Mentor Program 2017

In recent years we’ve seen an increasing number of new authors and reviewers join the Theme Review team. In itself this is fantastic, to see the community growing and thriving as it is. However, we must recognize that reviewing a theme is not a simple task and there is a significant learning curve that needs to be overcome by new reviewers. To aid in the development of those new, or otherwise inexperienced reviewers, we can put in place programs to support the needs of such reviewers. A program which may help meet this need is a potential mentoring program.

The purpose of a mentoring program will be to support reviewers with any questions they have in-ticket. Reviewers can of course currently ask questions in the #themereview channel, however the purpose of the mentor is to support with specific issues for that ticket, as opposed to general review questions. The task of a mentor would be very simple and currently the following is being proposed.

  • Answer with specific questions asked by the reviewer.
  • Perform quick read of the reviewer feedback to ensure it’s broadly in line with expectations (e.g. Are the required items genuinely required?).
  • The mentor is not be expected to review the theme, this remains the responsibility of the reviewer. However, where possible they should attempt to scan the theme for any obvious issues.

In the past, as many of you may remember, there was such a mentoring program in place. However, one of the factors which resulted in its discontinuation was the time commitment needed by mentors to support reviewers. Currently the plan for the proposed program is for mentors to only be assigned to tickets if a reviewer specifically requests a mentor. A single mentor will be assigned to the ticket, however the mentor may themselves be supporting a number of tickets.

Such a program has a number of potential benefits such as:

  • More high quality initial reviews.
  • Fewer reopened tickets.
  • More experienced reviewers and authors over time.
  • Faster review times resulting in a shorter queue.

Have an idea for the mentor program? Please do leave a comment below with any ideas / thoughts you have about potential mentoring program.

Are you interested in being a mentor? Great! Please leave a comment below expressing your interest and we’ll reach out to you directly.

Are you a reviewer in need of a mentor? Please leave a comment below with a link to your ticket stating that you’d like a mentor and we’ll do our best to assign a mentor asap.

Starting a Frequently Asked Questions page

I see a few of the same questions pop up in the #themereview channel. @thinkupthemes brought up the idea to create a FAQ page where we can point reviewers, theme authors when they have questions that we have already answered in the FAQ.

This will also help us find where our documentation is lacking.

We need your help! What are the common questions that you see? What questions do you have about the process that you are not sure about?

Please post any frequently asked questions in the comments below. If you know the answer then including it would be greatly appreciated.

Agenda for 2017 February 7

The Theme Review Team holds a meeting weekly and we encourage all members to attend.

Channel: #themereview | Time: Tuesday at 18:00 UTC 18:00 UTC

Topics:

Social Media

There have been a few questions about integrating social media elements in a theme.

As theme features:

  1. Social media links with icons settings are allowed.
  2. Social media buttons to share posts is plugin territory.
  3. Social media “like” and “follow” buttons are plugin territory.

In the customizer with the theme authors links.

  1. Social media links are allowed.
  2. Social media “like” and “follow” buttons is not allowed.

REST API Theme

We have our first theme that is built in JS and used the REST API called “Foxhound”. @greenshady and @grapplerulrich reviewed it before it was uploaded to Trac. It could not be uploaded directly as would be blocked by the Theme Check plugin. We wanted to check the theme before we made an exception for it. After completing the review process we allowed it to bypass the Theme Check and be uploaded to trac: #39917 where it is now waiting for it’s accessibility review. Once it is passes the accessibility review we propose to set it live.

There is no need to keep it in the queue for 5 months. If we set it live in the near future or in 5 months it will not have any affect on when other themes will go live.

WordPress Stackoverflow Community Promotion Ads

WordPress Stackoverflow is looking for new Community Promotion Ads. @grapplerulrich thought it would be cool if we could add one for the theme review team. What we need is

  • an image
  • a tagline to show on mouseover

The image requirements are:

  • The image that you create must be 300 x 250 pixels, or double that if high DPI.
  • Must be GIF or PNG
  • If the background of the image is white or partially white, there must be a 1px border (2px if high DPI) surrounding it.

What do you think of the idea? Have we got some ideas for the image and tagline then add them in the comments below.

If you have any topics, then please reply to this post and include the topic, along with a brief description of what you would like to discuss.

Agenda for 2017 January 31

The Theme Review Team holds a meeting weekly and we encourage all members to attend.

Channel: #themereview | Time: Tuesday at 18:00 UTC 18:00 UTC

Topics:

Demo & starter content

In December we discussed what restrictions we wanted to apply to demo and starter content but in the last meeting we discovered that some of the ideas could be improved on. @poena has put a doc together to help list all of the pain points that we would like to improve. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m8h9cTMlAq5xsDfWvvclsI54Pk_k0FB6kQVQbgIMZoA/edit?usp=sharing

Priority queue

Priority queue for theme authors who have had less than 5 issues in their last theme review and they would be removed if they have more than 5 issues in a review. The number of theme authors on the list may be small in the beginning but this will be a goal for theme authors to work to and provide additional motivation to make sure the themes are up to standard.

A meta ticket #meta-2456 has been created. What we need now is a list of theme authors who have had less than 5 issues in their last theme review. Please post the candidates in the comments with a link to the last theme ticket.

Example: User: greenshady Ticket: https://themes.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/35636

iframe

We are working on a Sniff to check for iframes. iframes can be a security risk as they can include content from other sites which can be malicious. The question that to be put up for discussion is: Do we want to create a whitelist of URLs that people are allowed to use for iframes? iframes can be used for embedding videos either as demo content or documentation. Are these valid use cases? Are there any other valid use cases?

The GitHub issue with a list of proposed URLs to whitelist: WPTRT/WordPress-Coding-Standards/#109

Improving theme author experience

In the last meeting we discussed the ideas that @ilovewpcom presented.

  • The adminbar with a login link has been enabled for wordpress.org/themes which is great!
  • For the two other issues Meta tickets have been created #meta-2445 and #meta-2444. Now we need people to help out with the implementation.

We should continue to work trying to find ways we can improve the theme author experience.

Social Media

There have been a few questions about integrating social media elements in a theme.

As theme features:

  1. Social media links with icons settings are allowed.
  2. Social media buttons to share posts is plugin territory.
  3. Social media “like” and “follow” buttons are plugin territory.

In the customizer with the theme authors links.

  1. Social media links with icons settings are allowed.
  2. Social media “like” and “follow” buttons is not allowed.

Theme Review Shindig

The next shindig is the weekend of February 4. The livecast will focus on hooks and filters. The livecast will start on Saturday at 14:00 UTC 14:00 UTC.

If you have any topics, then please reply to this post and include the topic, along with a brief description of what you would like to discuss.

Agenda for 2017 January 24

The Theme Review Team holds a meeting weekly and we encourage all members to attend.

Channel: #themereview | Time: Tuesday at 18:00 UTC 18:00 UTC

Topics:

Demo & starter content

In December we discussed what restrictions we wanted to apply to demo and starter content.

  • We define placeholder content as “Anything that is shown that you cannot pull from the user’s install” (10 thumbsup)
  • There must be a capability check so that placeholder content is only shown to logged in users.
  • For starter content the content provided by WordPress core must be used with an exception of images. (9 thumbsup)

Improving theme author experience

In the last meeting we discussed improving the theme author experience. @ilovewpcom has come up with a few suggestions how we can do this.

  • The theme upload process can be improved to reduce the rate of abandonment. Additionally encouraging theme authors to continue to improve on their themes which would decrease the amount of issues spotted on the first review. Themes with less issues would lead to less subsequent reviews and quicker approval times.
  • On the/themes/ page there is no login link. On the Upload Theme page it doesn’t show  your current account. Related Meta Ticket #meta-1050
  • The third UI issue is that even after getting to your account, there is no easy way to see all your current tickets (with themes in the queue). You have to remember or dig through emails in order to get to Trac, and even then you can’t easily see your current tickets which is difficult and confusing. (@grapplerulrich has create a new report [26]  that will show all of the tickets for themes that the user has uploaded.)

@ilovewpcom has come up with simple suggestions that would have a positive effect on the whole authorship/reviewing process. There are 5 simple mock-ups.

  • The red boxes in the first 3 screenshots show what has been added to the currently existing design.
  • The last 2 screenshots are new pages (including a new “Tickets” tab).

PHP7 Support

I propose to help users switch easily to PHP7 for their websites, themes on the w.org repo should be PHP7 compatible. This would mean themes should not have any PHP notices when running in PHP7. This is not be something reviewers will actively needs to test. There will be an automated check with the new Theme Check plugin that can check for PHP7 support. In the meantime you can the PHP Compatibility Checker plugin. The Theme Preview Site is now running PHP7 also.

Theme Review Shindig

The next shindig is the weekend of February 4. The livecast will focus on hooks and filters.

If you have any topics, then please reply to this post and include the topic, along with a brief description of what you would like to discuss.