Support Team Update – September 14th

“Slightly” delayed summary this week, apologies, as I’ve not been in.

A special thank you to @hardeepasrani and @mjjojo for taking up the mantle for the weekly meeting!

General announcements

We’re working on the next support workshop, this time with a focus on the plugin side of things.

WordPress 4.9

Preparations for the 4.9 BBQ post are about to begin, likely with a heavy focus on the new editors and how to break-fix your site.

Support representatives for plugins

A much requested feature has landed in the plugin directory, and plugin authors can now appoint others as representatives of their plugin.

Representatives will have a label, much like moderators and plugin authors already had, which declare them as official representatives of the currently viewed plugin forums.

Checkin with international liaisons

The Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Greek and Hindi communities stopped by to let us know that things are going according to plan. I love it when a plan comes together!

 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – September 7th

Checking with international liaisons

Things are trotting along nicely in the Swedish, Spanish, Italian and German communities, the Spanish team also hit a milestone of not having a single topic without an answer!

If you’re part of the support community but not using the WordPress forums, feel free to join as well, we know that it’s not for everyone to be on WordPress.org, that shouldn’t limit you from joining and sharing experiences.

Clarification on User Notes usage

User notes come with an edit feature, this is intended for fixing typos, or fixing incorrect information in a user note, it does not change who created the note for this reason. If you have information on a user, you should add your own new note, to maintain the history in the right chronological order.

Non-org themes or plugins

We sometimes get support requests for themes (or plugins) that are open and free for everyone, but not on WordPress.org, there’s nothing wrong with this, they may not have a proper support outlet for example.

As an example here, we’ll use themes you can get from Jetpack after their recently introduced theme feature, these are free themes not (yet) available on WordPress.org that users may need help with, in such cases adding the `wpcom-theme` tag will bring it to the attention of the Automattic theme team. So far they’re the only ones that watch tags on the forums like this that we’re aware of, but we would happily encourage other theme shops with free themes or plugins to do the same. Please note that these alerts aren’t global across all forums though, so from our example they only work on the international forums.

I put emphasis on free, as our guidelines are still in effect with regards to supporting premiums content on our forums.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – August 31st

General announcements

Core is looking for help in testing the new code editors, if you are able, please test the beta plugin if you can.

Part of the drive here is to improve user education that this is a place they shouldn’t touch unless they are confident in what they are doing, and also adding more failsafes to make it harder for them to break their site.

That being said though, we know that there is no such thing as a fool proof solution, so the more potential issues we can weed out before release, the less issues we will experience in the forums after release. We are the first line of support alongside hosts own support and hand-holding a broken site from code edits is never easy, many times so when they’re not familiar with editing code outside of wp-admin.

Debug page in core

A new `info.php` page for core is ticketed and in the works, providing information about a users setup (think WooCommerce’s system status page) with easy copy-paste fields for putting the information straight into forum posts.

Input on what fields are of interest when providing support, as well as what information is valuable to the site owner, but not necessary something you’d want to post on the internet is also of interest in this case, if you have input on the matter please leave comments on the ticket (it’s gained a bit of traction after our meeting, which pleases me greatly).

Checking in with international support liaisons

The Italian, German, Swedish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish communities are doing well, and more locales are getting upgraded to bbPress 2.x!

Other business

There is a need for a page template on the new forum theme for providing a table of contents/easily link section for pages such as the forum guidelines, along the lines of what the handbooks have currently.

The guidelines in them selves (both on the international forum and the rosetta sites) are ever living documents and are revised as the need arise.

 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – August 24th

Support workshop

Our first run at a support workshop was held this week, and gave some good insights into how to approach future ones where we wish to invite various support providers within the WordPress community to share how they approach the task in an effort to improve as a group.

The format of allowing questions leading up to the session, and having a Q&A at the end seems to have gone over well and we’d recommend keeping to a similar format as we’re certain users will always have questions (it also helps when people can type out questions, as they may not be comfortable with speaking, be it language barriers or otherwise).

We’re hoping to get some feedback from attendees moving forward on how they felt it all play out as well.

Checking with international support liaisons

The Russian, Swedish, Hindi, Italian and Japanese communities dropped by and let us know that things are still progressing well for them and they have no major hiccups.

Open floor

Improvements to the forum guidelines were proposed, as the derailing of a topic can occur and we didn’t have any scenario that covers when this occurs as a result of the topic owner them selves changing tracks. Some of the rosetta sites have already implemented their own variations of this and we will also introduce this to the international forums as it’s a good resource for our volunteers to refer to.

 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – August 17th

General announcements

The Community Conduct Project is kicking off, if this is of interest to you (think of a code of conduct, but for the whole community and not just for events), or you have opinions on the matter, please consider joining them for the discussions.

WordPress 4.8.1

It’s been smooth sailing so far, no new recurring issues have been discovered that pose any issues.

Support workshop

The first support workshop will be held next week, if you do open source support it might be of interest to you! The first one will be theme related, but will apply to other areas as well so don’t feel limited by not having a theme to support!

Open Floor

The new site URL feature for support topics is getting some refined language to help users understand the use, and to promote better use of it, after some deliberations on how to word things, a good starting point was decided on and we can iterate on it if it becomes necessary.

Checking in with international support liaisons

A weekly crowd favorite, seeing how the other communities out there on the rosetta sites are doing, we’re always happy to hear how things fare in the big picture of things!

This weeks encouraging outlooks come to us from the Russian, Hindi, Brazilian and Portuguese communities, good to see you all!


 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – August 10th

General announcements

This week saw the introduction of the site URL field to the forums, a sought after addition where users can provide their website ahead of time, saving volunteers needing to ask for it in many situations. This new feature is also hidden, the site is only visible to signed in users, meaning it will help with the users asking to have posts edited after the fact because they show up in search engines and similar.

WordPress 4.8.1

The update to TinyMCE included in this release had a side-effect of changing z-index values. This means that plugins or themes interacting with the editor (page builders being the most noticeable affected region) will have features inaccessible until they make updates increasing their own z-index values to have priority over the core included version (this is also reflected in the Master List now for reference).

Checkin with international liaisons

The Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Swedish and Hindi communities are trotting along nicely.

Open floor

Please avoid moving topics if possible for now, we’ve still not had a chance to fix the 5xx errors that occur on every topic move, merge or split. We’ll be pushing some more for a sandbox to track and sort the issue.

If you -do- move something regardless, note that metadata will be lost, and please do not edit the content of the topic to say things are moved here and there, it just adds confusion, instead use the `edit notes` section, this is what they are meant for.

Slack is working on making things more accessible, so let’s hope for great headway there to help our contributors using assistive technologies to attend more easily!

 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – August 3rd

General announcements

WordPress 4.8.1 is out, and it includes the new Custom HTML widget, as well as notices for the existing widget if it enters legacy mode or detects HTML usage.

To help facilitate the potential confusion with the notices, a section has been added to the master list.

It also seems some page builders (and thus potentially other plugins that interact with the editor) have incompatibilities with WordPress 4.8.1, making some controls hidden or inaccessible in the editor. Direct users to their plugin/theme developers to get patches up and running please.

Forum Welcome and Forum Guidelines

Next up, a reminder that the Forum Welcome and Forum Guidelines (for the international forums) now live on the forum them selves, and not to link to the old handbook pages. Sending users into the handbook can feel overwhelming and cumbersome, it’s a much better experience for them to be kept within the forum area.

Rosetta sites can of course still handle their forum welcomes or guidelines in whichever manner they feel is most appropriate for their users, we understand that communities and regions differ in their approaches and the way we do it on the international forums are primarily as a guide for those who wish for something to start off with and build on if anything.

Checking with international liaisons

The Swedish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Spanish and Russian communities are all enjoying the seasonal weather, and have nothing out of the ordinary to bring up.

 

Open floor

A notice that the `img` tag has been removed from the forum post creator, this was included with the bbPress2 upgrade, but not intended to be used as we don’t want images from unknown sources being posted as it poses various risks. Embeds from pre-approved sources with proper moderation tools and processes will instead be whitelisted, so we will still allow users to post their screenshots if they wish, but through a safer approach.

 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – July 27th

General announcements

The official support community summit recap is now up on the make/summit site, and we’re happy to see that a lot of our actionable ticket items have been covered during WCEU contributor day and in the past few weeks following the summit!

Support workshop

As previously mentioned, we’re going to be doing support workshops to improve the quality of support throughout the community, our first one is now scheduled for August 23rd.

Checking with international liaisons

The Russian, Swedish, Italian and German communities are doing well with nothing special to report.

 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – July 20th

General announcements

WordPress 4.8.1-beta1 is out, so please help out by testing it if you have a test setup and are able to do so.

4.8.1-beta includes the the new HTML Widget, and the previous Text Widget (with the TinyMCE editor now) will display a legacy note if you have HTML inside of it, encouraging you as a user to put custom HTML code into the HTML Widget.

The forum master list will have a section dedicated to this to help those users who might be confused by the notice or the distinction between the two widgets.

Support workshops

During WCEU ideas for improving and spreading support best practices throughout the WP community were brainstormed, and one of the ideas that came forth was to do workshops from theme/plugin authors and how they approach various aspects of helping users.

We’ll be leaving it to the presenter to decide the medium they are most comfortable with presenting it on, but that it be available to those who might be interested but unable to attend afterwards in some manner.

We’ll be evaluate how it works out and how to continue the approach after the first session, as there’s a plan but it’ll definitely be refined once we see how things pan out.

Checking with international support liaisons

The Italian, Swedish, Dutch, Hindi, Russian, Portuguese, German and Spanish communities are reporting everything to be running smoothly.

The locked Portuguese forums issue from last week have also been resolved.

The new forum welcome has been adopted by more rosetta sites and translated for their communities!

There are still some rosetta sites on the old bbPress version, but it’s an ongoing rollout process and they will eventually all be running the new version.

Open floor

@sterndata brought up that we need to be more lenient with some of the premium theme/plugin support requests, as many shops don’t provide support them selves, and we can easily help with things like CSS and generic WordPress related questions that aren’t related to the premium content being used.

This applies to many of our pre-defined replies, make sure to properly understand the question before sending out stock answers.

 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support

Support Team Update – July 13th

General announcements

The WordPress 4.8.1 release is tentatively scheduled for August 1st.

User notes

This weeks main event, user notes are finally live!

User notes allows a moderator to attach a note to any user, allowing us to keep tabs on why actions were taken, and historical data if we have repeat offenders and similar.

This information is also shared with the rosetta sites, so they can add notes for behavior we may not observe on the international forums (or vice versa), giving us more control than our previous approach with emails and P2 posts.

The handbook now has a new section about how and when to use user notes, moderators should familiarize them selves with the document, and keep in mind that the handbook is a living document, so remember to check back now and then for any changes.

Forum Welcome and Forum Guidelines

The new forum welcome is now live on the forums, and can freely be adopted by the rosetta sites as well. When translating it keep in mind that you don’t need to make it an exact copy of the international welcome, all languages and countries are different and what works for us might not be a perfect fit for your own locale.

In light of the much better experience a short welcome provides as part of the forums, we’ve migrated the forum guidelines into the forums as well, this ensures a consistent experience for regular forum users who may be put off by the sheer amount of information in the handbook (where the guidelines currently live).

Checkin With International Support Liaisons

The Portugese, Spanish, Italian and Swedish communities are doing well.

They’re looking into an odd issue with a specific Portugese forum being locked, meta is on the case.

Other stuff

It was also brought up that the #forums channel might appear a bit off-putting when you join and you have to go through 13 pages of backscroll with nothing but emoji (my own over-statement for emphasis), which we can understand is less than ideal, so an effort will be made to keep the random outbursts of emoji down. This is not to say we’re going to kill any conversations between volunteers, as we recognize the value in blowing out in a friendly manner now and then, given the nature of support in general. So if you enjoy #forums emoji, don’t be too put off by this, we’ll say if it’s becoming too much.

 

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#support