November 14th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

bbPress 2.6 was released this week, and has been deployed to the various forums. Please note that an upgrade notice will show up in wp-admin if you have the appropriate access, don’t click this, the meta team will handle the upgrade routines accordingly once they’ve been tested in our large setup scenario.

WordPress 5.3

The new version of WordPress, version 5.3, was released this week.

As is customary after a major release, the WordPress 5.3 Master List has been published, and is a living document being updated with anything we find that breaks WordPress for users.

Discussion on linking to off-site support platforms

A hot topic this past week has been linking to support-topics that are outside of WordPress.org.

Some good conversations were covered during the weekly meeting, and a make/support post has been published outlining what we discussed, and allowing for input from those unable to attend the weekly meeting.

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

#support

November 7th Support Team Meeting Summary

We had our final call for changes to the WordPress 5.3 Master List, along with a call for testing of WordPress it self, as the next version of WordPress is scheduled for November 12th.

We discovered that there’s a need for a specific page for Twenty Twenty that the feature theme team has already finalized (teamwork makes the dream work!), which will be linked up properly after the upcoming release.

Fair warning as well, that next meeting we will be utilizing the meeting-opener used by many other teams. The support team in general doesn’t use the /here command, as we wish to avoid notification burnout, but we will be using it for the first meeting after a major release to make sure we can gather any important information that surfaces from users after a release.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members of our community from Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, India, Russia and Spain were part of this weeks meeting, with some new members from a few of them stopping by!

One of the contributors asked about information on highlighting topics to see which ones need addressing still, which the support team has a tool for at https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/appendix/helpful-tools/#clearer-plugin-and-theme-support.

Open floor

A request for more details for those running a contributor day was put forth. Turns out the existing page had been edited, and left in a state pending review. This has been re-published and is available at https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/getting-started-at-a-contributor-day/.

We would like to improve the getting started documentation, so if you’ve ever held a contributor day and done support, input on what worked, what information you felt was missing, and what could be improved upon is very much welcome at any time.

If you would be so kind, please leave a response to the annual WordPress user survey for 2019.

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

🎉 With the influx of new users lately, we’ll revitalize the contributor tips, a crowd favorite.

Helping out is awesome, but be selfish now and then, take the time you need to relax and unwind.

Contributor Tips

#support

October 31st Support Team Meeting Summary

First a reminder that we’re still working on the WordPress 5.3 Master List, to cover items that we foresee users being confused about, viewing as potential issues and so forth.

And of course, please help test the new version before it goes live.

Checking in with international liaisons

Representatives from Sweden, Russia, Brazil and the Netherlands took part in this weeks chat, mostly focused on the upcoming release.

Open floor

A question was brought forth on the process when requesting data deletion from WordPress.org. Although we don’t know the exact procedure, the privacy policy does make note that historical data such as commit history for plugins, themes and WordPress core are all retained. There’s also a section on forum posts and topics being historical data, and removing them would cause holes that may destroy the overall understanding of information., As such the user profile is scrubbed and anonymized.

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

#support

October 24th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

There’s been a few questions, and comments, about access to WordPress.org access being limited from the Chinese region of late, so we figured we’d give some information when possible.

There’s an ongoing issue with a lot of malicious traffic originating from the Chinese region. This is making the WordPress.org security systems limit connectivity from affected areas, and unfortunately also negatively affecting legitimate users.

We’re actively monitoring the situation, and are looking into ways to remedy this for real users, but due to how internet traffic is routed it’s not something that is likely solved quickly.


The initial post for the WordPress 5.3 Master List has also gone up at https://make.wordpress.org/support/2019/10/wordpress-5-3-master-list/.

The Master List is a forum thread created by the support team for every major release of WordPress where we pre-emptively gather information on what users may face and be confused by, mistake for bugs or need ot be aware of. It’s a living document, and as the release lives on the thread is populated with information of broken plugins or themes that impact a larger amount of users, bugs that are discovered etc. This allows us to have one location to reference for information, and to link users towards for troubleshooting steps.


@bethannon1 will be leading the Support Desk (aka Happiness Bar) at WordCamp US, and is looking for potential volunteers to help staff it. If this sounds like you, feel free to reach out to her!

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our international parts of the community in Italy, Sweden, India, Brazil, Portugal and Russia were part of this weeks meeting.

We also looked into if the Master List could be made more easily available for translations for our international crew. @tobifjellner has some good insights on utilizing HelpHub/SupportHub once it’s ready for synchronization between locales, and we will revisit this at that point as it becomes more viable when those systems are in place.

Open floor

A question about process with user management was brought forth, in relation to theme submissions on WordPress.org.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough information to make informed recommendations on the scenarios mentioned, but we invited those responsible to return to #forums with more details for a more thurough check.

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

#support

October 17th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

First up, the draft for the 5.3 Master List. I didn’t see any feedback on the make/support post on the preferred location for this, so I’ll go ahead with the GitHub as a start, with a make/forums post in addition pointing towards it (and letting folks who are not familiar or unable to use GitHub a place to participate). We’ll be using the shiny new Master List repository for this as well, so looking forward to that, and the post should go up some time tomorrow.

The core field guide isn’t released yet, which is a great asset when picking items to highlight or cover, so once that is out we’ll also be in a much better spot to filling out our own stuff.

Next on the agenda, some updates from the land of IRC.

The website that powers the WPBot IRC help bot has been updated and now also provides a handy REST API endpoint for the pre-defined replies that are commonly used on that platform.

Along with this, the bot it self was updated to use modern PHP, giving it a deeply sought after performance boost, and also allowing the log viewer connected to it to be updated in the same run.

WordPress 5.3 progression

For those keen-eyed individuals out there, you may have noticed that RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is available!

https://wordpress.org/news/2019/10/wordpress-5-3-release-candidate/ for those who’ve not yet seen it

As mentioned earlier, the field guide isn’t quite ready yet, but RC1 is when we start working on the Master List for the forums, and it’s roughly 1 month from release at this time, give or take a couple of days.

Checking in with international liaisons

Members from our community in Sweden, Russia, Portugal, Brazil and Italy were part of this weeks discussions, with some great conversations about our check-in process, and also with updates on the HelpHub rollout.

Speaking of HelpHub; Russia, Brazil and Italy have all been added to the HelpHub lists, and have started getting these populated in their respective languages, great work team!


We had a chat about our courtesy pings to named individuals, and although the meeting leader is not a fan of the /here command, it sounds like it might not be a bad idea in some scenarios.

In light of that, we will utilize it on our first meeting after a release, both to gauge the effect, but also broaden the reach as we try to gather information on how a release went and what we should be keeping an eye out for.

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

#support

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)

#support

September 5th Support Team Meeting Summary

Announcements

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.

#support

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)

#support

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

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.

#support