November 14th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

bbPress 2.6 was released this week, and has been deployed to the various forums. Please note that an upgrade notice will show up in wp-admin if you have the appropriate access, don’t click this, the meta team will handle the upgrade routines accordingly once they’ve been tested in our large setup scenario.

WordPress 5.3

The new version of WordPress, version 5.3, was released this week.

As is customary after a major release, the WordPress 5.3 Master List has been published, and is a living document being updated with anything we find that breaks WordPress for users.

Discussion on linking to off-site support platforms

A hot topic this past week has been linking to support-topics that are outside of WordPress.org.

Some good conversations were covered during the weekly meeting, and a make/support post has been published outlining what we discussed, and allowing for input from those unable to attend the weekly meeting.

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

When contributing, remember that you are not alone, your friends and teammates are here for you, don’t be afraid to seek help or assistance.

#weekly-chat

November 7th Support Team Meeting Summary

We had our final call for changes to the WordPress 5.3 Master List, along with a call for testing of WordPress it self, as the next version of WordPress is scheduled for November 12th.

We discovered that there’s a need for a specific page for Twenty Twenty that the feature theme team has already finalized (teamwork makes the dream work!), which will be linked up properly after the upcoming release.

Fair warning as well, that next meeting we will be utilizing the meeting-opener used by many other teams. The support team in general doesn’t use the /here command, as we wish to avoid notification burnout, but we will be using it for the first meeting after a major release to make sure we can gather any important information that surfaces from users after a release.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of our community from Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, India, Russia and Spain were part of this weeks meeting, with some new members from a few of them stopping by!

One of the contributors asked about information on highlighting topics to see which ones need addressing still, which the support team has a tool for at https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/appendix/helpful-tools/#clearer-plugin-and-theme-support.

Open floor

A request for more details for those running a contributor day was put forth. Turns out the existing page had been edited, and left in a state pending review. This has been re-published and is available at https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/.

We would like to improve the getting started documentation, so if you’ve ever held a contributor day and done support, input on what worked, what information you felt was missing, and what could be improved upon is very much welcome at any time.

If you would be so kind, please leave a response to the annual WordPress user survey for 2019.

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

🎉 With the influx of new users lately, we’ll revitalize the contributor tips, a crowd favorite.

Helping out is awesome, but be selfish now and then, take the time you need to relax and unwind.

Contributor Tips

#weekly-chat

October 31st Support Team Meeting Summary

First a reminder that we’re still working on the WordPress 5.3 Master List, to cover items that we foresee users being confused about, viewing as potential issues and so forth.

And of course, please help test the new version before it goes live.

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives from Sweden, Russia, Brazil and the Netherlands took part in this weeks chat, mostly focused on the upcoming release.

Open floor

A question was brought forth on the process when requesting data deletion from WordPress.org. Although we don’t know the exact procedure, the privacy policy does make note that historical data such as commit history for plugins, themes and WordPress core are all retained. There’s also a section on forum posts and topics being historical data, and removing them would cause holes that may destroy the overall understanding of information., As such the user profile is scrubbed and anonymized.

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

With spooktober in mind, and it being the spookiest of days, enjoy the most thrilling video ever made!

#weekly-chat

October 24th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

There’s been a few questions, and comments, about access to WordPress.org access being limited from the Chinese region of late, so we figured we’d give some information when possible.

There’s an ongoing issue with a lot of malicious traffic originating from the Chinese region. This is making the WordPress.org security systems limit connectivity from affected areas, and unfortunately also negatively affecting legitimate users.

We’re actively monitoring the situation, and are looking into ways to remedy this for real users, but due to how internet traffic is routed it’s not something that is likely solved quickly.


The initial post for the WordPress 5.3 Master List has also gone up at https://make.wordpress.org/support/2019/10/wordpress-5-3-master-list/.

The Master List is a forum thread created by the support team for every major release of WordPress where we pre-emptively gather information on what users may face and be confused by, mistake for bugs or need ot be aware of. It’s a living document, and as the release lives on the thread is populated with information of broken plugins or themes that impact a larger amount of users, bugs that are discovered etc. This allows us to have one location to reference for information, and to link users towards for troubleshooting steps.


@bethannon1 will be leading the Support Desk (aka Happiness Bar) at WordCamp US, and is looking for potential volunteers to help staff it. If this sounds like you, feel free to reach out to her!

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our international parts of the community in Italy, Sweden, India, Brazil, Portugal and Russia were part of this weeks meeting.

We also looked into if the Master List could be made more easily available for translations for our international crew. @tobifjellner has some good insights on utilizing HelpHub/SupportHub once it’s ready for synchronization between locales, and we will revisit this at that point as it becomes more viable when those systems are in place.

Open floor

A question about process with user management was brought forth, in relation to theme submissions on WordPress.org.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough information to make informed recommendations on the scenarios mentioned, but we invited those responsible to return to #forums with more details for a more thurough check.

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

For this weeks relaxation, we’re traveling east.

#weekly-chat

October 17th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

First up, the draft for the 5.3 Master List. I didn’t see any feedback on the make/support post on the preferred location for this, so I’ll go ahead with the GitHub as a start, with a make/forums post in addition pointing towards it (and letting folks who are not familiar or unable to use GitHub a place to participate). We’ll be using the shiny new Master List repository for this as well, so looking forward to that, and the post should go up some time tomorrow.

The core field guide isn’t released yet, which is a great asset when picking items to highlight or cover, so once that is out we’ll also be in a much better spot to filling out our own stuff.

Next on the agenda, some updates from the land of IRC.

The website that powers the WPBot IRC help bot has been updated and now also provides a handy REST API endpoint for the pre-defined replies that are commonly used on that platform.

Along with this, the bot it self was updated to use modern PHP, giving it a deeply sought after performance boost, and also allowing the log viewer connected to it to be updated in the same run.

WordPress 5.3 progression

For those keen-eyed individuals out there, you may have noticed that RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is available!

https://wordpress.org/news/2019/10/wordpress-5-3-release-candidate/ for those who’ve not yet seen it

As mentioned earlier, the field guide isn’t quite ready yet, but RC1 is when we start working on the Master List for the forums, and it’s roughly 1 month from release at this time, give or take a couple of days.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our community in Sweden, Russia, Portugal, Brazil and Italy were part of this weeks discussions, with some great conversations about our check-in process, and also with updates on the HelpHub rollout.

Speaking of HelpHub; Russia, Brazil and Italy have all been added to the HelpHub lists, and have started getting these populated in their respective languages, great work team!


We had a chat about our courtesy pings to named individuals, and although the meeting leader is not a fan of the /here command, it sounds like it might not be a bad idea in some scenarios.

In light of that, we will utilize it on our first meeting after a release, both to gauge the effect, but also broaden the reach as we try to gather information on how a release went and what we should be keeping an eye out for.

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

And in closing, some music for the evening:

Disturbed – Sound of Silence

#weekly-chat

October 10th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

With WordPress 5.3 nearing, please keep thinking of Master List items, we will start working on this once WordPress 5.3-RC1 is released, and the field guide from core is posted.

In the meanwhile, the historical reference to Master Lists is being gathered at https://github.com/wporg-support/master-list, which will allow for easier referencing, especially relating to discussions around core auto updates of late.

Some interesting insights indicating the quality of plugins, themes and core it self have gone up massively, and we are seeing fewer and fewer issues with each release, when looking at the history of our Master Lists.

With WordCamp US nearing, a call for volunteers for the Support Desk (also known as the Happiness Bar) was put forth by @bethannon1

@sterndata is gathering information on what people would expect, and like to cover, at a contributor day in relation to support.

Feel free to reach out to either for information and idea-sharing!

WordPress 5.3 progression

WordPress 5.3 Beta3 was released this week, with Release Candidate 1 planned for October 15th. That’s not much time left to get things wrapped up, so if you can, please do help with testing.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our communities in Russia, Serbia, India, Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, Sweden and Urdu were present during this weeks discussions.

We also had a quick chat about early release knowledge within the communities outside the deeper WordPress developer circles.

Open floor

A discussion should be had on how and when to re-evaluate flagged users (users marked by moderators so that their posts need manual approval before being visible to the general public).

We’ll also look to get some new pre-defined moderator replies written up about flagged users to explain what it is and why the individual was flagged.

Should we look into doing some tag cleanup on the forums? There’s almost 600 000 “unique” tags on the international forums at this time, many of which are watered down variations of others. Tags serve various purposes, and are useful, but they lose their effect when they’re this diversified.

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

As it was a big hit last week, here’s some nice music to relax with this evening:

#weekly-chat

October 3rd Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

As we are nearing the release candidate for WordPress 5.3, it’s time to start thinking about the Master List which we post for every major release.

A separate post will go up regarding it, but we’ve already started collecting some items for it;

  • There is a new screen asking a site admin to confirm the administrator e-mail when they sign in (and once every few months, 6 by default, but this is filterable)
  • There is an ongoing effort to improve contrast and give better identification of in-page hierarchy for elements which may seem odd at first (this may not be included in the final release, as it is being discussed).
  • There’s a new default theme, Twenty Twenty, how to use it, as it’s pretty much all blocks, and some users may find them selves lost at first.
  • There are changes to some block markup, and removal of inline styles in the block editor which themes may need to account for. This will not affect existing content unless the user goes to edit that content.

Feedback is desired on how we should be gathering the items for the Master List, as it can be hard to keep track of blog post comments, one option is to use a GitHub repository, but input is desired on what is best for the majority here.

WordPress 5.3 progression

The release is currently scheduled for November 12th.

WordPress 5.3 beta-2 is available.

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives from the communities in Russia, Italy, India and Spain helped flesh out this meeting with more details, thank you!

Open floor

Although technically an item that came in after the meeting, it seemed like a good one to tack on to the end to ensure we’ve all picked up on it;

I’ve seen a few reports lately of script code (adware, malicious, etc) showing up in people’s post editors and them not knowing where it came from. Investigation in these cases has revealed malware on the user’s own system, either in a browser extension or just on their PC, but not on the server or website itself.

Seems it is becoming popular for local malware to start injecting script code into forms, and the WP editor is just such a form. Such code appears when they make a new post and gets saved with the post, so it will seem to be a server-side hack, but it isn’t in this case.

So, if you see any questions along the lines of “where did this script code in my editor come from”, have them do local PC scans using anti-virus as well as auditing their browser extensions by turning them all off until they figure out which one is doing it.

– Otto, the “O-man”

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

#weekly-chat

September 26th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The community team is looking for input on the user/pro survey over at https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2019/09/20/wordpress-user-pro-survey-11-questions-and-a-script/

WordPress 5.3-beta1 is out (https://wordpress.org/news/2019/09/wordpress-5-3-beta-1/) and can be tested, it also includes the first iteration of the new Twenty Twenty theme, which is looking lovely I might add!

Checking in with international liaisons

Support members from Italy, Netherlands, Russia and India took part in this weeks meeting, although there was nothing out of the ordinary to report, we do love seeing the engagement, so keep up the good work!


As this wasn’t a very eventful week, we’ll be closing off with a musical piece.

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

#weekly-chat

September 5th Support Team Meeting Summary

Announcements

WordPress 5.2.3 was released.

A new forum moderator tool, Stop Forum Spam, has been made available.
This allows moderators, at the click of a button, to check a users online reputation, as in, have they been caught posting spam recently, and if so, how often and how recent.
It’s a helper, but not a definitive tool, in our battle against strange user behavior

The WordPress 5.3 development cycle is now available at https://make.wordpress.org/core/5-3/

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of our wider community from Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, India, Russia and Sweden.

Our Russian friends reported a larger than usual amount of issues on older sites with backported fixes in 5.2.3. @macmanx iterated that although security fixes are backported, it’s even harder to test for all scenarios for them, and this is likely why there may be more of them. It’s also worth noting that 5.2.2 was not a security release, and as such had no backports so it’s not a clean comparison.

Open floor

A reminder that it’s ok for plugin/theme developers to ask their users to email them directly, but if you see an employee of a company (let’s say TransactionBuddy) ask people to email them personally (at let’s say a Gmail address), please let someone know.

#weekly-chat

August 29th Support Team Meeting Summary

This weeks chat is focused on the items from the agenda found here: https://make.wordpress.org/support/2019/08/agenda-for-august-29th-support-meeting/

PHP Version Soft-Bump

Recently a soft version bump was done (where the minimum preferred version is increased without the minimum required version going up).

Anyone that is running PHP 5.6 or below will now see a dashboard widget with a notice encouraging them to update. Hosts have the ability to pass custom values in.

Some figures of the changes of PHP version that users are running are being tracked in this sheet. Data has been collecting for over a week however the freshest data has only arrived in the previous 2 days as there was a roughly 1 week cache to clear through.

It was brought up that some hosts are using the notice to inform users they are using ‘Hardened PHP’ rather than provide upgrade information.

Follow-Up On Last Weeks Modlook Misuse Issue

There has been less misuse this week compared to last week but the problem still persists. Some users continue to use the modlook tag as a way to flag posts they do not like, rather than for violation of forum guidelines.

The plan to deal with it remains the same – educate the user when misuse is spotted. This post is a good resource for helping educate: https://make.wordpress.org/plugins/2019/08/23/reminder-developers-must-comply-with-the-forum-guidelines/

Core Updates

The WordPress 5.2.3-RC1 is available – please test it https://wordpress.org/wordpress-5.2.3-RC1.zip

You can update with WP CLI using this command:

wp core update https://wordpress.org/wordpress-5.2.3-RC1.zip

With no major issues reported against early betas or RC1 it looks like RC2 may not be necessary and a release could be soon.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our Brazilian, Spanish, Italian, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian and Urdu communities took place in this weeks discussions.

If you are a part of a non-English speaking part of our community, we invite you to join our weekly meetings (if you can), as we would love to get to know you!

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

#weekly-chat