March 12th Support Team Meeting Summary

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

General announcements

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.

Pre-defined replies

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!

One who smiles
rather than rages
is always the stronger.

#weekly-chat

20 Feb 2020 Meeting Notes

WordPress 5.2

Beta 2 is out as of yesterday.

See the details at https://wordpress.org/news/2020/02/wordpress-5-4-beta-2/.

The Beta Tester plugin has had an update to make beta testing easier and more obvious. RC (Release Candidate) 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 widget, 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:

International Liaisons

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.

Open Floor

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.

Joy (@joyously) wanted to share this link as a good read: https://www.welcometothejungle.com/en/articles/btc-discussion-open-source-maintenance

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.

#weekly-chat

13 Feb 2020 Meeting Notes

WordPress beta 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/)

International Checkin

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 WordCamp 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.

Open Floor

Joy (@joyously) Requested feedback about a Core 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.

#weekly-chat

January 30th Support Team Meeting Summary

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

General announcements

WordCamp Asia 2020 is coming up, and with it two posts for the community have been put up which are good to look at.

Forum ticket bug scrub

As we did last year, we’ll be having a bug scrub of meta 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?

Bug scrub will be at Tuesday, February 2, 2020, 17:00 UTC in #forums on Slack. (a Slack account is required)

If you want to get an overview ahead of time, or just get a head start, feel free to view the component list at https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/query?status=!closed&component=Support+Forums

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!

Open floor

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.

#weekly-chat

January 23rd Support Team Meeting Summary

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

Additions to the guidelines

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 plugin 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!

#weekly-chat

January 16th Support Team Meeting Summary

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

General announcements

We’ve changed up the agenda post (and summary!) to give it a little bit of color and fun.

That was a side-effect, the primary focus of the new approach is to make the agenda post more accessible to potential new users, by being more detailed about agenda items we remove the veil of mystery.

Goals for 2020

Better recruitment is a recurring theme, even across rosetta sites, how this will happen isn’t fully fleshed out yet, but there are exciting ideas being shared and if anything comes to fruition it will be shared in depth.

Look to onboard more people familiar with the new block editor, this is an area which is lacking as very few individuals have experience with it that go deep enough for support related tasks.

The idea of a support day, much like the already established translators and accessibility days was brought up as a potential goal to achieve for the year.

Many of the rosetta sites have also set translations of the support handbooks or HelpHub as their goals for the year, which should be exciting!

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of the support community from the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Bangladesh and Spain took part and helped us flesh out some goals moving forward.


In closing this week, some inspirational words from Moana, don’t be afraid to try that thing which calls you, who knows how far you’ll go!

#weekly-chat

January 9th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

No particular announcements this week, as we’re coming off the holiday downtime, but a reminder of ongoing discussions relating to the validity of reviews and spam prevention. Watch for relevant meta tickets relating to this.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our international community took part this week, and we saw them joining from Russia, Sweden, Spain, Bengali and Greece. And yes, there is a new face in there, I love seeing new attendees, everyone is welcome, and we’re always interested in hearing how things are going outside of the international forums, it helps provide a broader understanding of our users, and encourages us to look at things from other perspectives.

Open floor

The pre-defined replies that are recorded in the support team handbook have gotten an update.

A remark on recurring issues relating to errors when saving posts was brought up, some discussion shows that this primarily happens to sites with WP_DEBUG enabled, as this makes the JSON response from the save-function become invalid when it contains error notices and similar, often caused by plugins or themes.

#weekly-chat

December 12th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The bbPress slowdowns have, for the most part, been resolved right now (some moderation tasks may still be slow at times, this is being looked into, but for the average user, it should be fine), and notifications have been re-enabled on the international forums (they were disabled for a period due to incorrect recipients).

Health Check

Our favorite support tool is the Health Check plugin, but it has some drawbacks (or amazing features, depending on how you look at it); It currently supports WordPress 4.0 or higher, that’s a lot of versions to account for when working on the plugin.

There’s a request for input on thoughts relating to splitting things out, keeping a “Legacy Health Check” for those users on older versions of WordPress (for example, many folks actually use it before updates to help check that they can upgrade without major issues).

The details on the proposal can be seen at https://github.com/WordPress/health-check/issues/365, and input can be left there, or in the comments below.

There many be many pros and cons to this, the two major ones brought up so far is that yes, it provides better parity with core in an up to date release, with less restricted by older core versions, but it may be confusing to have two similarly themed plugins/names.

Checking in with international liaisons

We had lovely community members from Sweden, Russia, Netherlands, Urdu, Brazil, India, and Italy (and possibly other spaces who did not get a chance to say hi this time), and some of them stepped up and helped out a new member get situated with the Bengali forums, so thank you @fierevere and @tobifjellner 🐱‍🏍

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

Feeling overwhelmed? Walk away, you are a volunteer, and don’t need permission to take breaks or to walk out on any situation you are no longer happy or comfortable with.

#weekly-chat

December 5th Support Team Meeting Summary

We had a short and quiet meeting this week, folks are busy preparing for holidays and such, so this isn’t a surprise at all 🙂

Announcments

WordPress 5.3.1-RC1 is scheduled for this week, on December 11th.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from some of our international parts of the community, including Russia, Italy, India, Brazil, and Sweden, were available during this weeks meeting.

Open floor

Slowness on the forums

A question about the bbPress update, and current slowness on the forums was brought up.

The current slowdown on the forums is relating to missing caching for certain actions. This is notably the case when moderators perform certain tasks, like approving pending posts, or when users post replies to topics.

The bbPress team are aware of the issues, and will be looking into this.

HelpHub role assignments

There’s currently a limitation in HelpHub, which means it’s not possible to add a HelpHub editor or manager to someone who has not previously participated in the forums in some way.

A ticket, #meta-4890, was made for this and can be watched for future updates on the matter.

As has become customary, our weekly musical marvel is by the wonderful Sigrid.

#weekly-chat

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