Meeting notes from the 11th of June 2019

Yesterdays meeting had a lot of agendas, and it lasted for an hour and a half. A lot was discussed, and some conclusions were made. The following is the recap of the meeting, you can read the meeting transcript in the slack archives (a Slack account is required).

Legacy readme files issue

Some older themes didn’t update their readme.txt file to make it compliant with the proposed unification of the readme format (sample readme).
The idea is to have the readme file similar or same as the plugins have, so that we can maybe work towards making the themes preview more similar to that of the plugins.

Punishing the theme authors seems too harsh so it was agreed to fall back to style.css to keep the backwards compatibility in place, as well as notifying the authors in bulk to update their readme.

Removing the TA program

A big discussion was held whether we should keep or remove the trusted authors (TA) program. One side was adamant that it serves to game the system, as the authors in the TA program get to publish their themes more quickly than the authors not in it. In addition to this argument, another one was that it adds more work for admins who already have a lot on their plate.
Another side said that this keeps the quality of the themes up, and is a good incentive to maintain that quality. Plus, with the new rule that TA must review one theme a month if they wish to have their themes reviewed in the TA queue, the review queue could benefit from it (this is something that we need data to substantiate).

No conclusion was made as to what is the solution for the TA issues, and it was agreed that another discussion should be had regarding this issue.

Removing closed theme tickets to make the names available

A proposal was made to remove closed tickets in order to free up the names in the directory, since once a theme is in the system, the name of that theme is used and cannot be used again (because that could cause conflicts).

Since themes cannot be removed (at least not in a simple way) from the SVNSVN Apache Subversion (often abbreviated SVN, after its command name svn) is a software versioning and revision control system. Software developers use Subversion to maintain current and historical versions of files such as source code, web pages, and documentation. Its goal is to be a mostly compatible successor to the widely used Concurrent Versions System (CVS). WordPress core and the released code are all centrally managed through SVN., and it would cause more work with no real benefits, it was decided that no themes would be removed and that they will remain in the repository.

Limiting links in a theme to Theme URI and Author URI

In an effort to make a directory a better place and make some things like upsells better handled in the themes Justin Tadlock created a repository with a reusable component that will handle customizerCustomizer Tool built into WordPress core that hooks into most modern themes. You can use it to preview and modify many of your site’s appearance settings. upsells.

The idea is to add more such components that would solve some common issues found in the themes, and to provide examples how to use them.

Another repository already exists where some code snippets could be added that would showcase how to correctly program certain parts of the themes.

Volunteers are encouraged to contribute to both of those.

Rule about overly obtrusive upselling is still in effect.

Fully functional themes in the themes repository

Recently there were cases where themes landed in the repository which either had no styling (starter themes), or which required premium plugins to work properly.

It was agreed that this won’t be allowed and those themes will be removed from the repository. Themes should be fully functional without the use of the third party plugins.

Removing .xml files from themes

Some themes provide .xml demo content that can be imported to provide the layout that the theme author created. While this can help users with recreating the layout issue, it opens up a security issue. One such issue is the possibility of an XML External Entities (XXE) attack.
Also, there was a theme which held spammy links inside their .xml file.

In order to prevent that, it was agreed that the themes shouldn’t bundle the .xml files in the theme, but they can link to the .xml file from their site.

This will also encourage theme authors to start looking into utilising starter content for their themes.

Some useful links for starter content can be found below:

How to use starter content in WordPress themes
Using and customizing WordPress Starter content

Creating council/group to judge offences and issues regarding themes

A proposal was made to have a separate council for handling any theme offences. The majority agreed that this is not needed and that the team leads/reps should handle these cases (like they have been doing so far).

Team lead interest

Since current team leads have been running the team for over a year now, new leads should be selected.
Any interested parties for this position should comment on the post by Josepha Haden.

#meeting, #meeting-notes, #trt