Project Health Dashboards

As part of the efforts to assess the health of the WordPress project, a working group is forming to test demonstrations of various tools we could leverage. If you would like to participate, please comment below. We’ll take this to SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at meetings in Sustainability Slack channel.

🔧 Overview of Tools Used for Project Health Analysis

Bitergia Analytics offers detailed tools for analyzing software development and community engagement in open-source projects. It tracks code development activities and community interactions, providing diversity and project performance metrics. We’ve (@harishanker, @peiraisotta, and myself ) selected it as our first trial. We’re trialing Bitergia first because it offers a comprehensive, ready-to-use analytics platform that meets our needs with minimal setup, easing the load to other contributors.

Our one-month demonstration account does not include available additional integrations, such as MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area., Slack, or RSS.

The costs associated with using tools like Bitergia, which begins at $1,000USD per month for the basic plan, should ideally be covered by the WordPress Foundation. Automattic has supported the WordPress project exploration of this tool by covering the service’s current cost through May.

Given the foundation’s role in overseeing and supporting the WordPress community and infrastructure, it makes sense to fund such expenses centrally. Moreover, it would benefit multiple organizations within the WordPress ecosystem, not just Automattic, to contribute to these costs. This collective funding approach would distribute financial responsibility more evenly and reinforce the community-driven nature of WordPress, ensuring that essential tools for project sustainability and health are maintained without over-relying on a single entity.

Bitergia Benefits:

  • Comprehensive GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that 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. Integration: Utilizes GitHub for rich data access, enhancing understanding of community collaboration and task management.
  • Data Focus: Prioritizes GitGit Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Git is easy to learn and has a tiny footprint with lightning fast performance. Most modern plugin and theme development is being done with this version control system. and GitHub data, concentrating on crucial sources that reflect development efforts and community engagement for targeted analysis.
  • Gradual Expansion: Initially, basic GitHub integrations will be implemented, allowing for scalable and manageable data analytics integration and preventing community overload.
  • Future Integration Potential: Maintains openness to including platforms like Slack and Meetup in the future, potentially broadening insights into community engagement and project health.

Bitergia Concerns:

  • Operating Cost: The initial dashboard, with Git and GitHub integration, costs $1,000USD. Additional fees would be incurred to integrate more sources. Approximately $30,000 would be needed to build custom integrations for TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. and WordPress editor activity integration.
  • Tool Dependency: Within the past year, we’ve seen several proposals to leave tools such at Meetup or Slack. Our choice of tools for Project Health and Project Operations will need to work together when evaluating future transitions.
  • Dashboard AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). ( Dashboards can be embedded into team sites or viewed on the primary account. Data can also be exported as CSVs. However, no additional information is available regarding accessibility, particularly for screen readers.

This image shows a Bitergia Analytics dashboard displaying various metrics related to contributions and developer activity within a project labeled "wporg". The dashboard includes multiple sections:

Summary - Showcasing the total number of contributions (214,905) and authors (2,249) involved.
People Leaving - A bar graph indicating the trend of contributors ceasing activity over time.
Developers Becoming Inactive - A list detailing developers who became inactive between 6 and 12 months ago, including their last contribution date and the number of contributions.
Attracted Developers - A bar graph showing the number of new developers attracted over time.
Last Attracted Developers - A list of the most recently attracted developers, with their first contribution date and number of contributions.
Active and Inactive Contributors
 Bitergia Analytics dashboard for WordPress focusing on GitHub Issues. It displays statistics like total issues, submitters, and repositories. The visualizations include a bar chart of issues by status over time, a pie chart of issues by organization, and a histogram of submitters over time."
GitHub Overview

Open SourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. Tools

Grimore and Augur are open-source tools other projects can implement. When reviewing other open-source tools, we would also need to include all the contributors’ efforts to install and configure each test. Linux, ApacheApache Apache is the most widely used web server software. Developed and maintained by Apache Software Foundation. Apache is an Open Source software available for free., and Drupal have created tools themselves that work for their respective organizations. Developing our own tooling would necessitate considerable contributor efforts in areas that aren’t primarily related to WordPress beyond detailing metrics.

Proprietary Tools

  1. Pluralsight Flow (formerly GitPrime): Offers insights into software development workflows to help teams improve productivity and efficiency.
  2. Snyk: Provides security insights into open-source dependencies, highlighting vulnerabilities and licensing issues.
  3. GitInsights is an analytics tool that provides detailed insights into Git repositories. It helps teams monitor coding activity, review patterns, and track project health. It offers contributions, productivity, and codebase evolution metrics to enhance project management and team collaboration.

GitHub Specific Tools

While much of the work, beyond code even, of WordPress is moving to GitHub, not all of the contributions are GitHub-based. The following tools could help raise awareness of the work happening inside GitHub and could be considered extensions but not the primary metrics we seek.

Community Management Tools

Through their comprehensive analytics and integration capabilities, these tools can significantly enhance the management and sustainability of open-source communities. However, they do not focus on the projects within various WordPress teams nor track contributions.

  • Common Room: Integrates various platforms like GitHub, Slack, and Twitter to provide a unified community view, aiding open source leaders in monitoring engagement and identifying active contributors, crucial for sustaining an active community.
  • Orbit: Tracks community relationships and interactions across multiple platforms, offering insights into participation dynamics and retention strategies, essential for fostering a sustainable open-source environment.

🗣️ Community Engagement and Feedback

Our commitment to transparency and community involvement is essential in guiding the evolution of WordPress. We are implementing several engagement methods to ensure everyone in the community can contribute their insights and feedback effectively.

  • Public Forums and Discussions: Join the Make WordPress Sustainability Team meetings on Slack, where we hold text-based discussions about ongoing projects. These meetings provide a platform for sharing informal feedback and engaging with the team.
  • Regular Reviews: We host meetings on Slack, open to all community members. These sessions are crucial for discussing the progress of sustainability initiatives and gathering live feedback from various stakeholders.

👣 Next Steps

  • Gather Feedback: We’re seeking additional tools to consider and trial.
  • Enhanced Reporting: Develop detailed reports and interactive dashboards that can be regularly updated and shared with the community to maintain transparency about the project’s status and progress.
  • Data Integration: Expand our data sources by incorporating Slack, Meetup, and RSS feedRSS Feed RSS is an acronym for Real Simple Syndication which is a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format. This is the feed. metrics. This broader data integration will help us understand all facets of community engagement.
  • Dashboard Implementation: Explore ways to embed the sustainability dashboards directly into the Make WordPress team sites. This implementation will allow all team members to seamlessly access real-time data and insights.
  • Surface Team Priorities: Work on surfacing each team’s priorities on their respective Make WordPress pages. This visibility will help align the community’s efforts and ensure everyone is informed about each team’s key focus areas.

🌟 Share Feedback

Integrating comprehensive analytics and community input is crucial as we advance our sustainability efforts. We will continue to review options and need your feedback in the comments.

  1. What tools do you suggest?
  2. What additional data points should be included?
  3. What else can we do to gauge the health of the project?

Props to @harishanker and @peiraisotta for proofreading.


Recognizing Contributions and Acknowledging Challenges

🔍 Introduction

Table of Contents

Tracking and recognizing all contributions in WordPress helps assess the project’s health by diversifying input, lowering risk through broader engagement, and improving onboarding and acknowledgment systems. This approach aims to keep WordPress robust and thriving for many more years.

Assessing project health is at the source of stats/dashboard initiative.

🤝 Contributions from Various Entities

In the context of WordPress’s “Five for the Future” initiative, various contributors from different professional backgrounds play a crucial role by dedicating a percentage of their resources to sustain and enhance the platform:

  • Companies in Plugins and Themes: These contributors range from developers enhancing functionality to marketers expanding awareness.
  • Webhosts: Their support includes technical assistance, training by customer success teams, and community sponsorship.
  • Individual Contributors: These include freelancers who code, design, and engage in community forums, enriching the ecosystem.
  • Agencies: They contribute through direct work on coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. contributions, community leadership, and organizing local events.
  • Community Members: These include hobbyists and enthusiasts from all walks of life.

🔎 Challenges in Transparent Contribution Recognition

  1. Transparency and Traceability: While contributions such as code commits are visible and traceable, other contributions, such as contributing to the design, facilitating events and meetings, or providing support and commenting on posts, are less traceable.
  2. Quality and Impact Measurement: Assessing the impact and quality of contributions, especially in areas like support or training, is subjective and lacks a standardized measurement framework. This makes it difficult to recognize and reward these efforts officially.
  3. Documentation and Acknowledgment: There is often a gap in documenting the full range of contributions from various entities, especially those that do not result in direct code or product changes. Ensuring that all types of contributions are acknowledged requires a comprehensive system that tracks and values diverse forms of involvement.
  4. Decentralization and Scale: WordPress’s large-scale and decentralized nature makes maintaining consistency and visibility across all groups challenging. This complexity can obscure the decision-making process for many community members.
  5. Informal Structures: Unlike many open-source projects that use formal charters to define the roles and powers of different teams, WordPress operates without such structures. This flexibility allows for dynamic adaptation but can sometimes lead to unexpected changes, such as the recent discontinuation or pivot of the Marketing Team. While this decision may align with broader project goals, it underscores the need for clear communication about team functions and project direction.
  6. Lack of Formal Proposal Processes: WordPress does not typically use Request for Comments (RFCs) or formalized processes for making and approving proposals. This can sometimes result in decisions that, while maybe well-considered by project leadership, lack broad-based input from the community.

👥 Where Does WordPress Happen?

Each team within WordPress uses a combination of tools and platforms, from GitHub for code contributions to Slack for communication. Recognizing where these interactions take place is crucial for any analysis. For instance, the Core team utilizes Trac and SVN for tracking changes and version control, while community events are coordinated through tools like I’ve organized a spreadsheet, WordPress Happens Here, to see where teams collaborate.

Tools exist that can help us aggregate the data we have. In doing so, we can better see what parts of the broader WordPress project need contributions.

Contributions to WordPress extend beyond coding and event management to include diverse content creation and revision forms on The 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. sites, which is crucial for community engagement and project sustainability. Currently, no solutions are apparent to track WordPress creation and revision activity, nor TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. To include these would involve custom development.

📈 Data Points and Metrics

Key metrics1 to consider include the number of commits per contributor, issue resolution times, the bus factor, and participation in discussions across different platforms. These metrics help understand current engagement levels and identify areas needing more support or resources.

👂🏾Community Feedback and Iterative Improvement

Engaging with community leaders and contributors for feedback is crucial to ensuring that the metrics and dashboards developed are truly useful. This iterative process helps refine the tools and methods used, ensuring they remain relevant and valuable while surfacing team needs.

🙋🏻‍♀️ Get Involved

We want your input. In the comments below, answer as many of these questions as you’d like:

  1. What has been your experience when deciding where to contribute?
  2. What type of details are important to the health of WordPress, the open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. project?
  3. Are there areas of contribution that go untraceable or unrecognized?
  4. Do you have any recommendations for tools?

Props to @harishanker and @peiraisotta for proofreading.

  1. See CHAOSS Community All Metrics ↩︎