Meeting Notes for Tuesday 14th January 2020

A meeting was held with the proposed agenda.

The following is the recap of the meeting, you can read the meeting transcript in the slack archives (a Slack account is required).


In the past seven days:

  • 289 tickets were opened
  • 287 tickets were closed:
    • 267 tickets were made live
      • 7 new Themes were made live
      • 260 Theme updates were made live
      • 14 more were approved but are waiting to be made live
    • 17 tickets were not-approved
    • 3 tickets were closed-newer-version-uploaded

How to gain new reviewers and keep the experienced ones

Theme Review Team discussed the issue of the lack of reviewers in general. New reviewers often leave because they have no supervision and have no feedback on whether their review was good. The feedback often comes in the admin review, and by that time reviewers lose interest in doing any reviews.

Incentives usually don’t work (as was demonstrated by the trusted author programme).

One idea was to close the reviews to the public. This would lessen the pressure on the reviewer from any negative feedback from the author. But would be hard to accomplish from the technical side.

Another pain point is the number of requirements that have grown over time.

The second idea was to focus our efforts on improving our automation tools as much as possible. For that to happen we would need to get more code-savvy contributors.

The issue that team reps are battling with at the moment is handling authors that try to game the system with multiple accounts.

@aristath proposed a possible system we could impose

  • 1 theme limit – just like now.
  • If an author successfully completes a review, they get the ability to upload an extra theme.

What constitutes a “successful” review:

  • If on the final review we find more than 3 issues that were not covered by the initial review, then it’s a fail.
  • If they do 5 rushed/incomplete/bad reviews, they lose the ability to participate for 3 months in the multi-themes thing.

First, they do a good review, then after the theme goes live and we’re satisfied it was an OK review, they get the ability to upload a 2nd one. If we catch them with multi-accounts after that is in effect, we’d suspend the author for 6 months.

The idea is to try to make authors see what the issues are and in that way educate them to write better code.

We’d also need a way to track the success of such implementation. The team reps will discuss how an implementation of this would look like in more detail and post the plan on the make blog.

Focus areas for 2020

The key focus area the TRT will have to focus on is the full site editing with the coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. editor (GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc.

Changes are already happening and we need to educate and prepare theme authors and theme reviewers for the upcoming changes to the way the theme role will be in the future of WordPress.

One thing is clear: if we want to have any impact, we (the TRT) need to participate actively in the development of Gutenberg.
Participation and contribution don’t necessarily have to be code additions. It can be testing out the new features and providing valuable feedback to the core editor team. This will steer the editor in the way that is favorable to both end-users and theme authors.

An option that we can consider is to try to allow experimental themes to the repository in order to get more valuable feedback.

If you want to contribute, the best way is to discuss and get involved with the Gutenberg tickets labeled [Feature] Full Site Editing.

Other than that you can explore the experimental themes, play with them and offer your insight by opening issues in the repo.

Every contribution, no matter how small, is beneficial.

Other news (open floor)

There is a proposal to start having regular polls so that we can see the public opinion on certain theme review related issues.

We will look into it and we’ll try to get some help into formulating interesting and valuable poll questions.

#meeting, #meeting-notes, #trt