Meeting notes from the 9th of July 2019

The meeting started with a quick round of updates. There is still no resolution about the trusted authors (TA) issues.
After that we started discussing the proposed meeting agendas.

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

Docs team discussion about the theme developer handbook

There was a discussion on the #docs slackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel about handover of the theme developer handbook to the TRT.
The idea is to have a single responsible person from the TRT team that will take care of the developer handbook for the themes. This means updating it with new requirements and keeping it up to date in general.

It was agreed that the person in charge of the theme developer handbook will be @acalfieri, who is an experienced reviewer and has been an active member of TRT for a long time.
Of course, if there will be interested volunteers to help you can always ask in the slack channel.

AccessibilityAccessibility 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). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility) (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). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility)) requirements

In the accessibility team meeting it was proposed to add some of the requirements from the themes which use accessibility-ready tag to standard themes in the repository.

The emphasis is on making the themes easier to use, especially for the people with certain types of disabilities.
The proposal included incorporating the keyboard navigation, control, skip link, and form labelling requirements from the existing accessibility-ready requirements.

This is the first step in making all themes in wordpress.orgWordPress.org 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. https://wordpress.org/ repository accessible.

The changed requirement wouldn’t encompass all the accessibility-ready requirements to be present on the standard themes, nor would it automatically make them accessibility-ready, but by incorporating one by one requirements, through longer time period, the idea is to encourage theme authors to write accessible themes out of the box.

It was agreed that the skip links requirement from the accessibility part will be moved to the required section of the review handbook, and that the team will implement new a11y requirement every two months. This will give theme authors enough time to make their themes more accessible.

Removing Demo Content from the theme

It was already agreed with removing demo content files (xml, json or some other format) from the themes. But there needs to be alternative to that.

It was agreed that the requirement should be updated with following to make it more clear:

Importing or Downloading:


Themes are not allowed to import content to a user’s site.
Themes are not allowed to link directly to an XML, JSONJSON JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a minimal, readable format for structuring data. It is used primarily to transmit data between a server and web application, as an alternative to XML., ZIP, or other file for direct download or import.
Themes are not allowed to bundle demo content via an XML, JSON, ZIP, or other file.

Also, a meeting will be held in the #design slack channel about updating the wordpress.org previewer content which can then be used as a starting content for the developers to develop their themes.

Theme generated notices

All the notifications generated by a theme should use the admin_notices APIAPI An API or Application Programming Interface is a software intermediary that allows programs to interact with each other and share data in limited, clearly defined ways. and follow the CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. design pattern. They must be dismissible. Everything wrapped in the admin notice needs to follow Core UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing. design for the notices.

This will be a requirement on all the themes.

Open floor discussions

There was a mention of the tool that can help reviewers review a theme – WPTRT-Cloud-Launcher. It’s a Chrome extension that launches a cloud instance that comes pre-configured with the theme and theme snifferTheme Sniffer Theme Sniffer is a plugin utilizing custom sniffs for PHP_CodeSniffer that statically analyzes your theme and ensures that it adheres to WordPress coding conventions, as well as checking your code against PHP version compatibility. The plugin is available from the plugin directory and Github. Themes are not required to pass the Theme Sniffer scan without warnings or errors to be included in the theme directory./check plugins installed.

#meeting, #meeting-notes, #trt

Meeting notes from the 25th of June 2019

The meeting started with a quick round of updates, mostly about the WCEU recap. After that we started discussing the proposed meeting agendas.

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

Trusted Authors (TA) issues

First on the agenda was the discussion of the TA issues. There was a question of the quantifiable improvements from the TA program.
TA started on 30th of April last year, so having some data about it would be useful way to base decisions on.
Besides shorter queue, and more themes being set live (in the TA queue), the quality of code hasn’t really improved (that we know of). As mentioned by one of the leads

The improvements I have seen so far are faster throughput for SOME authors and slower for others. Code quality of non-TA has remained consistent. Code quality of TA has remained consistent too (but functionality and originality dropped).

There was a good point raised during the meeting, about pushing the authors to do more, but not better, since the program focuses on the quantity of themes, rather the quality. This can impact the originality and quality of the themes.

Underlying issue is that the review process in it self is too complicated, which affects the queue length.

Also there is no data to support either closing the TA or not. The discussion mostly went back and forth about what are pros and cons of the TA program without any conclusion

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. upsell status

The repository with the customize section button was created and is currently being worked on – it’s working as is, there are some possible improvements in the build process that could be added.
This repository example doesn’t have to be used for upeslls exclusively. The 1.0.0 version should be out this week.
What we need is a code review to make sure everything is ok to be used in themes.

Another project that was started was the PHP autoloader for the people not using Composer to be able to use the customize section button in their themes.

Some members were worried how to use the above code without the use of Composer, but it was explained that the code can be copy/pasted – authors can download the ZIP, use GitGit Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency. Git is easy to learn and has a tiny footprint with lightning fast performance. Most modern plugin and theme development is being done with this version control system. https://git-scm.com/. clone, Git sub-module, or Composer dependency in their themes.

Removing child themeChild theme A Child Theme is a customized theme based upon a Parent Theme. It’s considered best practice to create a child theme if you want to modify the CSS of your theme. https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/advanced-topics/child-themes/. queue

The advantage of the child theme queue is that those themes get set live pretty fast, and this makes authors submit more child themes.

A lot of people were for removing the child theme queue, as the requirements regarding them are not clear enough, and it makes the regular queue longer.

The conclusion to close it wasn’t reached, and the leads mentioned that they will reach a conclusion based on the provided discussion.

Final remarks

In the end, one of the theme review leads recommended that we try halting the TA queue until the final queue gets cleaned, because if only TA themes get set live, this puts the non TA authors in a bad position.

We will try the idea that if final queue has more than 50 themes then TA approvals are halted.

#meeting, #meeting-notes, #trt

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 wordpress.org released code are all centrally managed through SVN. https://subversion.apache.org/., 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

Meeting notes from the 28th of May 2019

Yesterday’s meeting didn’t have fixed agendas, but the meeting attendees touched on several subjects.

WPThemeReview issues

It was agreed that the agenda and a post will be made regarding WPThemeReview standards issues flagged as input needed.
@dingo_d will go through that list and make a post with quick explanation of each issue so that they can be categorised and prioritised based on the releaseRelease A release is the distribution of the final version of an application. A software release may be either public or private and generally constitutes the initial or new generation of a new or upgraded application. A release is preceded by the distribution of alpha and then beta versions of the software..

Pixelgrade issue

@greenshady agreed to take a look at Pixelgrade theme that had some issues with pulling the plugins from the external source (not wordpress.orgWordPress.org 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. https://wordpress.org/).

Additional agenda discussion

@greenshady also recommended that we put several other things on the agenda, namely

  • Possibly disallowing widgets in themes.
  • Giving existing TA’s new brand TA without applying with 2 live themes since only one theme is allowed from all accounts anyway
  • What is the team’s goal, and how the team is run. There are no agenda posts on the blog, no meeting notes, no communication besides the occasional dictate of a requirement. (As if it’s not a team, but a couple of individuals)

Disallowing widgets in themes

The one subject that was discussed was disallowing widgets in themes.
As the widgets are planned to be turned into blocks, this raises the question of loosing user content on theme switch (which is one rule that TRT is abiding by). Also, if TRT would allow widgets in themes, one could argue that custom blocks could also be added in the theme (which is forbidden for the same reason – loss of content on theme switch).
No agreement was made but this is something that should be discussed and a decision should be made about it soon.

TRT management issues

Another subject that was discussed is the management of the TRT. @greenshady mentioned that he knows that people’s lives get busy at times but that we need to have a fixed agenda for the meetings if we are to be productive. Also he mentioned that it would be a big improvement if the team leads would put regular agenda and meeting notes, so that people can keep up if they missed or couldn’t attend the meeting.

@poena mentioned that there was a suggestion to send team leads to leadership education, while @djrmom mentioned that we need more delegation (people in charge of different part of TRT issues like TA program, or approving themes). Also a ‘team manager’ role was mentioned as someone who could guide and manage the leads and the decisions in TRT.

@greenshady also wanted to emphasise that he is not dismissing the work the current leads do (or past leads), but that it’s just the reality of the situation. Most of us in the TRT are developers/designers and not managers, so we are lacking in that regards.

After meeting ended @dingo_d gave his opinion the leadership. The thing he saw as lacking was a clear quantifiable goals with due dates and delegation of people willing to work on them.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives (A Slack account is required).

#meeting, #meeting-notes

Meeting notes for 2018 April 24

Meeting [ link ]. A Slack account is needed to view the archives.

Items discussed:

  • acosmin and williampatton will be joining the current Leads team (rabmalin and thinkupthemes) for the next tenure. Welcome acosmin and williampatton 🙂
  • After Changes in Theme Review Process, review queue has been significantly reduced to 2-3 weeks.
  • Reviewer badge has been assigned for new reviewers.
  • There was brief discussion about incentive program but no decision has been made.
  • Confusion around max 1 theme per month rule was discussed.

#meeting-notes