Next Steps on Themes and Reviews

One of the action items from our call with Matt, was to come up with a list of non-negotiable guard rails for what could prevent a theme from being added to the repo. After some good discussions with him, I have a short list of guard rails but with the clarification that they shouldn’t prevent authors from submitting themes. Rather we should use the list to flag themes that have/don’t have each thing and show them in results accordingly. Likely exceptions to this would be proper licensing, adherence to fair use of the trademark, and a ban on child pornography or other images of anyone unable to provide consent.

To be very clear about the future state he’s asking for, let’s restate it.

Where we are headed

The human moderation process occurs post-commit and primarily for reported issues/spot checks. User preferences and experiences using a theme will drive the overall satisfaction ratings. Automated checks will assign quality or +/- flags for specific features and standards we wish to uphold. Those will all be weighted in an algorithm that shows preference for themes that meet the criteria.

For more context on the thinking behind this plan, check out the notes from Matt’s call with the Theme team. There are notes about what isn’t working, where others are succeeding that we could learn from, and a shared desire to host more themes in the 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. theme repo. 

What the team needs to get there

This concept is very different from where we are now, so it will be complex to accomplish. That being said, I think we can get most of this work managed by early 2022.  

What does the team need right now?

  • Access to their environment
    • @dd32 has already gotten this settled for @williampatton, but I don’t know if that’s a workaround or a sustainable solution. If it’s sustainable, we should help others get access as well.
  • Access to moderators tools
    • We assume this is the same moderator tools available to Support and Plugins, but it’s worth double checking. If yes, let’s ask for orientation materials and access. If no, let’s ask what it would take to replicate the system for Themes.

What is needed to get to post-commit checks?

  • Automated security checks (currently in progress with Dion)
  • Automated code scans (currently in progress with @dufresnesteven)
  • List of items to flag on themes (quality tags)
    • 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. ready
    • Secure code
    • Up to date within the past 2-3 major releases
    • Translation ready
    • A11yAccessibility 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). ( ready
    • Trademark usage
  • An algorithm 
  • A y/n voting mechanism for (user trust tags)
    • Is this theme up to date?
    • Are visual parts of this theme broken?

I’d like your feedback!

So far, there have been a few concerns raised about how we best move forward. I have listed them below, and welcome any thoughts about what we can change or create in our processes. If you have other thoughts about what I’ve missed, please also share those in the comments!

  • How will we help new authors feel confident in how to build themes?
  • How will we account for automated checks on blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. themes?