Quarterly Updates | Q3 2020

To keep all aware of big projects and efforts across WordPress volunteer teams, each team’s listed representative has shared an update from the start of the year. Listed below are their top priorities (and when they hope for it to be completed), as well as their biggest wins and Challenges. Have questions? I’ve included a link to each team’s site in the headings.


  • Contacted: @nrqsnchz, @ryokuhi
  • Priority: The main focuses of the 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) Team for WordPress 5.6 are: moving the WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards from WCAGWCAG WCAG is an acronym for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines are helping make sure the internet is accessible to all people no matter how they would need to access the internet (screen-reader, keyboard only, etc) https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/. 2.0 to WCAG 2.1 and improving the documentation to include more resources and describe patterns and antipatterns; making the new default theme (Twenty Twenty-One) ready for WCAG AAA; creating a feature pluginFeature Plugin A plugin that was created with the intention of eventually being proposed for inclusion in WordPress Core. See Features as Plugins. to add a tool to generate an Accessibility Statement, as was done with Privacy Policy.
  • Previous Priority: Organization of WordPress Accessibility Day; review of the admin color schemes; creation of alternative views for WP List Tables; improvement of the “Howdy” fly-out menu.
  • Challenge: The team faced challenges in polarizing discussions among members and across teams around design and architecture choices. In addition, the team had difficulty tracking all of the development in the 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. editor.
  • Big Win: WordPress Accessibility Day happened on October 2-3 2020; there was a lot of positive feedback. In addition, the team is taking steps to include new contributors in the team by using the `good-first-bug` label more widely, both on CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. tickets and on 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/ issues


  • Contacted: @schlessera
  • Priority: There’s one outstanding bug for v2.5.0, so that version will be released soon.
  • Previous Priority: The number one priority was getting 2.5.0 released.
  • Challenge: WP-CLIWP-CLI WP-CLI is the Command Line Interface for WordPress, used to do administrative and development tasks in a programmatic way. The project page is http://wp-cli.org/ https://make.wordpress.org/cli/ has also opted into Hacktoberfest, as every year, so I’m hoping that will give a small uptick to current contribution levels.
  • Big Win: All of the compatibility hassles are solved, and tests are green across the board.


  • Contacted: @camikaos, @mariaojob
  • Priority: The current priority is engagement with WordPress users and community members through continued education and connection with Learn WordPress while providing support to our WordPress MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. and 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. organizers with online events.
  • Previous Goal: To facilitate the ongoing education of WordPress through online interaction. 
  • Challenges:  The team’s current challenges include a lack of consistent mentorship for organizers, uncertainty in the future of events, and discernable contributor fatigue.
  • Big win: Soft launch of Learn WordPress.


  • Contacted: @francina, @audrasjb
  • Priority: Continue to work on the 5.6 release.
  • Previous Priority: Successfully releasing 5.5 in August and preparing work for the remaining 2020 goals due in the 5.6 release later this year.
  • Challenge: Some tickets and tasks are delayed multiple times because of low engagement from component maintainers and committers. The jQuery rollout plan seems to be more difficult than expected.
  • Big Win: REST APIREST API The REST API is an acronym for the RESTful Application Program Interface (API) that uses HTTP requests to GET, PUT, POST and DELETE data. It is how the front end of an application (think “phone app” or “website”) can communicate with the data store (think “database” or “file system”) https://developer.wordpress.org/rest-api/. password inclusion and kicking off WP 5.6 female-led release with over 40 women participating.


  • Contacted: @estelaris, @karmatosed
  • Priority: Reviewing tracking systems for design tickets; supporting the release and design cohort with focused work; iterating our processes to support the diverse designers contributing.
  • Previous Priority: Sync triages with releases.
  • Challenge: The ‘firehose’ and stream of meetings. Time Zones continue to be a challenge so things like having alternative meetings are being explored and limiting meeting frequency and times.
  • Big Win: Continuing to improve our documentation, and enabling tasks such as the about page to be easier for the next team.


  • Contacted: @kenshino
  • Priority: Develop an overall documentation information architecture; improve discoverability & usability on all documentation; Refine the “getting started” processes (video and text) for onboarding of contributors; apply the external linking policy in 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 Developer Handbook; Google Season of Docs projects
  • Stretch Goal: We want to research and implement best practices of documentation in other CMS projects.
  • Previous Priority: Keep up with Gutenberg updates and handbook structure and updates.
  • Challenge: A lack of capacity to document our processes; WordPress official documentation doesn’t have proper editorial controls; Cooperation with other teams and staying current to new features; there is no official strategy or target of internationalization of Handbooks or DevHub. 
  • Big Win: We have started a Gutenberg user doc team; two projects were selected for Google Summit of Docs; formed an “Onboarding” team whose task is to develop communication with new contributors; started “Coffee break” zoom meetings once a month where team members can chat and get to know each other.


  • Contacted: @amykamala @mikeschroder @jadonn
  • Priority: Priorities include PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. 8 Compatibility for distributed hosting tests, helping inactive test reporters start reporting again, and improving the process.
  • Previous Priority: The hosting team’s prioritized 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.
  • Challenge: As with last quarter, the biggest challenge is consistency. The team has maintained more inertia this quarter, but there are periods of time that are more and less active, which have made long term projects harder to complete.
  • Big Win: Error reporting with the distributed tests has been improved, making it so that both errors and failures are displayed. This makes it easier to track down what test errors/failures are trending across hosts.


  • Contacted: @webcommsat, @harryjackson1221, @maedahbatool, @miker, @yvettesonneveld
  • Priority: Support 5.6 release marcomms, scheduling internal requests, ongoing communications-related onboarding tasks to support teams and WordPress events; improve understanding of the open source and WordPress to help new contributors get started; support for internal communications.
  • Previous Priority: Supporting the WordPress 5.5 release, marketing the diverse speaker training events, and contributor onboarding support leading to WCUS.
  • Challenge: Planning task delivery with limited advance information on contributor availability and with current circumstances affecting contributors’ hope to contribute regularly due to pressures from the impact of COVID; implementing adaptable workflows that can be replicated for new contributors.
  • Big Win: Improved cross-team collaboration, including wider Marcomms resources for 5.5, WordPress Translation celebration week, Learn WordPress launch and communications, and diverse speaker training; a more pro-active and strategic approach to social media campaigns, such as Online WordPress Meetups and Diversity Speaker Workshops


  • Contacted: @elibud
  • Priority: Port more core blocks, improve 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. and performance, and introduce block transformations before the end of 2020.
  • Previous Priority: Improve the block editor’s performance, add support for more blocks, and enhance currently supported blocks.
  • Challenge: The editor release process still takes a lot of time and attention, the testing infrastructure is not robust enough leading to failures/flakiness, and the 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 upgrade process is still slow.
  • Big Win: Robust biweekly releases with new features, blocks, block improvements, and bug fixes.


  • Contacted: @nao, @ocean90, @casiepa, @tobifjellner
  • Priority: As always, the core translation for the next release is the first priority. The next priority as a global team is to help inactive & under-resourced teams find new contributors and set attainable goals.
  • Previous Priority: Getting 5.5 translated by all active locales.
  • Challenge: More than half of the available locale teams are inactive, and active teams are struggling to process the review workload
  • Big win: Successful Translation Day event; more contributor involvement at the global level & within some of the reactivated/new teams


  • Contacted: @whyisjake
  • Priority: The security team is focused on prepping for the next security release.
  • Previous Priority: The team focused on furthering the work surrounding auto-updates in plugins and themes, and then in 5.6 transitioning that same effort to core auto-updates.
  • Challenge: Right now the security team is trying to get back to a regular cadence of security releases, with the goal to bundle releases with every minor releaseMinor Release A set of releases or versions having the same minor version number may be collectively referred to as .x , for example version 5.2.x to refer to versions 5.2, 5.2.1, 5.2.3, and all other versions in the 5.2 (five dot two) branch of that software. Minor Releases often make improvements to existing features and functionality..
  • Big Win: We are really excited about auto-updates for plugins in themes from WordPress 5.5, and auto-updates coming to WordPress core in 5.6. Application passwords look great too!


  • Contacted: @Clorith
  • Priority: Retaining our volunteers across the international forums.
  • Previous Priority: Our top priority was 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., 5.5.
  • Challenge: The biggest challenge is getting new contributors.
  • Big Win: The whole team has been handling the increase in help requests after WP 5.5, giving replies in a timely manner, and the work to translate helphub on the various languages who have access to it already.


  • Contacted: @williampatton @kafleg @acosmin @acalfieri @aristath @poena
  • Priority: The team will continue to focus on helping theme authors transition to more block-based themes.
  • Previous Priority: Helping theme authors transition to more block based themes.
  • Challenge: Theme suspensions and a lack of plan for the rebuilding of the theme directory.
  • Big Win: Reduced waiting time in the review queue; default theme; a full site editing theme added to the directory.


  • Contacted: @derekherman, @jeffpaul
  • Priority: Update underlying infrastructure from Golang to Node.js to allow for broader contributions and make maintenance more feasible.
  • Previous Priority:  Resolve rate limiting and caching issues to allow v1.0.0 release.  ETA: Prior to COVID-19 we had targeted WCEU, but team member personal and professional delays likely mean v1.0.0 by WCUS.
  • Challenge: Finding contributors with experience with PHPCSPHP Code Sniffer PHP Code Sniffer, a popular tool for analyzing code quality. The WordPress Coding Standards rely on PHPCS., Golang, and Google Cloud Platform to help with enhancing Tide.
  • Big Win: Starting the progress of Node.js foundation build-out.


  • Contacted: @desrosj, @sergeybiryukov
  • Priority: Continuing 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 to ensure that every ticket is accurate and actionable.
  • Previous Priority: We focused on lowering the total number of tickets in Trac to a more reasonable number.
  • Challenge: The two main team members have had their resources consumed by a combination of various active roles in recent releases and new contributor mentoring.
  • Big Wins: Despite considerable involvement in the last few release cycles, the team has managed to keep the overall number of open tickets roughly the same. 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.


  • Contacted: @nishasingh, @casiepa, and @rahuldsarker
  • Priority: Collect the WordCamp videos from organizers and make them public. Correct the speaker’s name and tags of submitted/ published videos.
  • Previous Priority: Remove the video and subtitle backlog so that by September all is published.
  • Challenge: More people join and actively work with us.
  • Big Win: Cleared the pending review videos queue. Within 20 minutes subtitle of a submitted WPTV’s video can be created in English.

With thanks to team leads for their quarterly updates and a special thanks to @angelasjin for her help with this post.