Quarterly Updates | Q2 2020

To help all contributors stay aware of big projects and efforts across WordPress teams, each team’s listed representative has shared an update for the year so far. Below are their top priorities (and when they hope for it to be completed), as well as their biggest wins and struggles. Have questions? I’ve included a link to each team’s site in the headings.

Accessibility

  • Contacted@nrqsnchz, @ryokuhi
  • Previous Priority:
    • We had three main focus for WP 5.5:
      • Accessible color schemes
      • Alternative WP List Tables views
      • Refine/replace the upper-right WP-Admin fly-out menu
    • WP 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) Day online event.
  • Priority:
    • Accessible color schemes for wp-admin: We started work on this but we will not be releasing anything with 5.5.
    • Alternative WP List Tables views: Currently milestoned for 5.5, but still not done yet.
    • Improve the “Howdy” menu: Still open.
  • Struggle: It’s a small team so cross-team collaboration is the key and most of our projects for 5.5 are stuck because we still need help from various teams.
  • Big Win: WordPress Accessibility Day organization team, WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. EI Online Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of https://make.wordpress.org/ There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus. https://2017.us.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/ https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/., and the general team cohesion.

CLI

  • Contacted: @schlessera
  • Priority: The number one priority is getting 2.5.0 released, as it contains lots of compatibility fixes. However, it is currently a moving target as WordPress CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. is having a lot of subtle BC breaks recently.
  • Struggle: Development efforts have slowed due to reduced contributors and committers participating.

Community

  • Contacted: @camikaos@mariaojob
  • Previous Priority: To have provided documentation, resources, and support to the community to support of virtual events while in-person events are not possible.
  • Priority: To facilitate the ongoing WordPress education – how to use it, how to build it, and how to make the community a stronger place through online interaction. 
  • Struggle:  The team’s current struggles include a lack of consistent mentorship for organizers, uncertainty in the future of events, and discernable contributor fatigue.
  • Big win: The community coming together in difficult times to continue supporting the WordPress project with education and outreach.

Core

  • Contacted@francina, @audrasjb
  • Previous Priority: To achieve the remaining 2020 priorities across the two remaining releases in 2020 (5.5 and 5.6) while necessary mentoring work towards an all female release squad in 5.6 continued.
  • Priority: Successfully releasing 5.5 in August and preparing work for the remaining 2020 goals due in the 5.6 release later this year.
  • Struggle: Delaying release of navigation menus 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. and widgetWidget A WordPress Widget is a small block that performs a specific function. You can add these widgets in sidebars also known as widget-ready areas on your web page. WordPress widgets were originally created to provide a simple and easy-to-use way of giving design and structure control of the WordPress theme to the user. screen in core to the 5.6 release in December.  Some tickets and tasks are delayed across multiple releases because of low engagement from component maintainers and committers.  Long-term/regular cross-team collaboration has proven difficult to set up and maintain.
  • Big Win: Shipping automatic updates for plugins and themes, block directory, XML sitemaps, and lazy loading in 5.5 beta 1.

Design

  • Contacted: @estelaris
  • Previous Priority: 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. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ editor and WordPress releases: syncs to release dates.
  • Priority: The Design Team is focused on syncing triages with releases.
  • Struggle: The team is looking to increase the number of team members who can attend core/metaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. triage.
  • Big Win: Figma reorganization and updating components.

Hosting

  • Contacted: @mikeschroder
  • Priority: The hosting team’s current priority is supporting communication between WordPress and WP Hosts to help assure synchronicity between the WordPress Open SourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. Project and hosts that provide WordPress offerings, and improving engagement within the #hosting-community team.
  • Struggle: Consistency. There are periods of time that are very active and then periods of time that lull, which of course is to be expected but that inconsistency makes it hard to really see long term projects all the way through.
  • Big Win: A big win for the team was moving the Hosting Handbook to GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ and opening it up for more contributors and continuing active maintenance and development on the WordPress PHPUnit Test Runner and Reporter framework for distributed automated testing of WordPress releases across multiple hosting providers’ environments.

Marketing

  • Contacted@webcommsat@harryjackson1221@maedahbatool@miker, @yvettesonneveld
  • Previous Priority: Recruiting and training more active contributors to help increase our capacity so that we will be able to contribute more effectively.
  • Priority: Supporting the WordPress 5.5 release, marketing the diverse speaker training events, and contributor onboarding support.
  • Struggle: While a win in many ways, there is a significant number of new joiners to the marketing channel and on tasks since March 2020. Experienced contributors need the time to support them to learn about open source, WordPress, and marketing techniques.
  • Big Win: Efforts towards and during the three days of marketing contribution across different time zones with WordCamp Europe online. Also contributing to initiatives with WCEU for more marketing-orientated onboarding materials and videos.
  • Bonus Questions: The team is focused on improving the ratio between new joiners to the channel and people who pledge to the ‘Five for the Future’ project in relation to the number of consistently active contributors. Currently, 599 people pledge to contribute to the marketing team and we have 1381 people who have joined the channel.

Mobile

  • Contacted@elibud
  • Previous Priority: The team focused on creating the groundwork for implementing new blocks and new features on the block editor. To improve the page template experience (a new way to create pages from pre-defined templates): support for new blocks and improved UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it..
  • Priority: The team has worked to improve block editor’s performance, add support for more blocks, and enhance currently supported blocks.
  • Struggle: Writing workarounds for some ReactReact React is a JavaScript library that makes it easy to reason about, construct, and maintain stateless and stateful user interfaces. https://reactjs.org/. Native issues can take more time than expected.
  • Big Win: Most of the mobile code is moved to the Gutenberg web repository, added support for three more blocks (buttons, pullquote, verse), and added more settings to several already ported blocks.

Polyglots

  • Contacted@nao@ocean90@casiepa@tobifjellner
  • Previous Priority: To increase the number of package releases & top 100 plugins/themes translation completion rate (ETA: ongoing).
  • Priority: The Polyglot team is focused on getting WordPress 5.5 translated by all active locales (ETA: End of August).
  • Struggle: Polyglots are looking for help in improving communication and conflict resolution skills among locale team members through better documentation and/or training.
  • Big Win: Reevaluation of our handbook by simplifying processes (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/. + auto-releases) and rewriting/adding new pages.

Security

  • Contacted@whyisjake
  • Previous Priority: The team’s top priority was to make progress towards the 5.4.1 release while working on some of the larger MFA items.
  • Priority: The top priority for the security team right now is furthering the work surrounding auto-updates in plugins and themes, and then in 5.6 transitioning that same effort to core auto-updates.
  • Struggle: Finding the time to work on security-specific tasks is probably the biggest struggle that the team has had in the last quarter.
  • Big Win: Seeing background updates for plugins and themes is a huge win for the WordPress community. It paves the way for a more secure and stable WordPress ecosystem going into the future.

Support

  • Contacted@clorith
  • Previous Priority: The top priority of the Support Team was forum improvements. There was not a specified ETA as it relied heavily on meta involvement and whatever time was available for specific issues.
  • Priority: Our top priority right now is prepping for the next major releaseMajor Release A set of releases or versions having the same major version number may be collectively referred to as “X.Y” -- for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, and all other versions in the 5.2. (five dot two dot) branch of that software. Major Releases often are the introduction of new major features and functionality., where we hope to have our documentation/Master List ready a few days before the 5.5 release.
  • Struggle: Our struggles have been inter-team communication on enforcement approaches to various guidelines and how to interpret said guidelines.
  • Big Win: We are proud of better engagement during weekly meetings. The last quarters promotions have brought some more active participants to meetings.

Themes

  • Contacted@aristath, @williampatton, @acosmin, @acalfieri, @poena, @dingo_d, @kafleg
  • Previous Priority: Pave the way and ease transition to Full Site Editing and the new structure of themes.
  • Priority: The team will focus on helping theme authors transition to more block-based themes.
  • Struggle:
    • Recruiting reviewers
    • Difficult to plan for an uncertain future.
    • Lacking a clear plan for the rebuilding of the theme directory.
  • Big Win: Reduced wait times for theme reviews, 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 WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party updated, more involved in Gutenberg development.

Tide

  • Contacted@derekherman, @jeffpaul
  • Previous Priority:  The team’s work was to resolve rate limiting and caching issues to allow v1.0.0 release with a realistic ETA of v1.0.0 by WordCamp US.
  • Priority: Resolve rate limiting and caching issues to allow v1.0.0 release. 
  • Struggle: Tide development is dependent on having enough available contributors with Go coding, WordPress, and WordPress Coding Standards experience.
  • Big Win: Stabilizing infrastructure costs with support from Google.

Training

  • Contacted@chetan200891@jessecowens@juliekuehl
  • Previous Priority: Development of a new theme for the Learn site
  • Priority: The Training Team is aiming to resume a consistent meeting as a means of inviting more people and reforming a leadership team that can manage meetings and related logistics. (ETA: End of August)
  • Struggle: An established meeting time has been the current struggle, due to geographic and time zone differences.
  • Big Win: Two new contributors participated in WordCamp EU 2020 contributor day!

Triage

  • Contacted@sergeybiryukov, @desrosj
  • Previous Priority: The top priority was to bring the total number of tickets in TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.https://core.trac.wordpress.org/. down to a more reasonable number, and/or ensure that every ticket is accurate and actionable.
  • Priority: The top priority continues to be decreasing the total number of tickets in Trac down to a more reasonable number, and/or ensure that every ticket is accurate and actionable.
  • Struggle: Availability/resources. The two main team members have had their resources consumed by a combination of various active roles in recent releases and personal time off.
  • Big Win: Despite considerable involvement in the last few release cycles, the team has managed to keep the overall number of open tickets roughly the same (though slightly higher). The team is also proud of the mentoring efforts underway for the 5.6 release squad, educating them about ticket lifecycles and good triaging practices.

TV

  • Contacted: @nishasingh, @casiepa, @rahuldsarker
  • Priority: Remove the video and subtitle backlog so that by September 2020, all are published.
  • Struggle: Finding time and volunteers. COVID brought fewer videos to WordPress.tv, but also less time to work on the backlog. We are slightly increasing the volunteers and actively looking for new ones. Also, finding volunteers who can work on the subtitle, means find the solution (shortcut) to submit the subtitle more.
  • Big Win: New Team reps! Also, improving the publication workflow by using AWS and new volunteers.