Support Team Update – Novemebr 16th

WordPress 4.9

WordPress 4.9 is out, and as is customary a new Master List has been put up on the forums.

As new bugs, gotcha’s and plugin/theme conflicts are discovered we’ll be updating the thread, so keep an eye on it for any new items.

Remember to keep general chatter in #forums on Slack to a minimum for the first 48 hours after a release, this is done to avoid missing information when it’s being shared at a critical point right after a new release.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Russian, Hindi, Italian, German and Spanish communities are having a good time.

Other topics

The next workshop is scheduled for January, more details to follow, but December is a very busy time for a lot of people so it makes sense for this to right over the new years hump.

 

 

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

#support

Support Team Meeting Updates for November 9th

Items covered at today’s Support Team Meeting:

  • Announcements
  • Meeting Time
  • WordCamp US 2017
  • Checkin with International Support Liaisons

Read the Make/Support blog post for more details.

#support

Support Team Update – Novemebr 2nd

General announcements

The WordPress 2017 survey is up, help us understand how WordPress is used so we can better align its direction by filling it out, it only takes a few minutes.

Time zones and daylight savings are again showing their faces, a quick tally shows that the current time of 16.00 UTC is still a favorable time for the majority of us, but we’ll do another check at the next gathering when the whole world has finished with these shenanigans.

WordPress 4.9

We’re getting very close to the 4.9 release date, and as such the draft for the master list has gone up as is customary, if there are core changes or gotchas we should prepare for, please provide them as comments on that post.

WordPress 4.9 Master List Draft

As mentioned, release date is growing ever closer, so if possible please help test. Release Candidate (RC) means it should be feature complete and all known bugs are taken care of, so it should be safe to test in any way you can think of at this point.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian communities stopped by for this weeks meeting. We love to hear feedback from the non-English parts of the community, so if you know someone who’s from a locale we don’t often hear from, feel free to invite them over, there’s value in sharing after all!

 

 

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

#support

Support Team Update – October 26th

WordPress 4.9

WordPress 4.9-beta4 is out, if you can please help with testing, the more bugs we can find before launch, the less work for us afterwards.

In similar news, Gutenberg (the new editing experience in WordPress) version 1.5.x is also out, with a first iteration of the meta box support, so if you wish ot help shape the future, that’s what you’ll want to get involved with at the time!

Checking in with international support liaisons

The Italian, German, Russian, Swedish and Brazilian communities had representatives stop by and take part in this weeks discussions. If you’re doing support in a any other local communities we would love to have you join our weekly meetings so please stop by! It doesn’t have to be a WordPress.org forum, as we understand that various locales function differently!

We’ve enabled the user watch plugin on some more locales, if your WordPress.org forum doesn’t have access to the “Flag Author” link on posts (it should be next to the user notes link) and would like this, please let us know!

A flagged user will have their posts held in the Pending queue until a moderator manually approves them, this is intended for use with users who have misbehaved and we want to ensure they can play nice with others before we let them post without supervision again.

Flagging users

A bit of a followup on the previous lines, when a user is flagged it’s important to follow some fixed procedures to keep track of what is going on.

As such, when a user gets flagged, one should always add a user note, explaining why you’ve flagged the user, this is so that other moderators know why a user was flagged.

When a flag is issued, also always make a reply to the user explaining why they are flagged ,and what this means for them. If the user doesn’t know why they were selected, or that they are in that user classification at all, they won’t learn from their mistakes.

But before flagging a user, try educating them, we’re very trigger happy with flagging accounts at the moment (at least on the international forums), and educating them and adding a user note without flagging them may be more appropriate in many situations (basically don’t punish them for not knowing).

Moderator attendance

This is more a reminder that we expect a certain level of involvement from our moderators, at least on the international forums. We ask that they come by our weekly meetings at least somewhat-regularly or interact with the make/support articles that go up at the very least (we understand that meetings are not always timed well for every participant). This is to avoid having any unused privileged accounts hanging around.

 

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

#support

Support Team Update – October 19th

General announcements

The plugins team has requested we stop reporting crypto currency miners unless they actually violate the forum guidelines. Things such as not informing site visitors that a miner is running isn’t considered a plugin directory violation as that’s up to site owners and not us to police.

We also had a lengthy discussion regarding the new Gutenberg callout added for WordPress 4.9, where the concerns that were discussed were added to the ticket for consideration and further discussion. (It has since been decided to revert the callout for now).

Open floor

A question regarding screenshot sharing was brought up, and how to point users at where to put them as we don’t have (nor do we want to have, that’s a whole new beast of legal concerns) any upload capabilities on the forums.

Should a new section be added to the help text before you make a post concerning screenshots, what possible issues could arise from this, let’s get some feedback on this one.

Initial concerns are that the blob of text before making a post grows even more, by a substantial amount as screenshot explanations are wordy and vary by platform. We already know that users do not like to read a lot of text like that, they wish to make their post and get on with things.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Portuguese, German, Russian and Swedish community representatives dropped by for this weeks meeting, reporting no issues at this time.

 

 

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

#support

Support Team Update – October 12th

WordPress 4.9 Beta

The WordPress 4.9 beta keeps updating weekly-ish, so if you can, please help by testing.

Focuses for this weeks testing from core are as follows:

1. The updates to the theme/plugin code editors
2. Scheduling and drafting in the Customizer
3. Locking in the Customizer (like post locking, but for your site changes)

Predefined replies

We’re seeing a few new faces every week, this is fantastic, and as such we’d like to share our predefined replies. The predefined replies list are answers to common questions that we can copy and paste into the forums, this allows us to be consistent in our replies, and saves us a lot of time in the long run.

You can find the replies in our handbook on under the Giving good support section.

Checking in with international liaisons

We had representatives form the Hindi, Italian, Brazilian, German, Spanish, Swedish and Portuguese communities stop by this week, multiple of which had WordCamps going off the previous week and introduced the wonderful world of support to new volunteers!

 

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

 

#support

Support Team Update – October 5th

General announcements

We’ve put some effort into the proposed `info.php` lately, we’ve now merged this into the Health Check plugin, and may revisit the core inclusion at a later date. Keeping it in the plugin for now means we can more easily iterate and find needs in a more efficient manner. As such, we recommend using the plugin for troubleshooting where getting information about a setup is required, if we all stick to using one tool we’ll get a much clearer picture of its usefulness. The plugin is already starting to get translations from the various languages around our lovely support community, which is amazing!

In other news, WordPress 4.9-beta1 is now available. If you can, please give it a try, our primary concern is still the file editing in core getting revamped,let’s make sure it’s as hard as possible to break things (there are enhancements to this that didn’t make it into beta1 as well, so beta2 should be a really good experience we hope).

Our second workshop was had this week, it went off without a hitch, and we seem to be finding our footing around conducting them, a huge thanks to @tacoverdo for doing this one! The recording from the session is available in the post as well for those interested who weren’t able to make it live. Input on topics of interest are welcome, if there’s a particular topic or presenter that would be of interest, let us know.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Portuguese, Swedish, Italian, Russian, Hindi, Brazilian, Spanish and Greek communities are looking fine and dropped by for the conversations.

Other items

At-mentions in the forums

We’ve noticed a starting trend of directly pinging people in support topics to bring attention to issues faster, in an attempt to “cut the line” so to speak.

Pings should be used to bring a topic to someones attention, for example if you are stuck, but know another volunteer knows a fair bit about a topic, this is a good use. It can also be used to guarantee a notification is sent out, in the case of moderators we might use this to ensure someone gets a notice about doing something that is frowned upon, before we archive our own message. We archive our own messages to avoid friction in these situations, as they often require jumping into some other users topic.

To help give people a place to reference, we’ve updated the international forum guidelines, we don’t want our volunteers to feel forced to answering anything, and if they have an official place to reference about this being frowned upon, it’s easier for them to say no.

Contributor badges

We had some questions about how badges work, so here’s a quick coverage of how the support ones work.

The badges are manually assigned for now, each international community has one or more liaisons that provide the profiles of members who should be given either a contributor or a team badge. If you are the administrator of an international forum and don’t have this ability please reach out and we’ll get you sorted out with this ability.

The criteria for the badges are fairly simple:

  • Support team: You are a moderator or an administrator on your support forums
  • Support contributor: You have 400 or more posts on the forums

The badges will eventually be automated, and we may also revise our criteria, but those are the current ones.

 

 

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

#support

Support Team Update – September 28th

WordPress 4.8.2

No major new incidents, a few issues with the numbered arguments early on but they appear to have been sorted out petty quickly as plugins have been updated to fix their code.

General Announcements

A quick reminder that we’ll shortly be promoting the Health Check plugin as a means of getting debug data, as well as automating some system checks for users seeking assistance (once it’s been updated, the plan is to get it up to date within this week).

BBQ Post (Also known as the Master List)

The WordPress 4.9 beta is fast approaching, that means it’s time to start working on the BBQ Post. For those unfamiliar, this is where we preemptively create a support resource for what we suspect will be pain points for users in the next major release of WordPress. We then fill it up with the issues that arise throughout the release cycle until the next major version is released, as a reference you can view the 4.8 Master List.

Support workshops

If you have suggestions for upcoming workshops, please do leave a comment, or drop by the #forums slack channel, we welcome input here as we’re certain we’ll miss out on great input if it’s just the same people cherry picking each time.

Our next support workshop is rapidly approaching as well, just as a reminder this time it will be from a plugin representative and not a theme one.

Why solving the problem isn’t enough – A Support Workshop

Checking in with international liaisons

Things are looking good in the Swedish, Hindi, Russian, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Greek communities.

The Spanish team are keeping a tight ship, maintaining a consistent response rate so far, kudos to them!

 

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

#support

Support Team Update – September 21st

General announcements

Global translation day

Global translation day is coming up on September 30th

Debug data in core

The work on a new `info.php` for core to help with support and debugging has had great traction. For the time being we’ve moved development off to GitHub, it will be incorporated as part of the Health Check Plugin, and we will re-visit the concept of incorporating it in core at a later date. The idea here is to promote it as the official approach for checking the status and getting debug information for your own system by the support teams for now.

@clorith has been granted access to both the GitHub and WordPress.org plugin and will help maintain the momentum we’ve had going in so far.

Tag clouds on the forums

The tag cloud on the forums (found at the very bottom of the forum front page only) has been removed. It was not performing well, and really serves no purpose on the forums as our tag use is so spread out and rather incoherent that it didn’t help anyone.

Tags are still a thing, and that feature won’t go away, this is just us removing the tag cloud on the front page.

Support workshop #2

Our second support workshop is coming up, this time hosted by Taco. Taco does support for a somewhat well known plugin, and we’re really looking forward to hearing from him!

Why solving the problem isn’t enough – A Support Workshop

WordPress 4.8.2

WordPress 4.8.2 is out, and so far we’ve only discovered one potential issues. A function used to make sure database queries are safe has been misused a bit in the past, it’s now been locked down and unsupported features no longer work. Some plugins or themes may have used these features and thus may no longer function as expected.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Hindi, Swedish and Greek communities are trotting along and stopped by for the weekly chat to see how things were going around the world.

 

 

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

#support

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