edit it. The majority of the ‘content’ pages, I suspect, will stay the same. Like the functions etc.

    • Hanni 6:43 pm on August 4, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Heyo! Fantastic!

      It’s been too long since I’ve touched the Codex, and I’m looking to rectify this ASAP! So, @andrea_r, please count me in for any and everything you need. I was sitting in @siobhan‘s fantastic panel at WCUK, and am so darn excited to see wheels moving here.

      The separation between user and developer does indeed sound both inherently sensible, and arguably a necessary step on the path towards reducing the barriers to entry as far as possible.

      Looks like the first thing to do is set out perhaps (for example) 3 clear goals, followed by some kind of roadmap, to encompass the fantastic ideas above, (and others!), perhaps?

      (entirely co-incidentally, I’m Happiness Lead over at Automattic, but I’m very much volunteering as me, as I did (too) long ago.)

      • Andrea Rennick 9:47 pm on August 4, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Whoooooooo! Hanni in the house! πŸ˜€

        • Siobhan 8:00 pm on August 5, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          I’ve been working on building some doc projects for some pieces of software recently so thoughts of structure are very much on my mind. I thought that if we’re going to talk about structuring the Codex, it might be useful to tell you guys a bit about my workflow see if that generates any discussions on how we can attack this beast. When I think of the Codex I think of a ball of spaghetti, all twisted up in knots. This scares me in terms of figuring out what to do with it. I’ve been working on another open source project that has similar problems. The documentation has been just added to over time as it is needed and so it hasn’t got any real structure. With that I was able to do a content inventory but I suspect that the codex has too many pages for that.

          I conceptualise doc project content in two main ways:
          1. How to? i.e. tutorials, troubleshooting, FAQs
          2. What is? i.e. glossary, references, user guides

          Both of these are needed for complete documentation. The How to stuff is needed for new users, or current users who want to learn new things – if we just have What is docs they won’t have a clue where to get started; and the What is docs are for people who are already used to using the software but want to look something up – it would be a nightmare to have to look things up in a tutorial.

          We have all of these different docs, and the WordPress lessons are split off, but it’s still difficult to know where to go to learn things and where to go for reference stuff. And if you are going for reference stuff it’s difficult to know what is developer and what is user.

          As Andrea has pointed out, we need to split things up into user docs and developer docs. And then for each of these two types of people we need to have “how to’s” and “what is” docs.

          I get the impression that what needs tackling most urgently is the user docs.

          The first thing I do when planning a doc project is ask “What is the novice level of user?” This let me come up with a list of assumptions about who they are and what they need. The entry level of WordPress is pretty low so we can probably assume things like they can use the internet, they may use IE, they probably don’t have in depth knowledge of HTML and CSS. That gives a basic level for where to start off from.

          Then I try to put myself in the head of a user and try to figure out what they will be looking for when they land on the website, and how best can I deliver that information to them. When users go to http://codex.wordpress.org how are they best directed to the information that they need? What questions will they ask? Here are some things I would imagine someone visiting the codex would be thinking:

          I’ve just installed WordPress, how do I get started with it?
          How do I build my awesome WordPress website?
          Someone built a WordPress website for me, how do I use it?
          What do all these thing things do?
          How do I fix this problem I am having?

          That’s pretty much the basics – then you get into developer stuff like developing plugins and themes, but general users probably don’t need to know that.

          If you visit the codex at WordPress.org at the minute, there is a box that says “What You Most Need to Know About WordPress”. These are (along with my comments):
          WordPress Features – doesn’t need to be on the front page of the Codex, would work better on the about menu
          Download WordPress – should have done this by now, doesn’t need to be here
          Installing WordPress – important
          Current WordPress Version – users don’t care about this, and the info can be linked to from download page
          WordPress News – this is linked to on the nav so doesn’t need to be there
          WordPress Support forums – important but also linked to nav
          Troubleshooting – important, but perhaps could be phrased differently
          About WordPress – users don’t care. They’re not going to start looking at this when they arrive
          Glossary – important but doesn’t need to be the first thing users are directed to.

          So out of all of those things that are featured, probably the only one that really needs to be featured so prominently is installation. And arguably that should be linked to mainly from the download page.

          The next section is “Learn How to Use WordPress”. This starts with “getting started with WordPress” and “New to WordPress – Where to Start.” That is kind of crazy. My brain hurts thinking about which one to go to. Both of them are valid, but it’s really a case of too much information. Users shouldn’t have to make these choices. Then there is “WordPress Lessons” and “Learn WordPress” which is also confusing. Part of the problem is that we have too much information, and if we do have the correct info users can’t find it. We should be able to say to them “you want to build a website with WordPress – go here.” You have a problem: go here.

          Anyway, I’m not going to go through the whole page and do an analysis πŸ™‚

          In terms of the basics of using WordPress, we could probably do pretty much a straight port from wp.com. We’ll need to add some more WP.org specific stuff but most of the basics are covered.

          @hanni suggested coming up with some goals. In an ideal world with infinite time, these would be my goals:
          1. A clear division between developer docs and user docs
          2. A user-friendly landing page that gets users to exactly what they need
          3. Plot a useful journey for different people who want to learn WordPress, from beginner to ninja/rockstar/whatever

          I guess the question is, do we decide on a structure and then slot what we’ve got into that structure, or do we look at what we’ve got and try to reorder than?

          (that was a much longer comment than I intended it to be!)

          • Lorelle 5:00 pm on August 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            Excellent. I spent several years mulling over the table of contents for the Codex, and the front page of the Codex is set as it is based on a ton of research and development and just asking at WordCamps and all over. So far, the response has been good and it helps direct people to where they need to go without a lot of clutter on the front page of the Codex.

            The same theories for funneling people need to be applied to ALL of the table of contents.

            The confusion over Learn WordPress and WordPress Lessons is now an issue, I agree. WordPress Lessons have been around since 2004, long before WordPress.com. Same with the the other articles you mention, so inheritance of old material and retitling (that gets crazy when there are so many incoming links to these – have we tracked down who is in charge of redirects and Codex design and management yet?) will be an issue.

            I’m so excited to see these issues that have plagued us so long be cleaned up. YEAH!

    • coffeemanmatt 3:27 pm on August 2, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hi all – along with Daniel, I also work at Automattic, but I’m on the Happiness team.

      Part of my job is to maintain the WordPress.com support docs, and I’m *very* interested in helping out however I can with the Codex. After all, WordPress is WordPress.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:51 pm on August 2, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Y’know… most of the time, the info on the .com pages can be lifted wholesale to .org, with only a couple tweaks. And I know Matt already said we were allowed to do that, so maybe if we could find a way to parallel some of the information (automagically would be great but unlikely), that could help for @andrea_r‘s idea of developer vs user.

        • Andrea Rennick 3:59 pm on August 2, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Yeah I think it;s more an issue of where do we stuff them and how best to link fro the front page.

          The WP LEssons are fine – but they also dive into more of a philosophy of writing. That’s good for going deeper!

          New users need the instruction manual, the step-by-step thingy of these are the menus, here’s what they cover. I had to dig up something or a user yesterday and finding it from the front page or using search *when I knew what I was looking for* was painful.

          As a new user who has no clue? Impossible.

        • Lorelle 4:57 pm on August 10, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          We’ve discussed this before and agreed that the dot com Learn docs are a starting point for us to expand upon with Codex articles that link to the Learn docs then take them several steps further.

    • Daniel Bachhuber 12:48 am on July 31, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Howdy! I work on Automattic’s WordPress.com VIP team and I’d love to contribute to Codex efforts on a regular basis. We sometimes often receive complaints about the lack of quality technical documentation β€” it seems like the Codex is the best place for that.

      Here’s one piece I’ve already ported over from our internal documentation.

      There are a couple feature requests I have to make the Codex more useful:

      • Email notifications for changes on pages I’m watching
      • An API (with corresponding WordPress plugin) so I can make Codex documentation embeddable in other sites.

      Other than that, I’m happy to help out with the more complex technical documentation β€” it’d be great to have a bit of help figuring out what is needed.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:52 pm on August 2, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Email notification doesn’t come with MediaWiki (boo). RSS does, though.

        API… Didn’t @rarst have something? I don’t think anything is APId like that by default for MediaWiki.

    • Thomas Scholz 11:30 am on July 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The Codes lacks gamification. Give contributors some public visible feedback on their profile, and they will come. Maybe a golden badge for 1000 unreversed edits or something similar.

      • Thomas Scholz 11:30 am on July 28, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Errm Codex. With X. (:

      • andrea_r 8:47 pm on July 31, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Been discussed before in different contexts (contributions, etc) and shot down.

        • Thomas Scholz 1:32 pm on August 3, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Sad. I strongly recommend to reconsider that.

          • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 3:11 pm on August 3, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            The feeling has generally been that if you’re going to help, you’re going to help, and what are, essentially, meaningless rewards like ‘karma points’ won’t help. While we all help for our own reasons, the fact that we do it for no rewards is a powerful factor in our work. We do these things to make WP better and to learn πŸ™‚ Pretty awesome, IMO.

            • Thomas Scholz 11:00 pm on August 4, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

              I agree, the main motivation should not be bound to a reward. But it might work better with some gamification – I have seen this in other places, and I think it is worth an experiment.

    • esmi 12:01 pm on July 27, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      +1. A separation of user v. coder documentation is a great idea. Could a top level split into 2 distinct streams be a practical option?

      • Andrea Rennick 12:09 pm on July 27, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        That’s what I’m leaning towards. Maybe the front page be even more simplified into User / Dev much like we have splash pages here with English / French.

    • esmi 11:57 am on July 27, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’d suggest that hiring someone really is the last resort. The problem with documentation is that everyone assumes someone else is doing it. Unless of course they come across a gap when they needed info, do the research and have the community spirit to take time out to add the missing documentation.

      I’d argue that some of the user-focussed could (should?) be initially handled by the UI and Dev teams. If a new feature is added to the UI, then surely the UI team should ensure that there’s a basic page explaining how to use it? Once there’s something in place, I think you’re more likely to get random people updating/improving it. Creating a brand new Codex page is a far more daunting task (from a confidence pov) than editing an existing one.

    • Christine 11:30 pm on July 26, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m just going to come out and say it, and I’ll make enemies, I know… but if the folks at Automattic are serious about this, they need to hire someone. The codex needs way too much work to put this in the hands of volunteers.

      I’ve edited a few pages and I was really scared. I’m just not confident enough to put code snippets — which I use all the time — but I’m just not sure if they are used correctly. I only posted my snippets after having asked a couple of people on twitter to confirm that what I was saying was indeed accurate.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 1:31 am on July 27, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I agree about the hiring.

        The code snippets aren’t as important as getting the right information. I mean, we can come up with examples later, but some of that data is downright incorrect :/ I get the fear. MediaWiki is a hefty hungry hippo, but it’s really good.

      • Siobhan 8:49 am on July 27, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I also agree that someone really needs to be hired to fo it. However, I’m not sure if Automattic is the company do to it. It’s sensible for them to hire people to work on core, ui, even accessibility, as those things affect the core product at WordPress.com, and at WordPress VIP – improving them makes what they have to offer, but the Codex has no effect on their business so investing in a person working on it makes no sense. After all, they have their own docs at wordpress.com (http://en.support.wordpress.com/) so why do they need the Codex?

        Many of the people I spoke to, development shops, businesses using WordPress, even individual freelancers, wanted to find a mechanism to give back to WordPress but couldn’t do it in terms of time. One idea was for groups of people to get together to pay for a dedicated person to work on WordPress (there are companies, like Automattic, who do this) but there are obviously logistics that need to be worked out to do with paying and managing a person.

        For the Codex, specifically, we had the idea of crowd sourcing the funding (using something like Kickstarter) to pay for a person to completely work over and renew the Codex. Where people are often unwilling to give time, they are willing to give money (or to be part of the project and give away something relating to their business). This would mean that the person who actually took the lead on the codex would be community generated, as opposed to coming from Automattic (which anyway is extremely unlikely). Logistically, once enough money was raised, then I have no idea what would happen with it, who would sort out the hiring, or manage the person or whatever – maybe the money could be donated to the Foundation to take someone on.

        Anyway, it’s a bit out there, but I certainly think it would be possible. If Chris Coyier can get $90,000 to screencast his website redesign (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/150422311/screencasting-a-complete-redesign) then a group of us could probably get double that to pay for someone to work on the Codex for two years, and also pay for any logistical management stuff around that person.

      • Andrea Rennick 10:45 am on July 27, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I can agree to a point, but Automattic is not in charge of wordpress.org. πŸ˜‰

        Some of the most needed work is for *users* and not code based at all.

        • Lorelle 5:24 pm on August 1, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Some fantastic suggestions and ideas.

          1. The http://wpdocsteam.wordpress.com/ to do list has an ongoing list of things to do.

          2. The Docs Team Things to Do List also includes ongoing work on a document inventory and cross checking.

          3. Attempts to separate development information from programming (theme/plugin/tweaking) has been ongoing for years and continues to be a critical area of development in the Codex.

          4. I’d really like to see all the international language support pages on the Codex separated in some way so they do not appear in the general Codex or do – with intention and clarity. Right now, the mix of the languages are causing confusion on multiple levels. Wikipedia is doing it by sorting by language code in the URL, and I think that would be smart for us. It would also give polyglots team members a chance to call parts of the Codex their own in translation.

          5. The success of WordPress Support is tied closely with the WordPress Codex, especially now that the two are grouped together here on this site. Thus a hiring a documentation coordinator is a natural idea. It is also natural that they would be hired by the Foundation. It is a community project, little different from WordPress Support and WordCamps.

          6. The person behind the design aspects and database control of the Codex must also step forward or be assigned. There is much that can be fixed with some simple search and replaces (changing WPMU to WPMS – with redirects, too) and design tweaks. I think that visually identifying pages that are developer versus WordPress Lessons versus general documentation would also be sweet.

          I’m thrilled with the work Daniel and others are doing to bring over handbook documentation to the Codex and expanding upon it. I’m delighted that the Codex is getting energy thrown at it after years of lack of attention for a variety of reasons.

          For those that want to jump in NOW, until someone contacts me about porting over the to do list, head to it and tackle something. http://wpdocsteam.wordpress.com/ The list is extensive and action items are right there, and it’s a great way to keep the discussion going on how some of the documentation elements should work and be structured, sticking specifically to articles and not general topics.


    • Siobhan 11:08 pm on July 26, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I would love to be involved in a re-organisation of the Codex. Building documentation projects from the ground up is something I’ve been involved with a lot recently. This is both for documenting new projects from scratch and coming on board when documentation has become a mess and totally reorganising it.

      A division between developer docs and user docs is a great place to start. Users are freaked out by developer stuff, and developers don’t need access to user stuff (at least not when they are developing). I think the WordPress Lessons section of the codex is a great start for user docs but I’m not sure if users are actually going their as their first stopping point for help.

      Something I’ve found immensely useful when thinking about how to restructure documentation is carrying out a content inventory. Basically a spreadsheet with a big list of titles and locations and maybe some comments. For the Codex the thought of this kind of scares me because it’s such a massive beast, but yeah, it’s a really useful exercise.

      On a more general Codex related note, I’ve spoken to a lot of people about the Codex recently. At WordCamp NYC we got people to come along to the hack room and we took over it and talked to people about writing on the codex. We did try to get some writing done but we actually found the learning curve for mediawiki was too difficult to tackle in that sort of environment. i.e. people had to learn mediawiki from scratch + codex styles & conventions, which meant sitting reading stuff when they actually wanted to be practically doing. However, what was heartening, was that so many people came along (I met @zoonini there πŸ™‚ ). There were about 20 people who came in and out, and at least half of those had no idea that you could contribute to WordPress by contributing to the Codex. It’s not really something that people think about.

      At WordCamp UK we did a panel on contributing to WordPress, and almost everyone agreed that the WordPress Codex is the area most in need of some love and attention. I think part of the issue is that people either a) don’t have the time to write technical documentation or b) don’t enjoy it. Also, a major issue that was discussed is that there is nothing on users’ WordPress profiles to acknowledge that they have written in the Codex. So if you write a plugin or theme it’s on your profile, you get props and acknowledgements for contributing to core, support threads appear on your profiles, but there’s nothing about Codex activity (or for translations, I think? and probably other things). So, in some ways it feels like a thankless task. You’re not a “rockstar”, you don’t get “props”, you’re not a mod or anything cool like that. And for a lot of people that doesn’t matter, but for others it does and some form of acknowledgement may encourage more people to get involved. I think there’s something in the works related to this, but am not sure of the details.

      Anyway, +1 codex organisation. I’ll help whatever way I can. I did have other thoughts but it’s gone past midnight so will see what comes to mind again in the morning.

  • Jen 3:43 pm on July 10, 2012 Permalink  

    Hello world! 

    Welcome to make.wordpress.org/support. This is the new blog for the Support contributor team, made up of support forum moderaters and documentation contributors, as decided on the mailing lists. Anyone helping in the #wordpress IRC channel is included as well. @Ipstenu is the team rep for this group, with @esmi and @andrea_r as the backup reps per the votes we took a while back from members of the two mailing lists. I’ve added them and a couple of other people as editors on this site, and they will be adding the more active contributors in turn.

    I think it would be good for us to set up a weekly IRC chat time to get things started, gain some momentum, and round up some new contributors in the process. We can identify some common goals among the more active contributors to focus on at first, and put together a schedule for how to move forward.

    I have several goals for this group based on the surveys and feedback from the community that I’d like to see accomplished over the coming months:

    • Create a guide to contributing to WordPress support.
    • Start a mentorship program for potential support volunteers to help them ramp up with confidence.
    • Handbooks! Field Guides! Whatever we call it, discrete, targeted pieces of documentation tied to specific releases and each curated by a single editor for the sake of consistency and accountability (separate from the ongoing wiki that is the Codex), that can be viewed, downloaded, or printed. This will take a lot of discussion, so we should schedule a chat about this sooner rather than later to get started on the one for end users. Other contributor groups will also be tackling handbooks specific to their areas (core contributors, etc.).
    • Start tracking stats around support activities and sharing them with the broader community.
    • Make a plan for improvements to the support forums.
    • Make a plan for how to best bubble up support issues to the core development team.

    What are your goals for this group? Introduce yourself so everyone knows who everyone else is, say a little bit about your background and your general activity level as a WP support volunteer, and let us know your goals for the group are and what you think we should focus on first. Also mention your location/time zone, for the sake of being able to set up an IRC chat. Thanks!

    • hanni 9:32 pm on August 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      OK! Let’s do this thing!

      We need to be clear of other chats, including UI (Tues, 11AM PST) and Dev (Weds, 1PM PST) chats, and make the time as friendly to the greatest number of people as possible so… Thursday sounds like a plan.

      Starting next week so: Thursday, 16th August 1800 UTC will be the inaugural chat, we can always adjust for the future, but let’s plan on making this time slot – have discussed with @nacin, who is kindly helping out- we’re still figuring out which channel would be optimal. TBA!

      But, yay πŸ™‚

      • Jane Wells 9:37 pm on August 8, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’ve already talked to @sivel about setting up a permanent channel for this group. Main issue is choosing a name for it that people won’t see and think means “come here for support” instead of “come here to join the support team.”
        #wordpress-support (no way, they’ll show up in droves)
        #wordpress-support-team (kind of long, but works)
        #wordpress-support-group (ha, couldn’t resist)
        Suggest away, and we can set up the new channel before the inaugural meeting. Speaking of which, @matt would like to be included when discussion on handbook kicks off. I’l leave it to you guys to coordinate with him.

      • Hanni 5:06 am on August 16, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Something fairly sad, necessitating immediate time and attention and therefore somewhat taking me away from the internet has come up in my personal life. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll be able to make tomorrow. I apologise.

        IRC channel: looks like there is a consensus around #wordpress-sfd, however it’s late in the day for tomorrow and setting this up on time requires asking a bit much of @sivel and @nacin so late on. So.. perhaps #wordpress-dev for the initial chat, if this isn’t possible?

        @andrea_r, @esmi, and gang looks like things, as per email, are in your more than capable hands, given @ipstenu‘s absence.

        I will be “back” in full, the week of the 27th to help out wherever the need arises.

    • Michael Beckwith 10:35 pm on August 5, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I can jump in here. I’m Michael, I am a freelance web developer slash theme developer with occasional personal dabblings in plugins. You can find me as “tw2113” pretty much everywhere online. I have spent most of my “support” time in the IRC channel. It’s been long enough that some consider me some sort of “guru” which I try to deny all the time.

    • Sergey Biryukov 3:35 am on July 21, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply


      I’m an admin/moderator of Russian WordPress support forums (also a maintainer of ru_RU releases since 2007). Located in Rostov-on-Don (UTC+4).

      There were times when I could easily spend the whole day answering questions πŸ™‚ Last year I’ve shifted most of my activity to Trac, but I’m still on the forums several times a day.

      So far my biggest concern regarding the forums is that topics with Cyrillic titles cannot be found via Google: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/19011

      As a workaround, I was able to switch the search form on ru.forums.wordpress.org to use a Russian search engine (which works great). However, as Remkus and Rafael noted earlier, there’s no way to get localized search results using the “Search WordPress.org” form in the header (the trick from comment 14 didn’t work for me, probably for the same reasons as in the ticket above).

      It would also be nice if WP profiles included volunteers’ activity on local forums as well: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/17917

      The handbooks, stats and improvement goals outlined in the post all sound great, looking forward to contribute wherever I can.

    • Kathryn Presner (aka zoonini) 12:43 am on July 18, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Glad to see this project happening and great to see everyone here!

      I’m a WordPress designer/developer currently running my own business, working from home in Montreal – Eastern time zone. I also do a lot of public speaking, giving talks on WordPress at WordCamps and other events, most recently at WCNYC where I had the pleasure of hanging out in the hackers’ room with Siobhan (aka raggedrobins). I’ll be giving two talks at WordCamp Montreal on August 18-19 so if anyone will be in town for that, please let me know as I’d love to meet you.

      My time in the support forums is sporadic, depending on what other projects I’ve got going on.

      For me the priorities would be:

      1. creating a bank of standard responses we can all share and adapt to prevent reinventing the wheel when answering common forum questions
      2. adding essential forum tools such as the ability to add notes to both users and threads, with the notes only visible to mods
      3. developing a set of more fully fleshed-out standard procedures on handling common (and less common) forum issues – aka moderator’s handbook

      I look forward to seeing how this develops.

    • Lorelle 4:00 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thank you.

      We have some guides for using the forum, for volunteers as well as general public, on the Codex. See Support Forum Volunteers to start.

      I think that would serve best as a starting point and would love to discuss how to expand it.

      With so many of the international forum/independent site mods and coordinators here, it would be awesome to have a reference Page on this site listing who’s who doing what with some time zone references.

      The same applies to documentation. There are some amazingly generous folk out there supporting the WordPress Codex and documentation and it would be good to highlight who they are and their skill set for reference.

      As discussed on the docs mailing list, there is some concerns about blending forum support with docs. One of the big issues is reporting on spam and out of control topics. As the P2 Theme makes categories a little more challenging to use, we need a way of not letting such reports flood the site. They are critical and require immediate attention. They came through the mailing list for the forums before. Is there a best practices for such reports to mods?

      I’ve done some successful Codex recruiting in the past, and now that there is a better communications spot, I’d love to see these restored and new strategies in place for getting more people involved, and better yet, support continued involvement.

      I’m on PST time zone.

      The old IRC was freenode #wp-docs if memory serves. I’m sure it is still up and running as it was last time I checked.

      For those unfamiliar with me, I’m one of the original editors of the Codex from “way back when” it all started. I’ve been contributing to the forums and Codex since 2003.

      I started the WordPress Lessons section on the Codex and continue to support it, thanks to the continuing enthusiasm and contributions of so many for basic lessons in how to use WordPress. It still serves as a helpful resource along with the great work of the Learn WordPress.com team. We’re working on taking the WordPress Lessons section a step further than Learn WordPress offers, going into more detail and supporting their efforts.

      I also host the WordPress Documentation Team Task List which has served as a to do list for getting things done and taking on tasks in the Codex for a couple of years. Please have one of this site’s admins contact me so we can transfer content and to do lists here.


      • Michael 5:45 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I been around WordPress for about a year and a half now.

        I got hooked when I attended a WordCamp in Savannah while doing research on a WordPress project. I’ve attended a couple of other WordCamps and started going to the local meetups.

        I did theme reviews for the theme review team for awhile but I felt my PHP knowledge level was not adequate to do a good thorough review so I backed off from that.

        I do contribute to the forums when I can.

        Trying to find a place to contribute.

      • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 5:54 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I think spam and that sort of drama can keep to the email list (at least for now). Spam in forums should be reported via the modlook tag, and discussion about said spammers would stay on the mailing list. (BTW if you see a spammer, you only have to tag one thread with modlook πŸ˜‰ When the spammer’s obviously trying to sell Viagra, we delete all the posts)

      • Andrea Rennick 8:00 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        “We have some guides for using the forum, for volunteers as well as general public, on the Codex. See Support Forum Volunteers to start.

        I think that would serve best as a starting point and would love to discuss how to expand it.”

        Yeah that’s definitely super skimpy.

        I’m envisioning things like:

        • guidelines for mod behaviour (Don’t be That Guy, for example)
        • common responses
        • tips on what to do when things get out of hand
        • where to send people for help on things outside the scope of WP (general css for example)

        I have talked to people who have read that, know their way around the forums, but are lost when it comes down to actually *how* to answer the thread while being helpful. That’s where they get stuck.

        For some people, it does come natural, but it can also be a learned skill.

      • Mercime 3:43 am on July 18, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Hi Lorelle. Just wanted to thank you for your contributions to the Codex, among other WP stuff, “way back when” to present. Kudos. The Codex and your blog were my top resources when I started out with WP back in 2007 πŸ™‚ Thanks again.

        • Lorelle 5:30 pm on August 1, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Somehow I missed this comment. Thanks for the kind words. I’m so lucky to have worked with some of the best folks in the world that give so much of their time on the Codex, Support Forums, etc. for the love of WordPress. For me, it is a never-ending source of joy and reward.

    • mrmist 3:51 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m pretty much constantly on irc as mrmist (currently groupcat). Ping me on there if you need me to join a different channel from one that I’m already in for a meeting. If it’s at a reasonable time, I’ll join in.

    • raggedrobins 3:43 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m at GMT/BST and, like Esmi, I work from home/am the boss, so can attend an IRC chat most times.

      I help out with the WordPress Codex and, more recently, with writing the docs for bbPreaa. Also, I spend most of my time writing documentation for different WordPress stuff.

      I think it’s really cool to see the support and documentation teams merged into one. Something that would be really helpful is to figure out a way for the support team to flag issues that are recurring again and again. This would enable the documentation team to update where there are any holes in the docs.

      I’m also happy to help out with any training guides etc.

      • Andrea Rennick 8:01 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        “Something that would be really helpful is to figure out a way for the support team to flag issues that are recurring again and again. This would enable the documentation team to update where there are any holes in the docs.”

        Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping some (even rudimentary) stats would help.

    • Christine 3:23 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m on the west coast, so just woke up and got this from @zoonini. I wasn’t on the email list for some reason. I’m not as active on the forum as I would like to be. I might be on there only two or three times a week. I do find bogged down, by really basic questions these days, like “help, I can’t change my font colour”. I don’t mind answering these, but sometimes I would like to have a standard… “have you google it?” answer. At times, I feel as though people have lost the ability to seek out and search for stuff and they just want others to do it for them… This is off topic and I have no idea how to resolve that on the forum. Hopefully some css/html tutorials will solve that. Perhaps compiling a list of some sorts for beginners would be helpful.

    • Rafael Poveda - RaveN 3:21 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m the admin and a moderator for Spanish (es) support forums. Also the maintainer for es_ES versions and translator. Located in UTC+1.

      I have the same request as Remkus about localized search results πŸ™‚

    • esmi 2:59 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Timezone: GMT/BST here. I work from home, so I tend to drop in & out of the forums all day (with the exception of weekends). Since I’m “The Boss”, I can IRC whenever, so I can act a central point to pass on messages for those who can’t IRC if needed.

      I’d love a mod log if that’s possible. Or at least some sort of “notes” field attached to user profiles that we can use to indicate reasons for mod actions or highlight any concerns.

    • Ze Fontainhas 2:08 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m the admin/mod of the Portuguese support forums (both Portugal and Brazil), and am located in Lisbon (UTC).

      I like this a lot better than the mailing list and looking forward to help out making moderators of forums not in English feel more like part of the family. Despite the fact the nearly all of them already talk to each other over at Polyglots, they have much to gain by taking part in the conversation here.

    • Remkus de Vries 1:45 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Hadn’t realized that there even was mailing list πŸ™‚

      I’m the admin/moderator of the Dutch WordPress forum so that sets me in the UTC+1 timezone. I am mostly active on the Dutch side of WordPress things.

      My biggest gripe is also the search in general results, but more importantly the (lack of) localized search result. That and the fact that we’re still not on the bbPress plugin (although I’m told that’s going to be fixed soon.

    • Andrea Rennick 1:42 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Oh and I’m getting an error trying to sub to the feed for this site. I want it in my feed reader, not my inbox. πŸ˜›

    • Ipstenu (Mika Epstein) 1:40 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I can probably shorthand a lot of my intro πŸ˜‰ Chicago/Central Time US, I mod from home and work (the latter while I watch servers reboot etc, in 20-minute chunks).

      IRC is problematic, as I can only hit it after work hours (freenode, in its entirety, is blocked via my office firewall), but I’m usually home weekdays from 7pm ET onward, and Sundays.

      A guide! I have a compilation of little notes, I’ll clean them up and add them as pages here to get things started. (They actually include the how and why we do some things) Any guide would have a lot of overlap into a handbook, but the general draft of the OMGWTFBBQ? upgrade posts I was doing could stat here too. “How to handle the upgrade kvetchfest.” πŸ˜‰ This though would be my first target. Once we all get in a row and Gandalf the crazy (you shall not pass!) we may be able to speed up the rest. Also a central place for the boilerplate replies ‘When someone brings up paying, copy/paste and close…’

      Stats would be kind of amusing. How many posts do we close and resolve a month, how many people get bozo’d (knowing that counts for spammers), how many become blocked…

      Also reminds me to pester @otto42 about things I’d like to see πŸ˜‰ Like that spam hammer to click on someone, delete their posts, and block their account. For the actual spammers.

      • Jane Wells 2:30 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Part of the intent of this blog is to reduce the number of individual pings we throw at Otto and to have an official list of things we agree we want to do to improve. That will also make it possible for members of other contributor groups to weigh in when we propose changes so that it will be more inclusive.

      • kmessinger 2:50 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        The guide and boiler plate replies would be great. I have been to lazy to set up some cut and paste replies to common problems.

        • Andrea Rennick 7:52 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          There’s an extension for Chrome that I use called popcrom. That allows you to hotkey or marco whatever you like with common responses, like this:

          cl + ctrl+space get me
          “Great since the issue is resolved, I’ll close the thread. If you have more questions, please open a new thread.”


          • rachelbaker 7:21 pm on July 18, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

            I use the Mac app TextExpander for the same thing. Really helps with common replies like: “Please include a link to your site” which I seem to use all the time

            • Andrea Rennick 2:41 pm on July 19, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

              Yeah I have one for that too. πŸ˜€ Also for “Please deactivate all plugins first to see if any of those are interfering.”

    • Andrea Rennick 1:39 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Mmmm, stats….. πŸ™‚

      I’m in the forums less than I was a year or so ago. Mostly I stick to multisite issues, but have been veering off to theme issues now that I do support for Studiopress.

      Some other users and I have collab on a doc on how to answer threads. I’d like to see an official doc here too – not as a “these are the rules” but general guidelines on How To Answer Posts for those who are new and unsure of the best way to go about it.

      In general, I’d also like to raise the attitude level of some responses to be nicer. πŸ™‚ Some responses by old timers or frustrated people can be oft-putting for new users. It’s way better than when I first showed up, but there’s still room for improvement.

      The biggest support forum improvement I can think of right now is improving the search. That’s a big job tho.

      Oh, I’m also in the Atlantic time zone – 1 hour ahead of Eastern (hi from the future!). Anything that hits the evening meal time usually leaves me out.

      • Jan Dembowski 1:58 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Nuts, you posted re stats before I could. πŸ˜›

        Stats would be cool but I think a low priority item compared to tough problems like improving the forum and codex search functionality.

        The barometer for the WordPress forums has always been the general volume/noise/attitude regarding a topic. Look at how successful the 3.4 upgrades went, that’s a great indicator of success by the low volume of OMGWTFBBQ.

        I’m in NY and I get a kick out of when I see regulars chime in to provide support. It’s almost like watching the next shift start. πŸ˜‰ Having some sort of stats may be interesting just to gauge activity vs the release calendar, time of week etc.

        Not sure if it would add an immediate tangible value but it would be interesting and may help illustrate gaps in support (if any).

        • Andrea Rennick 7:50 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Actually some stats about the *kinds* of threads being posted would be really helpful. Are we getting a ton of empty threads being posted about installation? Then we know to make docs better / easier to find. (for example)

    • Rev. Voodoo 1:24 pm on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I’m pretty excited about this! Great idea! I’m a support forum mod… I try to be active. The past coulpe of months has had me really tied up at work and school. So my participation comes and goes. I try to keep the forums clean when I have a moment, and answer questions when I have more moments! I’m on the forums at least 5 or 10 times a day I would say. Something that would be cool, although I don’t have a mental picture of what it would look like, is some sort of mod log…. what sort of actions are happening on the forum, and why? It’s hard to know who is being blocked, bozoed, etc. Dunno if that’s possible, or even desired? I’m in OHio, Eastern time… although I do the majority of my modding from work, don’t think I can even participate in any chats from work. All kinds of computer restrictions. If I can though, I will!

      • Kathryn Presner (aka zoonini) 12:51 am on July 18, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Something that would be cool, although I don’t have a mental picture of what it would look like, is some sort of mod log…. what sort of actions are happening on the forum, and why? It’s hard to know who is being blocked, bozoed, etc.

        I really like this idea too. I’m a mod in a different forum (not WP-related) and we have exactly that in place, and it can be very useful to see who did what, when, and why. For every moderator action (i.e. delete, thread split, close, lock) a comment is required, and the whole lot is tied to a mod’s user ID, so there is always an easy-to-follow trail of explanations/accountability for every action.

        • Rev. Voodoo 11:17 am on July 18, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Right, that’s what I was thinking. The mailing list is great, when it’s used. I have an absolutely terrible memory though, and surely can’t keep track of actions related to various user names.

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