Proposal: A WordPress Project Contributor Handbook

There have been many times over the past six years where I reviewed new content going into a team’s handbook, and thought that it really should be in a big “WordPress Project Handbook”. It’s generally content around underlying philosophies or commitments to do (or not do) something, but ultimately shared expectations of how we, as contributors, work together, who we want to build our products for, and the WordPress interpretation of modern, 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. best practices.

As I’ve watched many working groups come together to create sections of this handbook, it occurred to me that speaking “on behalf of WordPress contributors” is never an easy task, and certainly not one that is made easier by trying to create a handbook by committee. That doesn’t make a handbook like this less vital, but it does make the responsibility much more heavy.

That level of responsibility is something that falls into my job description, so I will take on the responsibility for a first draft. I plan to include the following sections:

  • Community Code of Conduct
  • 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). ( Policy
  • Diversity and Inclusion Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Code of Ethics

This would be a handbook outside of individual team handbooks, and will grow to include other foundational content (i.e. the GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples. primer, open source leadership resources, etc.).

Next Steps

  • I will coordinate a v1 of this handbook as a starting point.
  • I will share the v1 with former members of those working groups, so that we don’t lose that institutional knowledge.
  • A call for feedback will be posted so that refinements can be made.