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

August 22nd Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The Site Health Team did the suggested upgrade version bump for PHP in core this week, and over the next week users will start seeing a dashboard widget if they are using PHP 5.6 or lower, guiding them towards upgrading.

A reminder that when flagging users, a moderation action limiting public display of posts until approved by a moderator, always educate the users on why this was done and what this means, there will also be more direct guidelines on when to flag users coming in the future, as the use of flags is becoming a bit too liberal, at least on the international forums.

And when writing notes on users, make sure to be descriptive enough, as they are available across all rosetta sites, and not everyone can read an archived post for example.

In other news, there’s a lively conversation going on at https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/4696 relating to WordPress profiles here on dotorg.

Increased use of the topic report feature by authors for invalid reasons

There has lately been an uptick in incorrect use of the report topic feature by plugin and theme authors, primarily because they don’t like getting negative feedback from users.

This has started to become a nuisance to the volunteers, and we would like to reiterate that the report feature is for forum guideline violations only. Continued misuse of the feature will lead to us reporting things to the theme or plugin teams respectively.

WordPress Core Timeline Update

WordPress 5.2.3 is scheduled for release on September 4th.

WordPress 5.3 is tentatively scheduled for release on November 12th.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our Russian, Swedish, Brazilian and Dutch 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 ot know you!

Open floor

Some questions are going unanswered, notably relating to the new block editor. Although it’s a shame when someone doesn’t get helped, we’re all volunteers on a community forum, and it’s perfectly fine for some questions to not be answered, we’re all human, and we do what we can when we can, but nobody should feel obligated here.

The Health Check plugin was updated last week, and some of the more notable changes include:

  • Changes to the grading indicator in the header (no longer uses a numeric value, instead it’s an indicator with a string for clarity)
  • A new dashboard widget when you login to give you the site health at a glance
  • A new PHP compatibility checker for plugins in the Tools section

For more changes, the full list is available at https://wordpress.org/plugins/health-check/#developers, and yes, some of the changes in the plugin relating to the grading indicator and Site Health Checks are being tested out and intended for a core release.

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

#weekly-chat

August 15th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The Health Check Plugin has received an update which went live over the weekend between the meeting and this summary going out.

Useful new features are primarily related to the PHP Compatibility Checker, found under the Tools tab.

The suggested PHP version in core is scheduled to go live on August 20th (this is for showing the dashboard widget encouraging users to update their PHP version if they are using version 5.6 or lower).

The docs team is looking for input on what documentation is often needed, but is either missing or incomplete.

So far we’ve informed them that documentation on the new Site Health features (both checker, and fatal error protection) are desired, and that the block documentation needs to be surfaced better as many did not know we had any.

Core updates

5.3 is tentatively scheduled to release mid-November, and a 5.2.3 release has been tentatively scheduled for early next month in the interrim.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from Sweden, Brazil, Portugal, Netherlands and India provided updates on how things are going in their regions.

Open floor

The plugins team gave a heads up that there’s a lot of trademark strikes being handled as companies are becoming more aggressive in what they do and don’t allow, which may cause some noise.

#weekly-chat

July 18th Support Team Meeting Summary

Due to unexpected complications elsewhere, this wound up being more of an informal office hours session than a strict meeting, but we still discussed a few things.

Helper Scripts

The Topic Original Poster and Also Viewing scripts have been moved to the official WordPress.org Support Team repo, which means that all of our helper scripts are now hosted there. The relevant Handbook page has now been updated accordingly.

Breakfix Lessons

We are aware that the Breakfix Lessons are broken, and that folks have found them helpful in the past. The plan is to reach out to their original developer next week, or see if we can get another plugin developer to donate their time.

Please keep in mind that this is all done on a volunteer basis, so while we intend to restore the lessons, we can’t promise that it will be done quickly.

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

#weekly-chat

July 11th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

As you may know, we’ve got a couple tools we use here in support, which are linked to from the handbook, and have been sitting neatly in my GitHub account, which felt… a little bit wrong, so https://github.com/wporg-support has been set up, and the various tools will be migrated over there one by one as they receive changes. If you’re already using existing versions, do not worry, they will automatically update to the new location (you may be prompted to accept the update, but that’s it)

The first tool to be ported is the simple Topic Highlighter, as it needed some bugfixes, and accessibility improvements in the first place, anyone using that userscript will likely have received the update notification about 2 weeks ago, but I thought I should mention it any way to make sure everyone is in the loop

WordPress Core status

There’s no immediate plan for a WordPress 5.2.3 release, although we may see one depending on when the 5.3 release gets scheduled for (there’s no direct plan for that either at this time, but will keep you all posted as soon as there’s any information on either of these).

The most prominent thing for 5.2.3 would be a backport of a fix to the plugin details, which require a bit of scrolling to read if you are using 5.2.2, as they got pushed down about 1-2 viewport heights

PHP Version requirements and recommendations in core

Of interest to the support crew is our PHP version progression roadmap, well I say roadmap but it’s out on a call for input right now at https://make.wordpress.org/hosting/2019/07/01/what-should-the-next-php-version-recommendation-be/

This is for the widget in the dashboard recommending users upgrade, and not the hard minimum requirement to use WordPress, just so that’s mentioned, and it’ll be up for comment until at least this coming Monday, where we’ll look to make a call on what version we will recommend next. Once that call is made it’ll be put up and signal boosted so everyone is aware for a bit before we do the recommendation bump, but currently it looks like we’ll be aiming for PHP 7.1

Open floor

HelpHub i18n: The docs team will be picking two new locales to enable it on, judging by how those two progress, it’ll get enabled for the rest. They will announce what locales and such on make.wordpress.org/docs when things are ready

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

#weekly-chat

June 6th Support Team Meeting Summary

First up, our weekly call to see if there’s anyone new around who’d like to help lead the support group at WordCamp Europe during their Contributor Day (https://2019.europe.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/).

It’s a great way to start getting more involved, the tasks are mainly helping get new folks situated and familiarized with the tools we use and how to navigate the places we help users. Feel free to send @clorith a DM if this sounds like it might be interesting, or you just want more details.

On the note of leadership, if that’s something you’re interested in, we’re looking to do some leadership training within the WordPress community, we’re currently taking input on the documentation and processes, and judging interest, you can find more about that at https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2019/06/03/team-lead-interest-post/

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our Swedish, Russian, Dutch, Italian, Indian, Spanish and Greek communities were present for this weeks chats.

Open floor

Awhile back there was talk of a support appreciation day or something of the sort. Did that ever go anywhere outside of the idea phase?

Just an idea phase for now, although it’s been mentioned a few times since and if anyone wants to help put together a plan here, the support team is looking for volunteers. A Google Docs has been made public to help with collaboration on this.

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

#weekly-chat

May 23rd Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

WordPress 5.2.1 is out, so keep an eye out for any recurring issues that may pop up, if any.

Notable fixes are the cryptography library now working better on 32bit systems.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of the Italian, Serbian, Dutch, Russian, Indian,. Swedish and Greek communities had representatives present for our weekly chats. If there’s anyone from other non-English communities that would like to take part, feel free to join in and let us know, we love to hear from other parts of our community to build bridges!

Open floor

First a reminder that support volunteering shouldn’t be a chore. Please don’t be afraid to take breaks, we’ll all be here when you return, stay healthy.

A question on how to find the support guidelines was brought forth, they’re currently linked to from the Forum Welcome page, which you can find at the top of the form for submitting new topics on all forums. If we find this to need better surfacing a meta ticket will be opened.

It was also brought up that sites with lower activity often forget to check for false-positives in their spam queues, this is an understandable scenario, and will hopefully be remedied by #meta-3954.

A quick note, not mentioned in the meeting, but we would still love to hear from any volunteers attending contributor day at WordCamp Europe 2019, that would be interested in helping lead the support group. No prior experience is required, and it is a nice way of getting experience with both the team in general, and also taking part in a smaller introductory leadership position. If this is you, let @clorith know.

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

#weekly-chat

May 16th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

WordPress 5.2.1 is likely looking at a release early next week (the week of May 20th), to address some of the more time critical items (and any other items that are already done and patched) for 5.2.0

WordPress 5.2.0

We’re not seeing any new trending issues that haven’t already been tracked this past week, smooth sailing is the best sailing!

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives from the Dutch, Swedish, Italian, Russian, Indian, Urdu and Spanish communities took part in this weeks discussions, and we had some exciting input on the reception of 5.2!

Open floor

A custom page is being created to cover the various Site Health elements (WSOD protection, the health checker and such), which will ive under wordpress.org/support.

The site will feature custom design elements for user consumption, and be made available for rosetta site translations.

The Italian community have started a collaboration with the local polyglots team to translate the handbooks.

WordCamp Bristol will be having their Contributor Day tomorrow (May 17th), remember to he kind and helpful as new users with little experience may show up throughout the day!

We’re also still hoping to plan a Support (Appreciation) Day, if you’re interested in taking the reins on this, please let us know in the comment section below, as we would love help with this.

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

I don’t judge people by their worst mistakes.

Natasha Romanova – Avengers: Endgame

#weekly-chat

May 9th Support Team Meeting Summary

WordPress 5.2 was released, and so far a few recurring issues have popped up, but a relatively quiet release so far. The recurring issues have all been added to the core Trac, and will be tackled in an upcoming release of WordPress.

The Master List has also been updated with any relevant steps for users to follow.

As we like numbers, we can tell that it’s been fairly quiet on the forums in terms of new topics, despite the new release, the graph below shows the progression of topics created since March 1st until March 16th.

Graphs can be hard to interpret though, although a visible but vague jump, so here’s the number values:

The week before release we saw 5,178 new topics, with 10,699 replies.
The week following the release, we saw 7,884 new topics, with 17,235 replies.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of the Swedish, Russian, Dutch, Indian, Italian, Spanish, Greek and Urdu communities were taking part in the post-update chatting.

Some are also translating the master list into the various languages, which is a huge benefit, and we thank them for their efforts!

Open floor

@tobifjellner had a trick for any translators working on the health check plugin

If anyone wants to catch up with translations of Health-Check, note that you get a lot of strings for free if you export WP/dev/admin as mo-file and then import into the Health Check plugin.

#weekly-chat