Theme Review Team Update for 07/08/13



  • 134 new tickets are waiting for review.
    • 51 tickets are older than 2 weeks
    • 83 tickets are older than 1 week
    • 116 tickets are older than 3 days
  • 31 tickets are assigned.

In the past 7 days

  • 95 tickets were opened
  • 165 tickets were closed:
    • 52 tickets were approved. (2 more were approved but are waiting to be made live.)
    • 113 tickets were not-approved.
    • 0 tickets were closed-newer-version-uploaded.


The Theme Review Team has added one more person to the Admin ranks: @esmi will be helping to keep things running smoothly, particularly with the ticket request queue, and managing users with “reviewer” privileges in Theme-tracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub. Thanks, Mel!


In order to help clarify and to keep focus of the Guidelines on both things that are “required” and on things that developers/reviewers need to focus on outside of the automated tools (Theme Check PluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the Plugin Directory or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party, etc.) and the Theme Unit Tests, the Theme Review Codex page has undergone a significant, but cosmetic, change. The Codex page now focus specifically on the over-arching, required Guidelines. Clarification and expounding of the Guidelines have been moved to separate pages on the Make/Themes site, linked from the Codex page.

Note that no Guidelines have changed in content; at this point, we’re merely trying to make the Guidelines easier to read, follow, and understand. This change will help focus reviews on the required elements of the Guidelines, while allowing us to expound/clarify as necessary without distracting from the Guidelines. (Sometimes, some Guidelines need particular explanation or clarification, but trying to maintain all that information in the Codex page had resulted the Codex page becoming more difficult to parse than we would like.)

Note also that this effort is very much a work-in-progress. We’ll be working on clean-up and further clarification. Feel free to blame me for any copy/paste issues.

Moving forward, we are going to continue to work on ways to make the Guidelines as easy as possible to follow, and to automate as much as possible in the review – both to make the review process as easy as possible, and to focus reviewers on those elements not covered by the various Plugins and the Theme Unit Tests.

Review Process

We have recently implemented some significant workflow changes, thanks to help from @nacin and @Otto42, that have added some needed improvements to the review process.

Single-ticket reviews

Previously, every Theme submitted via the uploader would generate a unique ticket. Now, so long as a previous review ticket remains open, any subsequent uploads are appended to the open ticket. This change allows developers to upload Theme revisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision. while awaiting initial review, and also allows developers to upload Theme revisions as part of the review process, as long as the reviewer keeps the ticket open after making comments.

Ticket Priorities

Previously, all tickets were assigned a priority of “New”. Now, tickets for currently approved Themes are assigned a priority of “Theme Update”, tickets for previously reviewed (but not yet approved) Themes are assigned a priority of “Previously Reviewed”, and tickets for never-before-reviewed Themes are assigned a priority of  “New Theme”. This change primarily helps with reporting, trending, and prioritization of tickets.

Reviewer Workflow

Previously, users with “reviewer” privileges could assign themselves (or others) tickets, and could close tickets with a resolution of “approved”, “not-approved”, or “closed-newer-version-open”. This workflow has been simplified. Users can only assign themselves a Theme, by selecting the “assign” option. Once assigned, users can only close tickets with a resolution of either “approved” or “not-approved”.

Ticket Status, Closure, and Resolution

Previously, tickets could have essentially only two statuses: “open” or “closed”. Tickets would be initially “open”, and once reviewed, would be closed with an appropriate resolution. Now, tickets are created with the status “new”. Once a ticket is assigned, the status changes to “reviewing”. If the ticket is resolved as “not approved”, the status changes to “closed”. However, if the ticket is resolved as “approved”, the status changes to “approved”.

Synchronizing Themes in the Theme Directory

Previously, admins had to manage tickets in Theme-Trac and manually synchronize Themes in the Theme Directory admin area in order to cause new or updated Themes to go “live” in the Theme Directory. Now, with the udated ticket closure, resolution, and status changes, all tickets with the “approved” status are placed in a separate queue for the Admins. Once an admin performs a final “QA” review of the ticket, and confirms the review, the ticket is closed, and the status changes to “live”. An automated script runs periodically, and batches all tickets with the “live” status, and synchronizes them to the Theme Directory.

These are the first of hopefully more changes yet to come, to continue to improve the Theme Review process and workflow.

#themes, #trt