Second call with Matt & Community Summit

Jose, Carolina and I had another call with Matt at the beginning of June to give an update and see what the next steps should be. We presented the summary that we had written about the goals going forward.

There were a things of that Matt mentioned

  • Using the one star reviews as a way to find possible issues with themes like PHP errors. Something like this page but with only one star reviews and specific to themes. This was to help with reporting issues #meta1598 & #709-meta
  • There should be only one team lead who makes decisions.
  • When we mentioned needing to check the licensing of themes, a solution that we were suggested was to add a checkbox to the upload page that the theme author accept that their themes are GPL compatible. This moves the responsibility to the Theme Author from The meta ticket for this is #meta1513.
  • Matt would like to see in the future that theme authors can upload their themes via SVN. We talked about using git instead but this does not seem to be viable option for
  • We discussed about improving the theme test data  and improved previews #meta30 and supporting multiple screenshots #meta969.

Before WordCamp Europe in Paris we had two days for the Community Summit. On the first day in Morning we had time to chat within our teams. The rest of the two day, we discussed the proposed topics in small groups with people joining in from different teams. The summary of these discussions will be published soon on

We had a really good discussion with Mika and Otto from the Plugin review team where we compared our processes and they shared their plans for the future. At the moment the theme and plugin review process is different with each using different tools. Today any improvements that we make only affect on process. As plugin directory was recently revamped the plugin review workflow is being changed to work in the backend. Otto explained this the #themereview channel.

The discussions for the theme review team were between myself, @poena, @sakinshrestha and @ionutn.

Being a team lead is a lot of responsibility and the regular conflicts and long discussions are draining. The conclusion that we came to that the only way it was going to work with having a single team lead is that if they are supported by the theme mods. The theme lead should be able to delegate responsibilities and decision making. If a decision is needed from the team lead then it should be escalated through the theme mods.

The ideas on improving the team meetings have been already implemented.

We tried to come up with some short term goals while the plugin review workflow plugin is being completed and then can be activated for themes too.

Short term goals:

  • Looking at the theme upload process and see how we can improve the whole process. This could renaming the button “Upload Your Theme” to upload the theme and the text on the getting started page #meta1513
  • Working on Documentation:
    • “How to do a code review” project which @thinkupthemes is leading which is related to “Improving the requirements”. This will be a slow process where there will not be a drastic reduction of the requirements which @poena is leading.
    • “How to get started with projects” Some which are listed here.
  • Automation is still a focus point. There is a patch to add the new PHPCS checks to the upload process #meta2902

In the long term we are waiting for the new plugin review process which will replace Trac and automatically bring new features like support for readmes and multiple authors.

#meta1598, #meta2902

Upcoming directory changes

Previously we have encouraged theme authors to use a standard readme file that matches the plugin format.

In preparation for an upcoming change to the theme directory, theme authors will now be able to use the readme files in the same manner plugins do. What this means is that if a theme’s readme file is not valid it will now show properly in the new directory. You can use the validator to check:

Readme Validator

It can be readme.txt or with .txt taking precedence. We have created a sample

There are of course some headers that would not be used so let’s discuss those.

Theme Review Meeting Summary: June 27, 2017

Slack Link

Meeting Schedules

  • Plan to change to 2 meetings per month – one with a set agenda and one with an open floor
  • Other 2 weeks would be dedicated to projects
  • Proposal to have a meeting topics page where people can leave comments.  Need a plan for how to implement the page.

Review Shindig

  • Next review Shindig is scheduled for Saturday July 8
  • The goal of shindigs is to give reviewers the opportunity to be online together, learn and help each other, and build community
  • Hangout topic is planned to be “tips on reviewing themes faster” at July 8 13:00 UTC

Queue Limit

  • Increasing the limit from 1 to 2 themes in the queue was proposed
  • Decision was to wait until the queue is less than 4 weeks before increasing allowed limit.

Community Summit Recap

Plans were made to simplify the review system and update the directory for both themes and plugins.  Plugins will be done first but theme reviewers should be involved with the plugin changes to help make sure the new system works well for both themes and plugins.  Details are not set but likely changes include:

  • Eliminating trac tickets
  • readme.txt support
  • multiple authors
  • SVN access
  • Reviews will not need to be closed, they can stay open until the author updates
  • Reviews will not need to be assigned to tickets and follow up can optionally be done by a different reviewer when the author updates


For the planned directory changes, themes will need to implement a readme similar to the current plugin requirements.  Reviews can start recommending (not requiring) authors add a properly format readme.

  • It can be readme.txt or with .txt taking precedence
  • The format will need to be the same as the plugin requirements
  • There is also a validator available

Moderators can pick any open ticket

This is in preparation for “not having a queue” in the new system. Please pick reponsibly:

  • Don’t just review for your friends
  • Review from the first page
  • Review difficult themes and leave easier ones for new reviews

GPL disclaimer

  • Authors will need to agree to our GPL licensing requirements on upload.


Due to their change in license we are no longer accepting images from Unsplash as of June 9.

  • Themes can continuing using Unsplash images that were in their theme uploaded before June 9, they do not need to be removed or replaced as they were downloaded under the previous CC0 license and can continue to be used as CC0.
  • Theme updates, whether live or in the queue, should not add new Unsplash images that were not previously bundled with the theme before June 9.
  • While you may have downloaded an Unsplash image under the CC0 license, we have no way to confirm that other than it being included in your upload previous to June 9.

Please note that, our decision not to accept Unsplash’s license as meeting our requirements is not solely about whether it meets legal GPL requirements for compatibility.  Our assessment as the theme review team is that it does not guarantee the four freedoms of the GPL because it restricts usage and distribution.

Thanks everyone for a productive meeting

Our next meeting will be July 11 17:00 UTC.  Since we don’t have a page yet for agenda suggestions, please feel free to post in the comments.

Agenda for June 27

This weeks meeting is estimated to take longer than our usual 30 minutes since we have several topics.

Meeting times and agendas

  • Since we don’t have agendas each week and because people are not able to participate every week, the suggestion is to have two meetings a month: one with a set agenda, and one with an open floor.
  • The meetings are estimated to be one hour long, compared to the 30 minutes we have now.
  • We will try to document topics that come up often, maybe on the FAQ page or a dedicated meeting topics page.
  • If you want to lead a meeting please DM one of the Team Leads which dates you are available.
  • The two weeks per month when we don’t have meetings should be dedicated to working on our ongoing projects.
  • We would like to remind everyone to please stick to the topics so that we can have productive meetings.


Our next review shindig is on saturday july 8.

Two themes rule

We suggest allowing authors to have two themes in the queue, up from one. This should then be evaluated after one month.

WordCamp Europe, community summit and contributor day recap

  • New reviewer tool -Trac will be replaced
  • Readme file will be parsed
  • No more queue
  • Reviewers will not be assigned to tickets
  • Tickets will not be closed just because there is no reply within 7 days
  • Tickets will not be closed because of code errors
  • Updates via SVN

Discussion: What can we do now/short term?

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