Agenda for January 19th Support Meeting

  • General Announcements
  • WordPress 4.7.1
  • New Forum Theme
  • Sockpuppets
  • Checkin with International Support Liaisons

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

The meeting will be Thursday, January 19, 2017, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

January 12th Support Team Meeting Summary

Announcements

  • WordPress 4.7.1 has been released.
  • Be on the lookout for a survey from the Docs Team designed to help them approach HelpHub’s next improvements.

WordPress 4.7.1

All of our trending known issues for 4.7 were fixed in 4.7.1, but we added a new one where certain non-image file types fail to upload to the known issues for 4.7.

If you are affected by this issue, please use the Disable Real MIME Check plugin and remove it as soon as 4.7.2 is released.

New Forum Theme

If you find anything broken with the new forum theme, please open a ticket in Meta Trac (after searching first, of course) under the Support Forums component, and prepend the ticket’s title with “Support Theme:”. You can also use this pre-made query for viewing reported issues.

New Also Viewing Script

We have a new Also Viewing script from @clorith for use with Tampermonkey or Greasemonkey. Once you have one of those two extensions installed, simply click this link (or the “Raw” button next to the alsoviewing.user.js script at the previous “a new Also Viewing script” link if you don’t trust random links) to trigger an installation for the new script.

Besides the same helpful functionality you all remember (now actually working under the redesigned forums), the new script also displays when someone else is viewing the Spam and Pending queues, but please do continue to announce when you’re checking those queues for now. This will continue to help us both keep track of when the queues are checked, and will of course help to avoid overlaps with folks who have have not yet installed the new script.

Development for the new script is being handled openly on GitHub, though it still uses @octalmage‘s server for the processing backbone (and the code for that is also available on GitHub). Also, please be aware that the Chrome extension linked to there is still the old broken version. Only the user script has been updated so far.

Forum Descriptions

The new forum descriptions are not set in stone. The only thing we know for sure is that they should always be short (for the sake of the design) and descriptive.

With that said, they are still relatively new (only a week old today), so let’s continue to be mindful of feedback, and we may have a new vote about the descriptions later on.

Checkin with International Support Liaisons

  • The Dutch and Russian support communities are doing well.
  • The Hindi support community is waiting for its first support topic, so please help them spread the word!

Attendance

@macmanx @bcworkz @clorith @sergeybiryukov @kidsguide @kmessinger @numeeja @t-p @sterndata @jdembowski @katmoody @bdbrown @zoonini @abletec @hardeepasrani @geoffreyshilling @ipstenu @kenshino @joemcgill @fierevere @ancawonka @imazed @diddledan attended

Note: The lack of links for some @-mentions is a known issue.

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

#weekly-chat

Agenda for January 12th Support Meeting

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

The meeting will be Thursday, January 12, 2017, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

January 5th Support Team Meeting Summary

Announcements

WordPress 4.7

We have added an issue with incorrect RSS feed dates on alternate languages to the known issues for 4.7.

New Forum Theme

The new forum theme has officially launched! No more cookie toggle necessary, yay!

Big thanks to @mapk, @jmdodd, @coffee2code, and @samuelsidler for all their work bringing this to life, to all of you for your bug reports during the soft launch, and to @clorith for triaging the blockers!

If you find anything broken, please open a ticket in Meta Trac (after searching first, of course) under the Support Forums component, and prepend the ticket’s title with “Support Theme:”. You can also use this pre-made query for viewing reported issues.

The Also Viewing extension currently does not work on the new theme. An issue has been reported, and @justingreerbbi has forked it too.

Update: For now, install this browser script for Tampermonkey or Greasemonkey.

Theme-Specific Custom CSS Feedback

Please keep your eyes open for any feedback about custom CSS being saved as theme-specific (rather than global), and let @jorbin know. The Core Team is very interested in how this has been received.

Security Documentation

The FAQ My site was hacked, Hardening WordPress, Brute Force Attacks, and Two Step Authentication articles received some big updates from @perezbox, @mmaunder, @atachibana, and @janr.

The Docs Team is looking for feedback, specifically on these four points:

  1. How helpful are these to developers?
  2. How helpful are these to users?
  3. How helpful are these to the Support Team?
  4. How else can we improve the articles? (this applies to when Codex is fully transferred over to Helphub)

If you’d like to share feedback on these points, please share it in #docs on Slack, or DM @kenshino or @atachibana.

Checkin with International Support Liaisons

Attendance

@macmanx @justingreerbbi @kmessinger @pmfonseca @t-p @liamdempsey @geoffreyshilling @bethannon1 @fierevere @sergeybiryukov @zoonini @ipstenu @juliekuehl @sterndata @wido @stephencottontail @bdbrown @kidsguide @courtneydawn @numeeja @jorbin @hempsworth @abletec @samuelsidler @kenshino @ramthas @lukecavanagh attended

Note: The lack of links for some @-mentions is a known issue.

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

#weekly-chat

Agenda for January 5th Support Meeting

  • General Announcements
  • WordPress 4.7
  • New Forum Theme
  • Checkin with International Support Liaisons

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

The meeting will be Thursday, January 5, 2017, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

December 29th Support Team Meeting Summary

Announcements

WordPress 4.7

We have nothing new to add to the known issues for 4.7.

Handling Security Vulnerabilities

The WordPress Security Team prefers to have all WordPress security vulnerabilities reported privately via security (at) wordpress (dot) org with the exception of plugin security vulnerabilities, which the WordPress Plugins Team prefers to have reported privately via plugins (at) wordpress (dot) org.

No matter your personal opinion on whether or not “responsible disclosure” is private or public, the WordPress Security Team has asked that it be private for WordPress. As a fellow WordPress Team, let’s continue to respect their wishes.

If you find a security vulnerability reported in the forums, please report it as directed above, edit the topic to remove the details (or flag the thread with a modlook tag), and leave a reply to direct the reporter to the link above.

The Hacks Subforum

Based on the feedback we collected, the Hacks subforum (“For Plugin Coding and Core hacking discussion”) was removed from the forum listing.

Feedback collected after this was done suggested that this might have been a mistake, given that the Hacks subform was far more active than the similar WP-Advanced forum.

After a great discussion and a unanimous vote, we’d like to keep the Hacks subforum hidden, and keep the WP-Advanced forum where it is, but merge the previous content of the Hacks subforum into the WP-Advanced forum.

New Forum Theme

The new forum theme will be officially launching very early next year, likely in just a few days, so please continue to test the forum redesign!

To start the fun, simply visit https://wordpress.org/support/?new-theme=1 (the length of the cookie has been significantly increased, so you will no longer need to re-trigger it every day)

It works off of a cookie, so if you need to switch back, simply visit https://wordpress.org/support/?new-theme=0

If you find anything broken, please open a ticket in Meta Trac (after searching first, of course) under the Support Forums component, and prepend the ticket’s title with “Support Theme:”. You can also use this pre-made query for viewing reported issues.

Checkin with International Support Liaisons

Attendance

@macmanx @clorith @jmdodd @bcworkz @kidsguide @hardeepasrani @jdembowski @t-p @ipstenu @lasacco @sterndata @zoonini @abletec @stephencottontail @perezbox @voldemortensen @hideokamoto @imazed @cristianozanca @jcastaneda attended

Note: The lack of links for some @-mentions is a known issue.

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

#weekly-chat

Agenda for December 29th Support Meeting

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

The meeting will be Thursday, December 29, 2016, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

December 22nd Support Team Meeting Summary

Announcements

WordPress 4.7

We have nothing new to add to the known issues for 4.7.

New Forum Theme

The new forum theme is almost ready for its official launch, so please continue to test the forum redesign!

To start the fun, simply visit https://wordpress.org/support/?new-theme=1

It works off of a cookie, so if you need to switch back, simply visit https://wordpress.org/support/?new-theme=0

If you find anything broken, please open a ticket in Meta Trac (after searching first, of course) under the Support Forums component, and prepend the ticket’s title with “Support Theme:”. You can also use this pre-made query for viewing reported issues.

Checkin with International Support Liaisons

Attendance

Due to an issue on Slack’s end, emoji reactions were down for some participants, and we also noticed that a few messages disappeared at some point during the meeting. Because of this, we have decided not to list attendance this week.

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

#weekly-chat

Agenda for December 22nd Support Meeting

  • General Announcements
  • WordPress 4.7
  • Checkin with International Support Liaisons

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

The meeting will be Thursday, December 22, 2016, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

P.S. Don’t miss The Subtle Difference Dividing Assistance from Promotion: https://make.wordpress.org/support/2016/12/the-subtle-difference-dividing-assistance-from-promotion/

The Subtle Difference Dividing Assistance from Promotion

This is a post I’ve meant to write for a long time to talk about links in the support forums and elsewhere. It’s not targeted at anyone specific. The forum moderators have been dealing with this for years.

I’m going to walk through this with a few situations by example. I’m trying to illustrate a simple ethical problem.

  • If a 3rd party sends people to your site, that’s good.
  • If you send someone to an article on your site occasionally (not as a routine), cool.
  • If you are sending people to your site as a matter of routine then that could be a problem.

I know that’s vague. I’ll try to expand on that.

Plugin or theme authors in their WordPress support forum

A user posts a problem in a support sub-forum for a plugin or theme and Alice (the author or contributor) in reply  posts an external link to her plugin/theme company site or her own site.

That’s fine. If you have code in the WordPress repository then yes, you can send people to your site or service within your WordPress.org support forum.

If you have staff helping you and they’re not clearly designated as part of your staff then get them to add the words “Hey, I work for the author” in their replies. Don’t use signatures but have them make it clear who they are in their reply. If you are amenable to it then make that staff plugin contributors. The moderators will thank you.

Posting 3rd party links

Scenario: Bob comes across a topic in the forums and provides assistance via an answer in the small text box. He walks the original poster through the steps guiding them to a solution. At some point in the conversation he uses his favorite search engine and posts a link to a site that has some good information. The user reads it, gets assistance and solves their problem.

This is acceptable since the link Bob posted is a 3rd party to him.

There is no connection between Bob and that site. It’s not his blog, he doesn’t work there, he’s not getting an affiliate fee, etc. The link provided information that Bob believed could help the person with their problem. There isn’t a possibility Bob could benefit from that exchange except by gaining the satisfaction of helping someone.

Links to your own site

Now take the same scenario above but in this hypothetical another person named John directs the topic to John’s own personal site.

John has written a post extensively about a WordPress problem complete with images, detailed step by step instructions and a good video. It’s a great post on John’s site. He’s proud of his documentation and he maintains the article as versions of WordPress are updated. He has spent hours on that topic and John is the undisputed champion of solving that problem. His intentions are good.

He also shouldn’t routinely send people there like that from the WordPress forums. Note the word “routinely”, an occasional link is OK. Here’s why: John’s site isn’t a community resource. His helping people in the community forums shouldn’t possibly be about getting traffic.

At the moment John does not have ads on his site, he does not offer WordPress consulting services, he doesn’t gain anything but satisfaction. But what if that changed? What if he decided to supplement his family’s income with a small ad or offer paid WordPress consulting services?

It’s that possibility that I believe should be avoided in the community support forums. Posting a link to your site to help people is alright but making a habit of doing that for every reply may not be good.

If the article in question is that much of a resource, then please consider adding that info into the Codex. The Documentation Team is actively working on a Codex replacement. If you’ve a lot of information, articles and documentation on a topic then you may want to get involved with the Helphub project.

Links to a paid service, plugin or theme

I’ll take the hypothetical in a new direction. Elsbeth is a plugin author who also provides a paid service for WordPress users. Her plugin is hosted in the WordPress plugin repository.

I’ll pause to reiterate the opening:

This post isn’t about you, your plugin or your service or anything you’ve recently posted.

This has been an issue for years and it’s good to get it out in the open. Talking about things in the community is healthy even if you don’t agree with it.

That original person who posted in the forums with a problem? Elsbeth wrote a plugin that addresses the problem exactly. She’s part of a team that has built a company to solve that problem. Her company is staffed by pros, they are a market leader in that space and Elsbeth replies to that topic with a long step by step that gets them rolling to a solution.

Elsbeth also refers them to her company’s site. She provided the original poster with a link to sign up for a service they obviously need. She explains that they can sign up and their site will be fixed going forward. And when Elsbeth did that she went too far.

I’m not talking about something plugin authors have posted in their own sub-forum. I’m talking about visiting general topics and crossing the line into promotion.

It doesn’t really matter that Elsbeth’s company site has an extensive knowledge base written by experts. It now appears that she’s promoting her company and that’s not really a community activity.

What about other companies? Why do they get a pass?

If you think this post is about you then you may think moderators are showing favoritism or giving your competition a pass. You point to all the good your company has done, how you put community first, how your intentions are good.

Other companies do not get a pass in the WordPress ecosystem. When they cross that subjective threshold about links and promotion then they are politely asked to stop doing that. No one doubts anyone’s good intentions and if you are taking the time to help people in the forums then you are already in good graces.

But please, keep it in the WordPress forums or Codex. Avoid even the appearance of self-promotion. It will help you and the community if you do.

#3rd-party, #links, #self-promotion