October 10th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

With WordPress 5.3 nearing, please keep thinking of Master List items, we will start working on this once WordPress 5.3-RC1 is released, and the field guide from core is posted.

In the meanwhile, the historical reference to Master Lists is being gathered at https://github.com/wporg-support/master-list, which will allow for easier referencing, especially relating to discussions around core auto updates of late.

Some interesting insights indicating the quality of plugins, themes and core it self have gone up massively, and we are seeing fewer and fewer issues with each release, when looking at the history of our Master Lists.

With WordCamp US nearing, a call for volunteers for the Support Desk (also known as the Happiness Bar) was put forth by @bethannon1

@sterndata is gathering information on what people would expect, and like to cover, at a contributor day in relation to support.

Feel free to reach out to either for information and idea-sharing!

WordPress 5.3 progression

WordPress 5.3 Beta3 was released this week, with Release Candidate 1 planned for October 15th. That’s not much time left to get things wrapped up, so if you can, please do help with testing.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our communities in Russia, Serbia, India, Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, Sweden and Urdu were present during this weeks discussions.

We also had a quick chat about early release knowledge within the communities outside the deeper WordPress developer circles.

Open floor

A discussion should be had on how and when to re-evaluate flagged users (users marked by moderators so that their posts need manual approval before being visible to the general public).

We’ll also look to get some new pre-defined moderator replies written up about flagged users to explain what it is and why the individual was flagged.

Should we look into doing some tag cleanup on the forums? There’s almost 600 000 “unique” tags on the international forums at this time, many of which are watered down variations of others. Tags serve various purposes, and are useful, but they lose their effect when they’re this diversified.

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


September 5th Support Team Meeting Summary


WordPress 5.2.3 was released.

A new forum moderator tool, Stop Forum Spam, has been made available.
This allows moderators, at the click of a button, to check a users online reputation, as in, have they been caught posting spam recently, and if so, how often and how recent.
It’s a helper, but not a definitive tool, in our battle against strange user behavior

The WordPress 5.3 development cycle is now available at https://make.wordpress.org/core/5-3/

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of our wider community from Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, India, Russia and Sweden.

Our Russian friends reported a larger than usual amount of issues on older sites with backported fixes in 5.2.3. @macmanx iterated that although security fixes are backported, it’s even harder to test for all scenarios for them, and this is likely why there may be more of them. It’s also worth noting that 5.2.2 was not a security release, and as such had no backports so it’s not a clean comparison.

Open floor

A reminder that it’s ok for plugin/theme developers to ask their users to email them directly, but if you see an employee of a company (let’s say TransactionBuddy) ask people to email them personally (at let’s say a Gmail address), please let someone know.


August 22nd Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The Site Health Team did the suggested upgrade version bump for PHP in core this week, and over the next week users will start seeing a dashboard widget if they are using PHP 5.6 or lower, guiding them towards upgrading.

A reminder that when flagging users, a moderation action limiting public display of posts until approved by a moderator, always educate the users on why this was done and what this means, there will also be more direct guidelines on when to flag users coming in the future, as the use of flags is becoming a bit too liberal, at least on the international forums.

And when writing notes on users, make sure to be descriptive enough, as they are available across all rosetta sites, and not everyone can read an archived post for example.

In other news, there’s a lively conversation going on at https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/4696 relating to WordPress profiles here on dotorg.

Increased use of the topic report feature by authors for invalid reasons

There has lately been an uptick in incorrect use of the report topic feature by plugin and theme authors, primarily because they don’t like getting negative feedback from users.

This has started to become a nuisance to the volunteers, and we would like to reiterate that the report feature is for forum guideline violations only. Continued misuse of the feature will lead to us reporting things to the theme or plugin teams respectively.

WordPress Core Timeline Update

WordPress 5.2.3 is scheduled for release on September 4th.

WordPress 5.3 is tentatively scheduled for release on November 12th.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our Russian, Swedish, Brazilian and Dutch communities took place in this weeks discussions.

If you are a part of a non-English speaking part of our community, we invite you to join our weekly meetings (if you can), as we would love to get ot know you!

Open floor

Some questions are going unanswered, notably relating to the new block editor. Although it’s a shame when someone doesn’t get helped, we’re all volunteers on a community forum, and it’s perfectly fine for some questions to not be answered, we’re all human, and we do what we can when we can, but nobody should feel obligated here.

The Health Check plugin was updated last week, and some of the more notable changes include:

  • Changes to the grading indicator in the header (no longer uses a numeric value, instead it’s an indicator with a string for clarity)
  • A new dashboard widget when you login to give you the site health at a glance
  • A new PHP compatibility checker for plugins in the Tools section

For more changes, the full list is available at https://wordpress.org/plugins/health-check/#developers, and yes, some of the changes in the plugin relating to the grading indicator and Site Health Checks are being tested out and intended for a core release.

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


August 15th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The Health Check Plugin has received an update which went live over the weekend between the meeting and this summary going out.

Useful new features are primarily related to the PHP Compatibility Checker, found under the Tools tab.

The suggested PHP version in core is scheduled to go live on August 20th (this is for showing the dashboard widget encouraging users to update their PHP version if they are using version 5.6 or lower).

The docs team is looking for input on what documentation is often needed, but is either missing or incomplete.

So far we’ve informed them that documentation on the new Site Health features (both checker, and fatal error protection) are desired, and that the block documentation needs to be surfaced better as many did not know we had any.

Core updates

5.3 is tentatively scheduled to release mid-November, and a 5.2.3 release has been tentatively scheduled for early next month in the interrim.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from Sweden, Brazil, Portugal, Netherlands and India provided updates on how things are going in their regions.

Open floor

The plugins team gave a heads up that there’s a lot of trademark strikes being handled as companies are becoming more aggressive in what they do and don’t allow, which may cause some noise.


Support Team Meeting Updates for July 18th

Items covered at today’s Support Team Meeting:

  • Helper Scripts
  • Breakfix Lessons

Read the Make/Support blog post for more details.


July 11th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

As you may know, we’ve got a couple tools we use here in support, which are linked to from the handbook, and have been sitting neatly in my GitHub account, which felt… a little bit wrong, so https://github.com/wporg-support has been set up, and the various tools will be migrated over there one by one as they receive changes. If you’re already using existing versions, do not worry, they will automatically update to the new location (you may be prompted to accept the update, but that’s it)

The first tool to be ported is the simple Topic Highlighter, as it needed some bugfixes, and accessibility improvements in the first place, anyone using that userscript will likely have received the update notification about 2 weeks ago, but I thought I should mention it any way to make sure everyone is in the loop

WordPress Core status

There’s no immediate plan for a WordPress 5.2.3 release, although we may see one depending on when the 5.3 release gets scheduled for (there’s no direct plan for that either at this time, but will keep you all posted as soon as there’s any information on either of these).

The most prominent thing for 5.2.3 would be a backport of a fix to the plugin details, which require a bit of scrolling to read if you are using 5.2.2, as they got pushed down about 1-2 viewport heights

PHP Version requirements and recommendations in core

Of interest to the support crew is our PHP version progression roadmap, well I say roadmap but it’s out on a call for input right now at https://make.wordpress.org/hosting/2019/07/01/what-should-the-next-php-version-recommendation-be/

This is for the widget in the dashboard recommending users upgrade, and not the hard minimum requirement to use WordPress, just so that’s mentioned, and it’ll be up for comment until at least this coming Monday, where we’ll look to make a call on what version we will recommend next. Once that call is made it’ll be put up and signal boosted so everyone is aware for a bit before we do the recommendation bump, but currently it looks like we’ll be aiming for PHP 7.1

Open floor

HelpHub i18n: The docs team will be picking two new locales to enable it on, judging by how those two progress, it’ll get enabled for the rest. They will announce what locales and such on make.wordpress.org/docs when things are ready

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


July 4th Support Team Meeting Summary

We’ve had a bit of a break, due to WordCamp travels, but are back with a 💥, on the 4th of July no less.

Please also remember to take some time off as the summer starts rolling in, stay hydrated, and enjoy the sun when you can, take some “me” time.

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives from the communities in Italy, Russia, Netherlands, Spain, India, Brazil and Urdu took part in this weeks discussions.

Toxic users and impacts on smaller parts of our community

We had good discussions on how best to approach toxic users who may provide a negative first impression to new users, as well as existing users.

Although no one solution to end it all was found, it’s an important conversation to have, even if it’s a difficult one to summarize due to context awareness, but we’ll try it any way and encourage looking at the transcript when possible for the full context.

Give warnings for bad behavior, it may be a misunderstanding of expectations or guidelines.
Don’t give too many warnings without acting on them, as the concept of the warning is lost if they’re just repeated.

Although not something we discussed, but rather an afterthought that’s good to share, I’d also say that if anyone is uncomfortable with the interactions of addressing problematic users, they can always escalate the matter. We’re here to help each other, and can step in for such situations so that anyone can avoid putting them selves in situations they’re not comfortable with, or that may lead to bad blood.

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


June 6th Support Team Meeting Summary

First up, our weekly call to see if there’s anyone new around who’d like to help lead the support group at WordCamp Europe during their Contributor Day (https://2019.europe.wordcamp.org/contributor-day/).

It’s a great way to start getting more involved, the tasks are mainly helping get new folks situated and familiarized with the tools we use and how to navigate the places we help users. Feel free to send @clorith a DM if this sounds like it might be interesting, or you just want more details.

On the note of leadership, if that’s something you’re interested in, we’re looking to do some leadership training within the WordPress community, we’re currently taking input on the documentation and processes, and judging interest, you can find more about that at https://make.wordpress.org/updates/2019/06/03/team-lead-interest-post/

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our Swedish, Russian, Dutch, Italian, Indian, Spanish and Greek communities were present for this weeks chats.

Open floor

Awhile back there was talk of a support appreciation day or something of the sort. Did that ever go anywhere outside of the idea phase?

Just an idea phase for now, although it’s been mentioned a few times since and if anyone wants to help put together a plan here, the support team is looking for volunteers. A Google Docs has been made public to help with collaboration on this.

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


May 23rd Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

WordPress 5.2.1 is out, so keep an eye out for any recurring issues that may pop up, if any.

Notable fixes are the cryptography library now working better on 32bit systems.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of the Italian, Serbian, Dutch, Russian, Indian,. Swedish and Greek communities had representatives present for our weekly chats. If there’s anyone from other non-English communities that would like to take part, feel free to join in and let us know, we love to hear from other parts of our community to build bridges!

Open floor

First a reminder that support volunteering shouldn’t be a chore. Please don’t be afraid to take breaks, we’ll all be here when you return, stay healthy.

A question on how to find the support guidelines was brought forth, they’re currently linked to from the Forum Welcome page, which you can find at the top of the form for submitting new topics on all forums. If we find this to need better surfacing a meta ticket will be opened.

It was also brought up that sites with lower activity often forget to check for false-positives in their spam queues, this is an understandable scenario, and will hopefully be remedied by #meta-3954.

A quick note, not mentioned in the meeting, but we would still love to hear from any volunteers attending contributor day at WordCamp Europe 2019, that would be interested in helping lead the support group. No prior experience is required, and it is a nice way of getting experience with both the team in general, and also taking part in a smaller introductory leadership position. If this is you, let @clorith know.

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


May 16th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

WordPress 5.2.1 is likely looking at a release early next week (the week of May 20th), to address some of the more time critical items (and any other items that are already done and patched) for 5.2.0

WordPress 5.2.0

We’re not seeing any new trending issues that haven’t already been tracked this past week, smooth sailing is the best sailing!

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives from the Dutch, Swedish, Italian, Russian, Indian, Urdu and Spanish communities took part in this weeks discussions, and we had some exciting input on the reception of 5.2!

Open floor

A custom page is being created to cover the various Site Health elements (WSOD protection, the health checker and such), which will ive under wordpress.org/support.

The site will feature custom design elements for user consumption, and be made available for rosetta site translations.

The Italian community have started a collaboration with the local polyglots team to translate the handbooks.

WordCamp Bristol will be having their Contributor Day tomorrow (May 17th), remember to he kind and helpful as new users with little experience may show up throughout the day!

We’re also still hoping to plan a Support (Appreciation) Day, if you’re interested in taking the reins on this, please let us know in the comment section below, as we would love help with this.

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