WordPress 5.9-beta1 has been delayed, a new date for the betaBetaA pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process., and consequently a new release schedule, is not yet announced, but will be posted once it is finalized by the coreCoreCore is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. team.
Team representative nominations are over, and with only one nominee, we have no need to hold a vote. The nominee is @sterndata, and instead of the vote which would have ensured if there were multiple nominees, we will instead have a ~2 week period in which any concerns can be raised, this can also be done privately to @clorith. If no concerns are raised, or they’re all worked out, the final announcement of the new representative will be done after December 1st, and we will prepare a handover period with some onboarding and similar at that time.
Next weeks meeting (November 25th), will be a very informal office hours, due to major holidays being celebrated in parts of the world, and other social events elsewhere, there are not a lot of regular contributors available at the time, so this feels like a good approach.
A note was made that often folks join the channel after an incident, quite often relating to something unfortunate happening on for example the forums, and that the users may not feel very well received.
This is in part by nature of guidelines helping us enforce directives, but we can probably also be better at providing a more welcoming surrounding in such cases.
We, as volunteers in the #forums channel, should avoid “piling on” when someone has concerns. Letting one individual handle the case, of course another person may be asked to chime in, but it should then ideally happen at the original attendees request, to avoid giving users a feeling of being outnumbered and of a lesser voice, or may lead to confusion and frustration.
That’s not to say things do not some times escalate, and we know that not everyone wants to accept the answers that are given. If things escalate, and users do not wish to listen, it becomes an unwelcome environment for other participants on Slack, so please escalate such cases to a Slack admin, and they can deal with it from there.
Under are some thoughts and concerns that came up in that discussion, and which we’ll try to address moving forward up to the release date.
If there are other concerns or talking points, please feel free to provide them in a comment here, or raise them in an upcoming support meeting!
Coordinate with docs to make sure relevant documentation is ready before release so that support can familiarize them selves with it.
Coordinate with the GutenbergGutenbergThe Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ team, how do they want to get feedback, and issues, reported in a sensible way. Support shouldn’t have to create tickets, but pushing users away and telling them to go to GitHubGitHubGitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ is also a terrible experience.
Make sure Gutenberg team has people on hand and we know who is available to help on complex issues the team may not know the answers to.
This may be another scenario like the blockBlockBlock is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. editor release where we see The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. How do we support those who land in the thick of it with negatively inclined users. All while also trying to show understanding and compassion where it should be, not everyone is inherently bad, and may be concerned or scared users as well.
Likely a focus on existing users and how this affects them, more so than new users without existing themes and content.
To close off this weekly summary, we’ll this time enjoy the wonderful tunes of Peter Gabriel
The support team will be doing another ticket triage on Saturday March 20th, 2021,21:00 UTC. This one will be slightly different as we will be discussing and prioritizing tickets that you the user bring forth and feel is important. This is in no way a guarantee that your ticket will get done first, but rather a way to try and judge which items others think are important. Understandably not everyone can participate, so it is also OK to drop a ticket in a reply to this post, but you should then also include a reason why you think the ticket(s) are important and why they should be prioritized.
As with most releases, there’s been a few issues for users, most of which have been self contained and resolvable in each individual scenario. Some recurring issues have been discovered, but these have all been addressed with tickets on core trac.
All in all, this has been a very smooth release so far (*knock on wood*).
Checking in with international liaisons
It’s been a while since we did an update like this here on the make blog, so it felt appropriate we do one again!
We had contributors from many parts of the world join us for our weekly little chat, none had any major issues to report, both in general and relating to the recently released WordPress 5.7, but it was great to hear from so many and be able to check in and see how everyone is doing.
GiveWP hosted a panel on fighting online harassment in WordPress right after our weekly meeting, in which many members of our team were listening in, once the panel is published, we’ll drop a link for you all to watch it as well. With that in mind though, please do not hesitate to reach out either in the #forums Slack channel, or directly through a private message, if you at any point feel unsafe or mistreated in any way, and we’ll do what we can to help.
And in closing, we provided you all with a little musical adventure, a composition by Philter called Miyazaki Mountain
After some hearty discussions surrounding handling of support requests for commercial products on the WordPress.orgWordPress.orgThe community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ forums, a set of guidelines for how moderators should respond to such topics was worked out.
This work spurred the now published Moderator Enforcement Guidelines, the goal of which is to ensure a unified response to scenarios that happen regularly, and make it easier to reference others to as well so they can see what the process is.
We had a good discussion on how to get the forums more forum-like, there’s already a meta ticket for this (https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/4007), but it doesn’t quite hit all the right notes. A post will follow with a proposal for how this could be approached, that would solidify their place as a forum, and also make discovery a bit easier.
Summary posts after meetings will moving forward be posted if there are updates that need sharing or decisions that need discussing.
For general checking in during weekly meetings, we’ll still have agendas, so we’re not going full-on office hours only (as it’s nice with an excuse to bring everyone together once a week 😀 ), but we will limit the summary posts to information that needs to be shared, for example following major releases of WordPress.
Checking in with international liaisons
Members of our community from Russia, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Bangladesh and India were available for this weeks chat, even while WordCampWordCampWordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Spain Online was ongoing!
Many countries are starting to experience the Daylight Savings Time (DST) changes these days, and although a lot of teams change their meeting time when this happens, the support team hasn’t done so for many years, and will keep it’s 17:00 UTC time slot.
Adjusting the meeting format a little
Although a pre-existing weekly time slot, we had no published agenda this week, and just winged it. This turned out to be a popular format, as it allowed for more users to get a word in that would normally feel compelled to sit idle by when an agenda existed.
In light of this, we’ll be looking to do an informal agenda-less meeting regularly, likely once a month, to help spur further such good conversations.
Upcoming changes to WordPress 5.4
The newly introduced full screen editing by default that’s slated for WordPress 5.4 was discussed at length, and although it’s inclusion in the release is still up for debate, we will plan for a scenario where it is included.
The primary concern is users feeling lost, how do we help them find their way back to their usual flow, and the desire for a simple solution to users.
It was mentioned, but has since been discovered to be incorrect, that a keyboard shortcut would let you toggle the mode, this is not the case as of this writing.
The support team has a list of pre-defined replies for regularly occurring scenarios (available at https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/contributing-to-the-wordpress-forums/stock-answers/) which got updated this past week to allow for easy copy-pasting, and also got expanded with a new entry.
Old topic notifications
Discussions about how to handle older topics which may or may not be relevant followed suit, and one of the better ideas that came forth from this discussion was to add a notice, much like plugins does for older plugins, that information in this topic is more than X times old, and may not be accurate any more.
Checking in with international liaisons
Members of our broader community from Sweden, Russia, Bangladesh, and India took part in the lively discussions this week, and a thank you for that, as broader views are unimaginably valuable!
BetaBetaA pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 2 is out as of yesterday.
The Beta Tester pluginPluginA plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party has had an update to make beta testing easier and more obvious. RCRelease CandidateA beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge. (Release CandidateRelease CandidateA beta version of software with the potential to be a final product, which is ready to release unless significant bugs emerge.) is scheduled for March 3rd. Marius (@Clorith) requests that support volunteers continue testing and making notes for any stumbling blocks that users might hit to be added to the “Master List” when the release is out.
The Site Health feature will include a new dashboard widgetWidgetA WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user., so be aware that users might find it and be confused as to its significance. Also to be aware of is the Calendar widget markup is changing. Tara (@t-p) asked about apply_shortcode and what the difference is, if any, to the old do_shortcode. While it is currently simply an alias, we should be encouraging the usage of the newer apply_shortcode going forward to match documentation and best practices to prepare the ground for the eventual deprecation of do_shortcode.
The discussion wandered off into the weeds at this point, so @Clorith brought us back to the path with the next agenda item:
Each week we check in with the international teams. All reports that came back indicate no major issues, although the Swedish forum has seen at least one user with a completely wiped site, and Yui ゆい (@fierevere) of the Russian forums noted they have also seen a spike in hacked sites. There have also been cases reported in the English forums. Marius mentioned there have been a couple of high-profile plugins with security vulnerabilities in the past few days, which could be related. Watch out for ongoing issues with these.
There’s been a lot of activity around some plugins. While sharing information about ongoing issues is good, we need to make sure we remain neutral and keep things professional.
Tara asked about ThemeGrill as to whether the problems are fixed. Version 1.6.2 includes the relevant changes required to mitigate the issues. Yui ゆい reports that Duplicator has also been fixed for similar related issues. Joy asked about whether the WP Importer was impacted; Marius stated that there are no known issues there. James (@macmanx) points out that we’ll be seeing threads about these issues for some time yet, considering the number of sites impacted.
There was a good, albeit wandering into the weeds again, discussion about automatic updates and users updating manually or not. Also mentioned was backups and their importance. There was a suggestion that the Site Health feature could highlight the importance of updating WordPress and installed plugins and themes.
WordPress betaBetaA pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. 1 has been released (https://wordpress.org/news/2020/02/wordpress-5-4-beta-1/). Marius (@Clorith) requests that support volunteers test this release so that we’re ready to help users with the changes. Specific areas to test are the Editor, Site Health, The Editor, and The Editor. (Roadmap for this release is at https://make.wordpress.org/core/5-4/)
The regular International forum liaisons’ checkin all report things are OK in their respective forums.
Yui ゆい (@fierevere) expressed our collective sadness about the cancellation of WordCampWordCampWordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Asia, though we appreciate the concerns for public health. Daniel (@diddledan) noted that public health is priority.
Marcio (@marcio-zebedeu) spread the good news that we now have a new Portuguese Angola (pt_AO) localised forum (https://pt-ao.wordpress.org/support/forums/), and requested help with ideas to form a strategy for providing ongoing support. Marius (@Clorith) suggested that spreading awareness of the new forum to local meet-ups would be a good first step. We all agreed that sharing on Social Media, such as LinkedIn, is an excellent idea.
Joy (@joyously) Requested feedback about a CoreCoreCore is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. ticket because they were unclear on the changes and how to help the user. This appears to be fallout from WordPress 5.3 that we need to be aware of. James (@macmanx) pointed out that we can’t, as support volunteers, control changes to Core and the ramifications to understanding but suggested that we simply take note of the changes. Marius (@Clorith) said that it’s not a good idea to spam the ticket with agreements or me-too comments.
As we did last year, we’ll be having a bug scrub of metaMetaMeta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. tickets relating to the support forums.
The primary purpose is to evaluate the validity of the tickets, are there items we no longer feel as strongly are needed, or are there items that should be prioritized differently?
For anyone who’s never taken part in a bug scrub/ticket triage before, what essentially happens is that the facilitator (in this case, @clorith) prepares a set of tickets ahead of time they’d like to consider.
During the hour, the tickets are provided, a quick summary of what they are about is provided, and then input from the other participants is taken into account to make sure the best choice is made for how to proceed with it later.
Checking in with international liaisons
Members of our community from far and wide took part in this weeks support chat, including (but not limited to) Russia, Italy, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Brazil!
During open floor, a hearty discussion about how we approach users, and how words may be conceived in different situations by various users was conducted.
The outcome of this is that volunteers will try to look more closely at the words that are used, and help let each other know if they may be misinterpreted in any way. Hopefully a more balanced pre-defined set of replies to common questions can be constructed from this to help maintain a good relationship with the users.
Most of this weeks meeting time was taken up by discussions about amendments to the support guidelines, and a very good discussion ensured relating to changes in guidelines relating to the use of links in pluginPluginA plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party and theme related support topics.
As the subject can be hard to cover, a separate post will be made outlining the changes, and how they may (or may not) affect the average user.
Checking in with international liaisons
Representatives from our non-English parts of the community in Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Greece, Sweden, Brazil, Bangladesh, and India were present this week, and helped broaden our horizones.
Reminder that if you are from a non-English speaking part of our community, we would love to hear from you, as shared experiences are worth more than we can describe!