Big Picture Goals 2021

During 2020’s State of the Word, Matt reminded us of our overall roadmap for 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/. Much of that roadmap is on a multi-year timeline, and it can be hard to know what’s next with such a distant North Star. This post contains some near-stars for the year, but there are some things you should know before you read them.

These are intentionally broad

There is more to WordPress’ success than the code we write, or the 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. freedoms we share. While the goals below are focused on shippable projects, I understand that there are supporting contributions (translations, testing/triage, 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), support, etc) that are part of these project goals.

These are intentionally incomplete

There are always small projects that arise over the course of our year. And there are big projects that we move forward in pieces over the course of multiple years. This project is too big for me to see everything all the time, and I rely on the information from team reps and the vision from project leadership to help navigate any surprises.

Just because a project isn’t written here, doesn’t mean it is forgotten or has no value to our overall success.

The Big Picture

  1. Full site editing: Bring into the Gutenberg 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, and subsequently WordPress CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress., the ability to edit all elements of a site using Gutenberg blocks. This will include all in-progress features designed to help existing users transition to Gutenberg as well. Scope/Timeline: MVPMinimum Viable Product "A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development." - WikiPedia in the plugin by April 2021, v1 in Core by WordPress 5.8.
  2. LearnWP: Enable WordPress skills-leveling by providing workshops, pre-recorded trainings, and self-serve learning opportunities on learn.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/Scope/Timeline: regularly publish new workshops and lesson plans, maintain a high pass rate on workshop quizzes to establish learner success and comprehension.
  3. Contributor tools: Decrease the manual overhead of maintenance work for teams through better tooling. Scope/Timeline: Varied, and pending additional testing.

How can you help?

As I mentioned above, I know that our code isn’t the only measure of our success. If you already know what sort of contribution you’d like to make, you can check out this list of teams (with links to their community sites) and team reps. If you’re not yet sure, here are the areas that each team falls into:

  • Development, Technology, Code: Core/Editor, Mobile, CLICLI Command Line Interface. Terminal (Bash) in Mac, Command Prompt in Windows, or WP-CLI for WordPress./Tide, Security
  • Design, Product, 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./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, Accessibility, Test, Triage
  • Community, Extending WP, Education: Community, Themes, Plugins, Polyglots, Training
  • Contributor Experience: 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., Docs, Hosting, Privacy
  • Communications: Marketing, Support, WPTV

A Note on Specialized Groups

There are a couple of coordinated efforts that provide essential support to the progress of multiple teams.

  • Triage: The triage effort happens across multiple teams and has two purposes. One purpose is to make sure tickets are sorted and have all the elements needed for someone to work on them. The second purpose is to determine priority. Not everyone has the information to set priority, but anyone can help sort and replicate reported bugs!
  • Test: The testing effort also happens across multiple teams and has two purposes. One purpose is to try out features before they get to our users. The second purpose is to bring high quality feedback into our process early. A lot of that coordination happens on make.wordpress.org/test, but there are also frequently calls to participate on make.wordpress.org/core.

#goals

An Update to make/news

Historically, 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//news has acted as means of highlighting releases, contributor stories via the People of WordPress series, and monthly overviews of the project’s ecosystem. I am increasingly aware that with in-person events paused, other means of connecting, relaying information, and offering learning opportunities are needed. 

With that in mind, keep an eye out for additional content on /news that aims to provide insights into the WordPress OSS philosophy as well as tactical 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/ skills. One such effort I introduced at the beginning of this month (February 1, 2021), is the WP Briefing podcast series. Another upcoming addition will be a monthly series of Gutenberg tutorials. 

The Gutenberg tutorials will be a series of monthly tutorials targeted for /news readers that illustrate Gutenberg how-tos. @joen will be kicking-off this initiative later this month with a look at reusable 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. use cases, tips, and tricks. These tutorials are open to the community, so if you want to help make this project a success, sign up to either create a tutorial or offer a topic, on this planning document.

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.

Accessibility 

  • 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

CLI 

  • 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.

Community 

  • 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.

Core 

  • 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.

Design 

  • 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.

Docs

  • 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.

Hosting

  • 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.

Marketing 

  • 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

Mobile 

  • 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.

Polyglots 

  • 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

Security 

  • 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!

Support 

  • 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.

Themes

  • 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.

Tide 

  • 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 PHPCS, Golang, and Google Cloud Platform to help with enhancing Tide.
  • Big Win: Starting the progress of Node.js foundation build-out.

Triage 

  • 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.

TV

  • 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.

#quarterly-updates

Quarterly Updates | Q4 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, as well as their biggest Wins and Challenges. Have questions? I’ve included a link to each team’s site in the headings.

Accessibility 

  • Contacted: @sarahricker
  • Priority: The team’s focus is media; docs and 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) patterns; prepare for phasing out the accessible view in the widgets screen; increased accessibility-ready tag reviewers for the themes team.
  • Previous Priority: The main focuses of the Accessibility Team for WordPress 5.6 were:
    • 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;
    • Checking the accessibility of the new 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 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/.
  • Challenge: There are limited team members available for the release, which contributes to the minimum number of tickets completed.
  • Big Wins
    • WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards from WCAG 2.0 to WCAG 2.1 have been updated in the handbook + the pattern library is well underway! We expect to continue contributing to the library throughout 2021.
    • The Twenty Twenty-One theme is not only beautiful but is also the most accessibility-ready theme ever delivered thanks to great inter-team efforts and communications. 
    • Accessibility Statement Feature plugin is out in the wild for volunteer testing and an advanced version of the 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 is also underway. This will eventually be included in the WordPress plugin repository and coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress..

CLI 

  • Contacted: @schlessera
  • Priority: Migrating the requests library to the WordPress 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/ repository.
  • Previous Priority: Resolution of one outstanding bug for v2.5.0.
  • Challenge: Contributions are low compared to pre-COVID levels; 2021 will see some experimental formats to find new ways to attract contributors. 
  • Big Win: All critical bugs have been resolved for the 5.7 release, PHP8 compatibility has been tested and fixed for all breaking bugs that have been found, testing and deployments have been transitioned from Travis CI to GitHubs Actions. 

Community 

  • Contacted: @camikaos, @mariaojob
  • Priority: To define 2021 team goals.
  • Previous Goal: The team’s previous priority was engagement with WordPress users and community members through continued education and connection with Learn WordPress while continuing to support 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.
  • Challenges:  As we continue into a year of uncertainty for in-person gatherings, we need to find greater ways to support WordPress contributors and users online.
  • Big win: Two new team reps were elected and have begun their term: Welcome to Kevin Cristiano (@kcristiano) and Timi Wahalahti (@sippis)!

Core 

  • Contacted: @francina, @audrasjb
  • Priority: Set-up and ship WordPress 5.7.
  • Previous Priority: Complete and ship WordPress 5.6.
  • Challenge: The team struggles with working with a small number of core committer and component maintainers. 
  • Big Win: Shipped WordPress 5.6! Another win is the revival of the Week in Core blog.

Design 

  • Contacted: @estelaris
  • Priority: The team is focused on moving old TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.https://core.trac.wordpress.org/. tickets and PRs forward.
  • Previous Priority: Reviewed tracking systems for design tickets, supported the release and design cohort with focused work, and iterated on the process to support the diverse contributing designers.
  • Challenge: It is still a challenge to engage new design contributors. 
  • Big Win: With @chaion07 joining as a team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts., APAC meetings are now happening.

Hosting

  • Contacted: @amykamala
  • Priority: The team’s priority is to support Hosts in transitioning infrastructure to WordPress 5.6, with a focus on 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, test reporting and Hosting team infrastructure.
  • Previous Priority: Priorities included PHP 8 Compatibility for distributed hosting tests, helping inactive test reporters start reporting again, and improving the process.
  • Challenge: It has been a challenge to update the PHP Runner and Reporter to support PHP 8 Compatibility.
  • Big Win: Q4 saw expansive Handbook additions and improvements to facilitate better communication between WordPress and Hosts.

Marketing 

  • Contacted: @webcommsat, @yvettesonneveld, @meher, @maedahbatool, @harryjackson1221, @mikerbg, @OGlekler, @lmurillom, @nalininonstopnewsuk
  • Priority: Continue to support the Learn WordPress resource; assisting Polyglots with materials to encourage and sustain contributions; establish a series of contributor introductory training sessions and ongoing work on contributor event marcomms materials; and training for team members.
  • Previous Priority: Supported the 5.6 release marcomms, scheduling of internal requests, ongoing communications-related onboarding tasks to support teams, and WordPress events. 
  • Challenge: Encountered challenges included helping contributors deliver and plan their promised contributions to be sustainable and communicate more with others for collaborative tasks; assisting new contributors who may get stuck due to unfamiliarity with 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., and/or marketing techniques.
  • Big Win: Supported greater cross-team collaboration and delivery on multiple projects through focusing on developing internal communications, Learn WordPress for example; consistent WordPress Meetup promotions and assistance to organizers; further additions to contributor onboarding information and videos; co-ran WordPress Translation four week celebration; and continuing cross-team collaborations for release promotional materials.

Meta

  • Contacted: @tellyworth @coffee2code
  • Priority: Focus on handling incoming tickets faster, and maintain the overall level of open tickets.
  • Previous Priority: Reduced the volume of open tickets and supported the released 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. Directory.
  • Challenge: There are many open tickets, often old, comprising mainly esoteric requests and feature requests for large and medium projects.
  • Big Win: Launched the Release Confirmation feature for plugin developers.

Mobile 

  • Contacted: Matt Bumgardner (@bummytime
  • Priority: Port core blocks to reach 100% coverage on non-FSE blocks.
  • Previous 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.
  • Challenge: Multiple subprojects run in parallel, delaying each other.
  • Big Win: Huge performance improvements, automation improvements, and more blocks ported!

Polyglots 

  • Contacted: @nao, @ocean90, @casiepa, @tobifjellner, @evarlese
  • Priority: Based on the data we obtained through our recent survey (Polyglots Translation Research), identify areas where we can optimize contributor workflow.
  • Previous Priority: The team’s priority was core translation for WordPress 5.6 release. The secondary priority was to help inactive & under-resourced teams find new contributors and set attainable goals.
  • Challenge: Translation and review workload continue to be a big struggle for teams, as well as confusion for the process & communication method to ask/receive translation feedback. 
  • Big win: The team completed its first Polyglots Translator Research to help with identifying struggles and prioritizing solutions for current locales; wins for locales in 2020 were shared in the end-of-year recap, including 57 locale packages released for WP 5.6.

Security 

  • Contacted: Jake Spurlock (@whyisjake)
  • Priority: There is ongoing work related to migrating older branches of WordPress to Github Actions for automated testing, as Travis is no longer available. The team also has a proposal out to drop support for older versions of WordPress.
  • Previous Priority: The team prepared for the security release associated with 5.6.
  • Challenge: Balancing security needs against user experience.
  • Big Win: Core now supports auto-updates!

Support 

  • Contacted: Marius Jensen (@Clorith)
  • Priority: To land actionable plans for forums landing page (done :tada:).
  • Previous Priority: Retention of volunteers across international forums. 
  • Challenge: Handling increased public scrutiny from having challenging discussions in the spotlight, and user experiences from the past set of core updates and JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. https://www.javascript.com/. related issues.
  • Big Win: Continued good collaboration with the team.

Themes

  • Contacted: @williampatton @kafleg @acosmin @acalfieri @aristath @poena
  • Priority: Helping theme authors transition to more block-based themes.
  • Previous Priority: The team focused on helping theme authors transition to more block-based themes.
  • Challenge: Lack of reviewers for accessible themes. The delisting functionality for the theme directory is not complete.
  • Big Win: Completed the work on the new process for themes that already are in the theme directory, that does not follow requirements.

Tide 

  • Contacted: Derek Herman (@derekherman) and Jeffrey Paul (@jeffpaul)
  • Priority: Our goal is to provide automated PHP Compatibility reports for every theme and plugin in the WordPress.org repository and the infrastructure needed to create other types of reports once we have a stable version 1.0 of the Tide 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..
  • Previous Priority:  To update the underlying infrastructure from Golang to Node.js, allowing for broader contributions and make maintenance more feasible.
  • Challenge: The last quarter of the year was focused on removing technical debt from the team’s path. The decaying infrastructure, documentation, audit servers, and API all needed to be rebuilt from the ground up in order to ensure the components’ likelihood of being useful. There were many challenges, but arguably the lack of time was the hardest challenge to overcome with such an ambitious rebuild.
  • Big Win: Wins include a new automated staging environmentStaging Environment A staging environment is a non-production copy of your site. This is a private place to build the site -- design, copy, and code -- until your client approves it for production or live. Sometimes used in addition to, or as a Development Environment., replacement of the underlying infrastructure, rewriting the codebase, API, and documentation to an almost complete state before the end of the year, replacement of the documentation generator, and public release target of the 1.0 version before the end of January for testing with a plan to release a stable version 1.0 before the end of Q1.

Training

  • Contacted: @courane01 and @azhiyadev
  • Priority: The team is introducing a sprint approach for 2021. Priorities for the first sprint include revising all team procedures/handbooks as a solid foundation, documenting how brands are represented on Learn, and evaluating options for slide presentations.
  • Previous Priority: The training team looked to resume the regular meeting. 
  • Challenge: Inviting the informal community/ecosystem to participate and advise, finding comparable open-source training resources delivered in a similar format for each of the languages or pre-requisite skills needed for those receiving training.
  • Big win: We are blending with Workshops and unifying our deliverables, Learn launched, and the team is active and motivated.

Triage 

  • Contacted: Jonathan Desrosiers (@desrosj) & Sergey Biryukov (@sergey)
  • Priority: Limit the total number of tickets in Trac, and ensure that every ticket is accurate and actionable. 
  • Previous Priority: Continue to bring the total number of tickets in Trac down to a more reasonable number, and/or ensure that every ticket is accurate and actionable (especially really old and really new tickets).
  • Challenge: The main team members have had their resources consumed by a combination of various active roles in recent releases, overarching project tasks (migrating automated testing to GitHub Actions, etc.), and new contributor mentoring.
  • Big Wins: The team is proud of the mentoring efforts during the 5.6 release cycle, educating release squad members about ticket lifecycles and good triaging practices. This has resulted in the addition of a new regularly participating team member, @hellofromtonya. The team has also managed to slightly decrease the overall number of open tickets in the last quarter of 2020: https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticketgraph

With thanks to team reps for their quarterly updates.

#quarterly-updates

Care and influence: a theory about the WordPress community

Many people find that the structure of the WordPress community is ambiguous. While there are Team Handbooks that address contributors, the way different groups influence and support each other can be unclear. The duty of care is the responsibility of one group to avoid decisions that harm another group in an organization.

I learned about this interesting progression of care and influence recently from Josepha Haden, and wanted to share what I thought was a brilliant way to communicate this. She explained it to me and a group of other contributors, by showing us this flow. 

Like all great sticky notes, there is no clarity without explanation. I would like to shed some light on my understanding of how the WordPress community works, and see if these ideas resonate for other people, the way they did for me.

The five sticky notes above are the 5 groups of people within the WordPress ecosystem.

  • Visitors
  • Users
  • Extenders
  • Contributors
  • Leaders

Duty of Care

Examining the graphic below, the duty of care from the left extends to all groups to that particular group’s right. For example, an extender exhibits a duty of care toward both the users and the visitors while a user’s duty of care is primarily toward just their visitors.

Levels of Influence

Each group directly influences those adjacent to it via feedback loops and meeting their needs. Groups to the left influence groups to the right, while feedback from the right directs what is needed from groups to the left. 

For example, a WordPress user is affected by both visitors and extenders. Imagine a content creator that shares their passion for photography through a WordPress website. This photographer may have visitors that need to purchase photos. In response, the user now has a need to make it possible for visitors to purchase photos on a site. 

  1. The extenders build the 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 that supports the need.
  2. The user installs it on their site.
  3. The visitors can now purchase photos. 

The groups

Visitors

Visitors are the people that arrive at a WordPress site to gain information or engage in an activity. These people may not be aware of the groups, or even that they’re using WordPress, but they do care about their task at hand. Their needs can directly influence the user’s website.

Users

Users are people who use WordPress as their CMS. These range from website builders, to website designers, to small businesses, or content creators. They are affected by their visitors, and care about what happens when people visit their site. Users are also affected by the extenders, who build things that add new functionality to WordPress.

Extenders

Extenders include those who extend WordPress through the creation of themes, plugins, blocks, and more. They are also people who teach WordPress to others through WordPress podcasts, newsletters, and tutorials. The WordPress ecosystem is enriched by a large number of extenders. 

The extenders are affected by both the users and the contributors. Users determine the value of their plugins and themes. Contributors directly impact their work by creating/maintaining the CMS and providing ways to distribute quality extensions, like the plugin or theme repositories. Extenders also care not only for the users, but also about the users’ visitors. Extenders know their product’s success relies on both the WordPress user and the website visitor. Extenders also benefit from the success of the WordPress platform.

Contributors

Contributors are the people who contribute to the 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. software (OSS) and the infrastructure that supports the project. These include WordPress.org contributor teams and other volunteers who give their time to the project itself and not necessarily just the extended ecosystem.

Contributors are affected by both the extenders and project leadership. The extenders’ needs are often considered by the contributors, for example with regards to backward compatibility and enabling 3rd party integrations. Project leadership influences the contributors by communicating  vision and future goals for the project.

The contributors make decisions that demonstrate their care for each group to their right: the extenders, the users, and the visitors. If they did not care about the visitor, they would build software that would not help users meet their goals. If they did not care about the user, they would build software that lacked an ecosystem, because no one would use it. If they did not care about extenders, they would not build an extensibleExtensible This is the ability to add additional functionality to the code. Plugins extend the WordPress core software. product.

Leaders

Leadership is a very small group. It includes currently Matt Mullenweg (Project Lead) and Josepha Haden (Executive Director). These two help drive the vision and strategy for WordPress.

They both are directly affected by contributors, because the contributors are the people building and maintaining WordPress, and the community surrounding it. Project leadership relies heavily on the ability and skills of the contributors to ensure the project’s goals are met.

Project leadership carries a duty of care that encompasses every level of WordPress. They work hard to avoid decisions that explicitly harm the other groups. No doubt there will be people who will be affected negatively by a decision, but the decisions at this level are made to support and benefit the majority.

Moving through the groups

Because these group relationships can be ambiguous, it is often unclear how people move between them. In fact, moving between the groups often happens unintentionally, and as the result of expressing more care toward people within one’s own group.

One example is the move from extender to contributor. An extender primarily cares for their own extension product (ie. a plugin), which benefits their users and visitors. At some point, an extender might run into an issue, or innovate on a solution, that can help all extenders. By sharing this solution with contributors and helping to implement it, the extender contributes to the coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. software, resulting in a better experience for all other extenders. Their level of care expands through their desire to contribute in a way that benefits others.

Users often become extenders when they can not find the extension that suits their needs. The user, when a solution is not provided by existing extenders, might decide to create their own extension (ie. a plugin) to meet their need. When the user shares their product, they have just become an extender, and their level of care expands to include all other users who might find their product a necessary solution for their own sites.

Overall, WordPress group dynamics generally depend upon the duty of care and levels of influence. The more one cares about other groups, and those in one’s own group, the more likely that person will influence the community in a positive way.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to @chanthaboune @andreamiddleton for their feedback on the content and phrasing of this post!


Feedback

What do you think about this theory of how different parts of the WordPress ecosystem connect and relate to each other? Does this description sound mostly right to you, or do you have an experience or perspective that conflicts with this set of ideas? I’d love to know your thoughts!

#community

Observations on WordPress Contributor Team Structure

As the conversation around training team leads and team reps becomes more active, I have often explained how the project currently manages itself. Because this continues to be a topic of interest to contributors, it seems like information that should be shared in a more transparent and permanent way.

As part of my work on the WordPress project over the past three years, I’ve spent a lot of time observing the ways that contributors currently participate. To get more information about how everything is organized I read documentation, spent time talking to past and current team reps, and spoke to people who have been contributing for twice as long as I have (or longer).

After all that information gathering, some patterns emerged around how contributors hoped to work, how things actually worked, and the ways that teams tried to split the difference. I’ve detailed what I was able to learn and observe about a couple of the teams I was most active with, though the broad strokes seem true for many other teams as well.

Paths to Leadership

At WCUS 2017, I talked about the Five Stages of Volunteering, where new WordPressers are in Stage 1 leveling up to Stage 5. The ladder below gives a more visual representation of what I’ve seen. 🙂

In General: Connecting —> Understanding —> Engaging —> Performing —> Leading

In my observation, similar, secondary ladders exist in most other teams in the project as well. The two teams that have the most well-defined process up those ladders are the CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. Team and the Community Team.

In Core: All Volunteers > Submitting Bugs > Fixing Bugs > Component Maintainers > Committers > Project Lead
In Community: All Volunteers > Organizers > Triage (including Troubleshooting and Support Queue) > Deputies (including Mentors) > Super Deputies > Admins

The method of moving from one step to the next is entirely dependent on potential risks, levels of trust required, and severity of the outcome should a mistake happen. Moving from one point on these ladders to the next seems to happen in one of three ways:

  • Self-selection
  • Self-serve training + selection
  • Closed selection

Each step on the ladder is contingent on the previous step, though there is no set time between them.

Getting From Here to There

The processes around leveling up volunteers are not consistent across the project. Whether volunteers are moving from the general ladder and onto a team ladder, or just from one step to the next on a single team ladder, the responsibility often falls to the volunteer themselves.

It is not intentional that onboarding and “paths to leadership” processes depend so heavily on the contributor’s willingness to expand their role in the project. The expectation that a contributor will express interest in and drive their own path to greater responsibility is largely consistent with 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. norms, in which most contributions come from those who are independently  motivated. It’s worth noting that there are multiple paths to WordPress itself, and nearly as many paths to deciding how and when to get involved once you arrive.

I’ll share what I’ve observed from those three methods I shared above.

  1. Self-selection – I saw this most often from beginning contributors. Tasks and research that use only the skills and tools that person already has, and can be done and shared without any additional training. A lot of self-selection happens at Contributor Days, Translation Day, and other in-person WordPress events — from translating and captioning, to filing bug reports and submitting patches, all it takes is some passion and some time to participate in these tasks!
  2. Self-serve training + selection – I saw this most often with tasks that are managed in public already, but need some additional training for the work to be productive or effective. The training in some cases is formalized (like the Community Team quizzes) and in other cases is informal (like reading handbooks/documentation, and attending meetings). The selection is often casual and ad hoc, from people already doing this type of work who are noticing good work and want to encourage it.
  3. Closed selection – I saw this most often with tasks that required high levels of trust and accountability (frequently tied to continued employment), being quite close to infrastructure, or handling very sensitive information (e.g. those managing our databases, anyone handling payments, etc). I also saw this with selection of Lead Developers/Focus Leads, and named leadership (including my own position).

Feedback

Please share your thoughts and observations in a comment on this post! Specifically, I’d love to know:

  1. Are there other paths to leadership in the WordPress project that I’ve missed?
  2. Are there other ways to get from one point in the path to the next that I haven’t included here?

Theme Review Team Update: 02/10/14

Quick 411:

The Theme Review Team selected Jose Castaneda (@jcastaneda) and Srikanth Koneru (@tskk) as our new  Team Reps. We have WordPress 3.9 Guidelines Revisions Proposal in place, please don’t forget to share your thoughts.

Our weekly stats are:

Currently

  • 6 new tickets are waiting for review.
    • 0 tickets are older than 2 weeks
    • 0 tickets are older than 1 week
    • 0 tickets are older than 3 days
  • 83 tickets are assigned.

In the past 7 days

  • 142 tickets were opened
  • 226 tickets were closed:
    • 165 tickets were made live.
      • 39 new Themes were made live.
      • 126 Theme updates were made live.
      • 10 more were approved but are waiting to be made live.
    • 56 tickets were not-approved.
    • 5 tickets were closed-newer-version-uploaded.

N.B. Still unclear weather or not our new reps have the access to make posts, that’s why I am stepping in.

#themes, #trt

Plugins team update, October 9, 2014

Repository stats for the week:

Plugins requested : 187
Plugins rejected : 28
Plugins closed : 25
Plugins approved : 132

61 items currently in the queue, 39 unanswered and 3 older than a week.

4631 commits to the repo (1004819-1000188). @otto42 is our one-millionth customer, with a well-earned changeset: https://plugins.trac.wordpress.org/changeset/1000000

We currently have 19 open support tickets, with 3 older than a week.

#plugins

WordCamp Travel and COVID-19

Over the past few months, the Global Community team and I have gotten many messages asking about COVID-19 and what it means for WordCamps. We’ve all been doing our best to be knowledgeable about the virus while responding in a level-headed way. Now seems like the right time to share some guidance on what to do next.

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. Travel and Contingency Planning

We should do our part, as members of a highly connected global community, to limit the spread of the virus while there are still so many unknowns.

TLDR: Current guidance advises that if you are planning an event scheduled between now and June 1, and there is any evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in your area, we strongly recommend that you postpone the event until later in the year or 2021 and/or adapt to an online event.

  • As always, WordCamps are encouraged to embrace their local nature, showcasing the WordPress enthusiasts in your own area.
  • I’ve asked some experienced global community team deputies to research ways to support community-organized livestream events. Not to replace all WordCamps, but to offer an alternative for any that decide to cancel.

For the remaining 2020 WordCamps designed to gather international attendees (WordCamp Europe, WordCamp Centroamerica, WordCamp US), I’ll assist the global community team as they continue monitoring the situation while gathering information from organizing teams and providing the same support provided to WordCamp Asia.

Epidemics like COVID-19 are unpredictable and I’d rather err on the side of caution. I recognize “caution” is a subjective term, but here it means making decisions that align with the efforts of the world to contain the impact of this virus.

Resources and Kudos

Huge thank you to the members of the Global Community team who have been monitoring this evolving situation. Here are a few of the resources and metrics they’ve been using: 

Marketing team update, 2 June 2020

Some of the highlights from the Marketing Team in the last few weeks are:

  • more than 40 introduction sessions
  • 10 videos to help with onboarding or showcasing the community
  • multiple projects and campaigns planning
  • support to new and longer-term contributors
  • planning support to contributor events
  • marketing skills sessions and training

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. marketing and promotions survey

We are trialling a survey to help WordPress Meetups with their marketing. If you are a Meetup organizer, we would value your time in completing this form. Thanks to those who provided feedback during the last few weeks.

#ContributorStory

This campaign continues and features are currently appearing on 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. Europe 2020’s website and its social channels. Please support it and celebrate the contributors who make WordPress. Thanks to Abha Thakor and Helen Odia for the latest editions and to the contributors featured.

More updates soon about how you can nominate a contributor for the next series.

Onboarding videos and preparation for WCEU

You can find our videos to help attendees set up a 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/ and Make WordPress 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/. accounts for WordCamp Europe (WCEU) 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/.. A number of translated commentaries and captions are being added.

More long term versions for WordPress.tv and the Contributor Day Handbook on GitHub will be made after WCEU. Thanks to everyone who has been involved in making these. Let us know if you have presenting experience and can help with translating and recording voiceovers in other languages.

#onlinewpmeetup-2, #contributor-day, #contributorstories, #meetup-marketing, #wceu, #wordcamp-europe-2020