Dev Branch

EP32 – WP Playground’s Plugin Problem

October 6, 2023

This month on Dev Branch, we delve into the intricacies of the WordPress Plugin Directory with a keen focus on its newly rolled out feature, Live Preview. The addition of the Playground feature marks an innovative shift in user experience, granting potential users the capability to test a plugin in a live WordPress environment before integrating it into their own sites. As the conversation unfolds, the panel sheds light on the immediate challenges following its release. Many developers raised concerns after discovering compatibility issues or even outright non-functionality of their plugins with this new feature. The roundtable brings to light the broader theme of communication within the WordPress community, the importance of public dialogue, and the ongoing need for transparency and accountability in decision-making processes. There’s also a palpable sense of urging for more active involvement from plugin authors in the Make community to ensure their voices and concerns are heard. The episode winds down with an optimistic outlook on the open-source nature of the project and a call to uphold the core values that make WordPress unique.



[00:00:00] Introduction & Live Preview Overview
Discussing the new Live Preview feature in the WordPress Plugin Directory.

[00:05:30] Challenges with Live Preview
Developers voice concerns over compatibility issues and plugins not functioning as expected.

[00:15:20] Communication in the WordPress Community – The importance of public dialogue, understanding where conversations are happening, and addressing concerns openly.

[00:27:45] Holding the Project Accountable
Emphasizing the need for transparency, accountability, and active participation in decision-making processes.

[00:37:10] The Role of Plugin & Theme Community
Delving into the significant contributions and influence of the plugin and theme community in WordPress.

[00:45:20]Open Source and its Implications
A reflection on the open-source nature of WordPress and the responsibilities and opportunities it presents.

[00:57:15] Moving Forward & Conclusion
Closing thoughts on the importance of unity, collaboration, and upholding WordPress’s core values.

What is Dev Branch?

Dev Branch is streamed live and recorded monthly on the first friday of the month as the developer-focused discussions of the WPwatercooler Network. Dev Branch is released on its own podcast feed and made available live and on-demand in video format on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitch. Learn more how you can watch or listen to both Dev Branch and WPwatercooler by visiting our subscribe page

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Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Sé Reed: Like chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch chooch. That sounded more like a Teletate machine. Ah! Woop

[00:00:08] Jason Tucker: What’s up everyone. This is Jason Tucker and this is DevBranch episode number 32, WP Playgrounds plug in problem.

[00:00:17] Sé Reed: woo!

[00:00:19] Jason Cosper: I love how that was more of a question than a statement of the title, but

[00:00:27] Sé Reed: Plugins. Problems? Problems? Hahaha!

[00:00:30] Jason Tucker: Yeah, we have to fire the the producer that we have for the show here. And We are not firing our producer. Just so we’re clear. Nope, nope. Producer has carte blanche, even when they don’t make the intro video and it’s just a live, there’s no music. So yeah, who is that producer?

[00:00:48] Jason Cosper: And, and forget to switch us over to the dev branch stuff from WPwatercooler, but I,

[00:00:54] Jason Tucker: I’m doing good stuff here. This is awesome.

[00:00:57] Jason Cosper: Yeah.

[00:00:58] Sé Reed: years in and he starts, he’s starting to slip. It’s really, I’m just so glad it’s not me. Hey who are you, Jason? Can you introduce yourself? Cause you go first.

[00:01:08] Jason Tucker: Yeah. So I’m Jason Tucker. You can find me over at jasontucker.

[00:01:12] Sé Reed: I’m Sé Reed. I am at Sé Reed Media on all the things.

[00:01:17] Jason Cosper: And y’all know who it is. It’s your boy, Jason Cosper, AKA PostFormatsMalone back at it again on the world’s most. Influential WordPress podcast.

[00:01:26] Sé Reed: Oh, we’re really not lying now about that. I mean, not that we ever were really lying, but like, I’m just, like, I was just saying on the pre show, I I’m showing up in all these newsletters. It’s like, it’s a little unnerving.

[00:01:41] Jason Cosper: Influence.

[00:01:43] Sé Reed: I’m like, this is scary.

[00:01:45] Jason Tucker: com. Yeah. Influence. Exactly. I guess so. So we have guests.

[00:01:47] Sé Reed: speaking of influence, yeah, I think we have a really illustrious panel today, spanning multiple time zones, and I am so pleased.

[00:01:56] Sé Reed: For all of us to welcome our guests Aruba. Do you wanna introduce yourself first?

[00:02:01] Aurooba Ahmed: Sure, hi, I’m Aruba I’m a web developer, I make plugins and other things, and I’m happy to be here.

[00:02:10] Sé Reed: Welcome Matt. Tell us who you are and what you’re doing here.

[00:02:16] Matt Cromwell: Sé made me come so

[00:02:20] Aurooba Ahmed: Ditto.

[00:02:21] Matt Cromwell: I’m Matt founder of GiveWP and I’m here. And I was involved in the, talking about the playground plugin problem.

[00:02:36] Sé Reed: Pla in

[00:02:38] Jason Tucker: Problem?

[00:02:38] Aurooba Ahmed: mark?

[00:02:39] Sé Reed: The pla in the, it’s the Plugin Plague. No, it’s the Playground Plague WP Plugin. No. WP Playgrounds plug in problem. I got it.

[00:02:50] Jason Tucker: at you.

[00:02:52] Sé Reed: Look at

[00:02:52] Jason Tucker: had to say it live.

[00:02:54] Sé Reed: Yeah. Well, you know, I’m, we’re glad to have you here. And and our lovely friend of the show and regular Courtney, also known as the Peacemaker,

[00:03:07] Courtney Robertson: I don’t, I don’t know if it was that or I think I heard something response rang over at the repository. Thank you for the inclusion and the shout out in the newsletter. I think it was detailing the, the response was how it was worded recently. I was

[00:03:28] Jason Tucker: The

[00:03:29] Courtney Robertson: damage control. That’s it. Damage control was the

[00:03:32] Sé Reed: in, swooping in

[00:03:34] Courtney Robertson: yeah.

[00:03:34] Sé Reed: and the warm milk. Courtney.

[00:03:38] Jason Tucker: also

[00:03:38] Matt Cromwell: And the reasonable procedures,

[00:03:40] Sé Reed: Look, I’m not

[00:03:41] Matt Cromwell: why do you have to be so reasonable, Courtney?

[00:03:43] Courtney Robertson: I don’t

[00:03:44] Sé Reed: so reasonable. She’s like pathologically reasonable, actually. I don’t know if you know

[00:03:49] Matt Cromwell: maybe we should talk about these things beforehand. I don’t know.

[00:03:54] Sé Reed: I mean, it’s, you know,

[00:03:56] Aurooba Ahmed: that maybe should have happened before, but here we go, we’re here at last. There’s Courtney, right?

[00:04:02] Sé Reed: And

[00:04:02] Jason Cosper: So, so for the, the people tuning in, the people listening to the podcast who do not know what the hell we’re talking about, how about we go ahead and summarize what what occurred this week? Sé?

[00:04:20] Sé Reed: to I, no, I think one of our guests should do it. They were all aware of it in real time happening, so I feel like, as was I, but like, I think one of you

[00:04:31] Matt Cromwell: I could summarize from my perspective. Cause I got to it pretty early. So a lot of this happened because they triggered stuff in Australia time, which is super fun. Where like most of the rest of the WordPress community doesn’t live in that time zone at all. But it I, I woke up and I was like, oh, this looks fun on Twitter.

[00:04:51] Matt Cromwell: I saw it on Twitter. I’m not going to say the other name. It’s Twitter. And I was like, oh, a fun live preview thing. I wonder how you enable that

[00:05:01] Sé Reed: that does.

[00:05:02] Matt Cromwell: on your plugin. I would love to figure out how to enable that on my plugin if it works really well. And then I went about my work and started doing stuff.

[00:05:10] Matt Cromwell: And I was like, oh,

[00:05:11] Sé Reed: it didn’t even occur to you to go look, like,

[00:05:13] Matt Cromwell: I was, like, assuming for sure that I would have to enable it when it was ready to be enabled. I was assuming that for sure. So I went about my work

[00:05:22] Sé Reed: You fool.

[00:05:24] Matt Cromwell: And then I was like, I wonder how people are talking about this in Slack. I went over to WordPress Slack and I was like, oh yeah, there’s some convo here about it.

[00:05:32] Matt Cromwell: And I was like, oh, here’s the commit. Oh, this looks like… is this, is this everywhere? This is everywhere. Oh,

[00:05:42] Aurooba Ahmed: for

[00:05:43] Matt Cromwell: I went to givewp, of course and I was like, the button is on my plugin.

[00:05:50] Sé Reed: you went, you went to your repo, your plug in repo,

[00:05:52] Matt Cromwell: to wordpress. org slash plugin slash give and the live preview button was there.

[00:05:57] Matt Cromwell: I was like, oh wow, I didn’t opt into this, but okay, let’s test this out. This sounds great.

[00:06:03] Sé Reed: Did you, like, have to talk yourself through clicking it? Or did you just,

[00:06:06] Matt Cromwell: no, I was like, jump right in. Let me

[00:06:09] Sé Reed: Yeah, okay.

[00:06:09] Matt Cromwell: had checked out Playground before. Playground is awesome. So and then I clicked on it and I was like, Oh, this sucks. This is super bad. This is terrible.

[00:06:20] Matt Cromwell: This is bad news. This can’t be. So

[00:06:25] Jason Tucker: give any, there was no donation

[00:06:27] Matt Cromwell: no. I was like, take, take it down, take. No, no, no. Stop, stop, stop.

[00:06:36] Jason Tucker: at your people going

[00:06:37] Courtney Robertson: not governing the comments

[00:06:38] Jason Tucker: enabled this? What’s going on?

[00:06:40] Matt Cromwell: of thread. I was like. Okay, I know nobody’s awake for the, like, the next six hours, but, like, we got to figure out how to make this work with Playground immediately because there’s no opt out, and I’m going to work on an opt out, but I don’t know what’s going to happen here. And then I went over to make Slack, and I was like, oh my gosh, folks, like, how do I opt out?

[00:06:59] Matt Cromwell: Who can help me opt out? Help me opt out. Please opt out.

[00:07:02] Sé Reed: Opt me out. Opt me out now. I want out.

[00:07:06] Matt Cromwell: The conversation went from there. Like, the emotions were a lot higher. I really do try to be super even, like, level headed when I’m in WordPress Slack, as much as possible. I have a really, really thick, like, filter between behind the keyboard and what happens in WordPress Slack.

[00:07:22] Sé Reed: hmm. So do I.

[00:07:23] Matt Cromwell: so,

[00:07:24] Sé Reed: It’s probably not as thick as yours, though.

[00:07:26] Matt Cromwell: bottom line though, bottom line though is that the, the live preview, the playground is awesome. It’s really cool. It’s a great idea, it’s, it, it should be super useful for everyone going forward at some point for sure. But they got really excited about it and enabled it on every single plugin in the entire plugin directory, 65, 000 plugins.

[00:07:50] Matt Cromwell: And the problem is that the Playground environment is… Browser only, and they purposely limit the amount of PHP extensions that are enabled there because it’s hard to test every single PHP extension to work in that environment. So it makes sense that they would limit that. But like pushing it to…

[00:08:11] Sé Reed: my SQL light, right? That’s why. Yeah.

[00:08:14] Matt Cromwell: No, that’s a separate issue.

[00:08:16] Sé Reed: That’s a separate issue.

[00:08:17] Matt Cromwell: a flat file database thing, and that works great in,

[00:08:20] Sé Reed: So it’s separate from that altogether.

[00:08:23] Matt Cromwell: PHP extensions are a whole different thing. And like…

[00:08:27] Sé Reed: again. Our good friend php.

[00:08:29] Matt Cromwell: all have to be tested individually to work in a browser environment. Cosper can explain this way better than I can, but like it’s, it, a lot of the extensions that a lot of larger plugins use are not enabled in the Playground environment.

[00:08:44] Matt Cromwell: That’s one big issue. That was a Gibbs issue. The other big issue is that a lot of plugins are extensions of other big plugins, like all of the WooCommerce extensions that are out there in the world, and they often aren’t coded in a way to fail gracefully. It’s like, if the core plugin isn’t there, it just fails.

[00:09:01] Matt Cromwell: Ugly, not gracefully. Ugly,

[00:09:04] Sé Reed: Ugly ly.

[00:09:04] Matt Cromwell: ugly.

[00:09:05] Jason Tucker: The one plugin that it did work really well on was Suzette’s Pinkify plugin. At least you could see that the background turned pink. And so it was really cool that that worked really, really well.

[00:09:17] Matt Cromwell: Some of them work really cool. Like I actually tested out Yoast. Yoast is awesome in the playground. Like, check that out. It was like straight into the onboarding experience. It was super smooth and awesome. I was like, this is ideal. And actually the give onboarding experience is also really smooth if it didn’t fail error when you enabled the playground.

[00:09:37] Matt Cromwell: So,

[00:09:38] Courtney Robertson: Coblox was in the original demos when they first launched Playground, and Coblox is just an extra set of blocks. They do some great stuff with it, and it, just for record, it is one that I keep a good close watch on because I work at GoDaddy, and it’s part of our stuff, so I keep watch on that one. So I love that it was in the demos but then we have other things that, like, a lot of what came from the SkyVerge team that all depend upon WooCommerce.

[00:10:06] Courtney Robertson: So anything that has a plug in dependency, as Andy Fragen has pointed out, those ones that have plug in dependencies did not work at

[00:10:14] Jason Tucker: is it WooCommerce? That’s the one Woo, WooCommerce, right? That that’s

[00:10:18] Courtney Robertson: Yeah, lots of things depend on Woo or

[00:10:21] Sé Reed: know, I do believe there is an entire, and for some reason I, like, was not putting this together. I knew this at one point, but, like, you know, and I was, like, looking through the seshes and I was, like, Why are these all WooCommerce extensions? This is so weird. Like, why is this all about WooCommerce?

[00:10:37] Sé Reed: And then I was, like, oh, right. It’s Woo. That’s right. I forgot.

[00:10:42] Matt Cromwell: mic. There’s the

[00:10:42] Jason Tucker: And also like Jetpack,

[00:10:43] Sé Reed: I moved it to make, take notes.

[00:10:45] Jason Tucker: because

[00:10:46] Matt Cromwell: Oh yeah, Jetpack didn’t work,

[00:10:48] Jason Tucker: and

[00:10:48] Aurooba Ahmed: but even for blocks, it’s a whole thing, because in current version of Chrome, current version of Firefox Developer Edition, current version of Arc, the block editor inside Playground does not function correctly.

[00:10:59] Matt Cromwell: Hmm,

[00:11:00] Aurooba Ahmed: I have block editor only plugins. I have a block, and that’s great, and it technically does work, but the block editor in Playground right now doesn’t work.

[00:11:08] Aurooba Ahmed: The only browser I can get it to work correctly in is Safari,

[00:11:12] Sé Reed: here’s my question. Here’s my question. And this is not a question. This is a, this is not a rhetorical question, but this is not a question I think any of us can answer, but what’s the rush? Like, why are we like, I a big part of this and was cited, this was cited in the article in the in the, what’s it called, the repository.

[00:11:34] Sé Reed: I don’t think there’s been anything in the tavern yet, right? So, cause this literally is all just happening. But we had on Wednesday meeting in the meta channel, which is in theory supposed to be the place where we talk about things that are coming up. So not only, and

[00:11:51] Courtney Robertson: say, who is, we had a meeting in Meta, who is

[00:11:54] Sé Reed: me and Courtney.

[00:11:56] Courtney Robertson: right, yes, right, us, we’ve been facilitating the Meta meetings.

[00:12:00] Sé Reed: the royal we, obviously. No, but like, so we, we literally, like, have been, and, and in the, in the repositories email, it refers to me as the marketing team, co team rep. Totally accurate. However, in this context, I am one of two co facilitators of the meta team meetings and have been for the, basically all of this year.

[00:12:23] Sé Reed: along with Courtney. So we are there and we are saying, Hey, are there any projects being launched? Hey, are there any pages being launched on the, on

[00:12:32] Courtney Robertson: should look at? Help elevate? Help elevate? Help elevate? Help

[00:12:34] Sé Reed: look at? We’ve done this multiple times. We have open floors. We ask direct questions. I try to tag literally everybody in the world.

[00:12:42] Sé Reed: And there were crickets. So we talked about lots of cool things, but this is

[00:12:48] Courtney Robertson: Not one of them.

[00:12:49] Sé Reed: Not one of them. Didn’t come up.

[00:12:51] Matt Cromwell: come up, yeah.

[00:12:52] Sé Reed: it’s like the blogs, blogs page, but not only that, but there was no, correct me if I’m wrong here, there was no, obviously no pre announcement, nothing went out to plugin developers, but there was also no announcement that it had happened at all, even like a launch announcement, right?

[00:13:10] Sé Reed: No. So everyone is literally scrambling to find information about something that affects them. You know, 60, 000 development groups, whether those are multiple people or whatever, like that’s a lot of code and across the world, like without any notice

[00:13:30] Courtney Robertson: So, I want to ask one of the Jasons if you could share the meta track ticket. The one place that the conversation was happening, even before the launch, was the meta track ticket. And I tried to read all the meta track tickets

[00:13:47] Sé Reed: We try so hard to pay

[00:13:48] Courtney Robertson: into… There is a channel inside of Make WordPress Slack that is meta commits.

[00:13:54] Sé Reed: In that channel. If you want to come look at it with us,

[00:13:57] Courtney Robertson: so this is the place where it was announced from beginning to end. This is the place. And you’ll see that there wasn’t a lot of activity until it was launched and then people went looking. And in concept, it’s great, like, in theory, this is something that would be really cool to do.

[00:14:17] Courtney Robertson: However Yeah, there’s, there’s Hello Dolly with a preview on it and you click the button and off we go. So it sounds kind of cool, but in practice, I didn’t realize it was coming as soon as it was, like, I don’t know if I saw this ticket even. Certainly there was no elevation across the various teams. There was no call in for folks like Matt joining us today to come and

[00:14:43] Matt Cromwell: I love that comment. If I scroll up just a little bit, like the, the, the, they’re actually asking there, where should we launch this? And the reaction is we should do all plugins up a little bit higher. They’re right

[00:14:57] Sé Reed: out, we should still build an opt out

[00:14:58] Matt Cromwell: one right there. Yeah. My initial reaction is all plugins so that we’re not playing favorites.

[00:15:04] Matt Cromwell: So there’s definitely conversation happening here about the implementation of it. Steven here also talks about how it’s not like all plugins will not work in the playground and there should be an opt out. So this was brought up early on, but then I guess

[00:15:20] Sé Reed: And what we’re talking about early on, I just want to reiterate for people listening, this is four weeks ago. This is, this is happening right now. And so these questions are being brought

[00:15:29] Matt Cromwell: I’m, I’m torn about it though, because like literally there’s so many things about the plugin directory or meta in general, where we all have been like, geez, it’s just a line of code. Can we just push it through? And it takes years for that to happen sometimes.

[00:15:45] Sé Reed: And then giant

[00:15:46] Matt Cromwell: weird about this is that it’s actually, it’s like, I want them to be more experimental about stuff like this, but with communication, if possible,

[00:15:54] Courtney Robertson: Yeah. Especially in light of the com SEO listings of just a couple of weeks ago. And are we still within a year since the stats of the plugin repo? I feel like we’re still, yes, we’re still trying to rebuild trust of the plugin repo. So to then have another contention happening inside the plugin repo.

[00:16:17] Courtney Robertson: And I, I do think that, you know, at the end of the, all of this so far, what we see as of now is that it was converted to opt out after a bit, and then a few hours after that, it was entirely removed for now, because enough things were broken, and I cited in my response, some of what Mika, Mika pointed out, that there were quite a few things that, like, at least a third of the plugin repo would not work with this, and to think that all these different things would come in and opt out or even knew that this is happening, because…

[00:16:50] Courtney Robertson: You know, we’re talking with two other

[00:16:53] Sé Reed: 000 people.

[00:16:55] Courtney Robertson: devs that are on this episode together today. That are paying attention and would know, but there’s a lot of plugins that it would have to go onto the roadmap if they’re paying attention. And then they’ll have to get to it when they get to it, right?

[00:17:09] Courtney Robertson: Or they might not even realize that it’s there for a while. And they’re certainly not opting out. And if it’s broken, well, that doesn’t look right. So… Yes, I’m glad for now that they have omitted it, but I think that we’ve got some work ahead of us. This can be a really cool feature,

[00:17:26] Sé Reed: I want to,

[00:17:27] Aurooba Ahmed: fantastic concept. It’s

[00:17:28] Sé Reed: so this is exactly the point, right? We have all of these things become about the, these conversations get totally like waylaid by the communication or the lack thereof, right? The conversation about the active growth stats. You know, I try to say this a lot, or I was trying to say this, but like the community is actually, of course there’s outliers, but for the most part, it’s reasonable people who understand business, who are trying to make it all work, right?

[00:17:58] Sé Reed: Like no one is begrudging anyone else’s like opinions or what they, what they need to do. So the, the bulk of the plugin developers out there are interested, like you were saying, Matt, in moving forward, in doing cool things. But they just want to be included and somehow the exclusionary part Even if it’s inadvertent and just happening because everyone keeps busting through tickets. don’t, I don’t know where that, I brought this up at the community summit, but that attitude that the community slows everything down, or that things should just be done without any sort of announcement or process. This is… This becomes the thing that slows us down. This becomes the thing that is the problem.

[00:18:48] Sé Reed: This creates the animosity. The animosity is not about the playground or the live preview button. And I feel like if we did more ask, we as make WP did more asking for help even and saying, Hey, let’s, you know, let’s embrace the whole beta cycle concept. Like who wants to opt in for a test on their plugin?

[00:19:12] Sé Reed: Right? Like, put a call out. And, I don’t know, there’s this whole marketing committee that could like, I don’t know, help with that, maybe, if we were able to do anything. But, at the very least, like, a post could go out on Meta, that says, Hey, we’re gonna test this, we’re gonna do a beta testing period for a month, and then try to launch it. This is not rocket science. Like, that is a tried and true communi like, it is, it is, it’s not revolutionary communication. Like,

[00:19:42] Jason Cosper: And instead, instead they just shoved it out into the world and gave everybody all the plugin developers out there. Now know what theme developers for years had to suffer through.

[00:19:55] Sé Reed: the damn boat!

[00:19:57] Jason Cosper: when they would update a theme to the theme directory and end up like with none of the content in there and yes, say the fucking boat

[00:20:08] Sé Reed: the boat!

[00:20:09] Jason Cosper: little.

[00:20:10] Sé Reed: The boat! This is, I actually, I almost used, I, I sent Jason some photos for the, like, thumbnail for this, this this show, and I almost sent a picture of the boat, but I thought it would be, like, too esoteric, like,

[00:20:25] Jason Tucker: burning boat sinking,

[00:20:28] Sé Reed: Cause that boat is, has been in the theme live preview button for, you know, the entirety of forever.

[00:20:33] Sé Reed: And this is

[00:20:35] Jason Tucker: had a really good theme that had a had a whole wizard that would walk you through

[00:20:40] Sé Reed: yeah, I mean,

[00:20:41] Jason Tucker: up. It would have

[00:20:42] Sé Reed: what if we had that?

[00:20:43] Courtney Robertson: Okay, so that, that I’ll just say is

[00:20:45] Matt Cromwell: if only that existed

[00:20:47] Aurooba Ahmed: It’s a

[00:20:47] Sé Reed: Courtney’s like, do not talk about that right now.

[00:20:49] Jason Tucker: be so weird.

[00:20:50] Courtney Robertson: let’s table that and work with Learn for pulling resources in. That’s something that I will explore later, but that’s not this. That’s,

[00:20:57] Jason Tucker: would be pretty sweet though.

[00:20:59] Courtney Robertson: it

[00:20:59] Jason Tucker: But what, the thing is, is Matt, Matt could have had the time to build out a really cool looking wizard type setup that would have like explained, here’s how give works. Here’s how you could like donate. Here’s how this thing could like, there’s a, there’s some opportunities here for like really being able to showcase your, your theme and, or your theme, your plugin, and really kind of show off what’s happening there.

[00:21:23] Jason Tucker: And there’s a lot of steps that are involved to get you there, Matt. I mean, you couldn’t just be like, here you go, but if you could like stage something up that would have like you know, some, you know a campaign that’s already set up that already had, you know, some stuff in there that you could just go look here, like you click on this and you,

[00:21:40] Matt Cromwell: I mean, I, I also am a podcast person. I have a little tiny little up and coming podcast, WPProgTalk. We talk, and we need to get Aruba on, by the way. You’re on my list, Aruba.

[00:21:51] Sé Reed: Are you literally recruiting guests on our show?

[00:21:54] Matt Cromwell: Yeah, I need to get

[00:21:55] Courtney Robertson: Do it.

[00:21:56] Sé Reed: What is it? What is that you

[00:21:57] Courtney Robertson: been online,

[00:21:58] Sé Reed: Wait, wait, wait. What was that you said at the beginning of the show, Cosper? I think it’s a line that you have. Yeah. Anyway.

[00:22:03] Jason Cosper: most

[00:22:04] Matt Cromwell: no, but like, we, we’ve not.

[00:22:06] Jason Cosper: Yes.

[00:22:07] Matt Cromwell: We just had a, we had a great episode last week with InstaWP from Vic, Vickas from InstaWP, where we talked about how plugin authors are really pushing hard to do live demos because people, people

[00:22:19] Aurooba Ahmed: are amazing.

[00:22:20] Matt Cromwell: forever, I know, forever ago,

[00:22:22] Courtney Robertson: Chrome to launch

[00:22:24] Matt Cromwell: You want to try out my plugin?

[00:22:25] Matt Cromwell: You just install it on your site and you try it out. That was the way it was back then. It’s not like that anymore. People are a lot more gun shy about just installing whatever random code on their website. And so, they want a live demo. Live demos are a big deal, and they’re super useful. So, it’s a great feature.

[00:22:40] Matt Cromwell: And honestly, like, I want to give the Playground team a lot of grace in this whole thing. I just feel like, I just feel like they are running fast and they are like trying to do fun things really quickly. And I like that attitude and that spirit. It blew up in their face. Live and learn and

[00:22:58] Sé Reed: yeah, I want to, I want to wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I want to stop you right there because I agree with that completely, right? These developers are doing their thing. They’re moving forward, but we need to ask ourselves about the environment in which those decisions are being made, because I’m telling you that the individual developers who are pushing these commits are not doing this without asking someone.

[00:23:22] Sé Reed: About it. So that decision is happening, but it is not happening in a place where it is openly being And I, I can almost guarantee you that the decision to push that commit button is, is not happening at the developer level.

[00:23:41] Courtney Robertson: If, if, if it were happening at the developer level Within GIV, let me ask Matt, since you’re overseeing teams, you’ve got teams of devs now throughout various Stellar products are your senior devs even the ones that are leading what, like, project managing as well, or are they just devving?

[00:24:03] Matt Cromwell: our senior, our, our, we, our lead devs are overseeing the devs and we have project managers who are project managing the projects.

[00:24:09] Courtney Robertson: Yeah. That.

[00:24:11] Matt Cromwell: like today,

[00:24:13] Courtney Robertson: Right. So, so engineers will engineer. Right. Engineers will engineer.

[00:24:19] Sé Reed: you’ve come up with

[00:24:20] Courtney Robertson: And I, I love, I love when

[00:24:22] Sé Reed: trying to mock you, by the way.

[00:24:23] Courtney Robertson: in the project, but engineers will engineer and engineers do engineering well. I don’t know that engineers do product launches or feature launches. All together on their own really well.

[00:24:36] Courtney Robertson: They sometimes need to talk to people like myself that turn DevSpeak into human, understandable somethings. Just, just experience at working for our company that now is part of Stellar. So… In, in that regard, I think that there is a need throughout the project of further understanding of better comms with the teams.

[00:24:59] Courtney Robertson: Part of my response was heavily leaning in on, have you talked to the plugin review team and or marketing team about this? Marketing could help by wordsmithing a newsletter that goes out to the plugin. We already email

[00:25:12] Aurooba Ahmed: for

[00:25:14] Courtney Robertson: a big update saying, here’s your field notes, go get it.

[00:25:17] Sé Reed: And we barely do that though. I just want to point that

[00:25:20] Courtney Robertson: Right,

[00:25:20] Sé Reed: is a whole point of

[00:25:21] Courtney Robertson: that’s a new thing for Marcoms to even help with that because I’ve been pushing on that for a couple releases but

[00:25:29] Sé Reed: And we’re finally allowed to work on the co draft. So

[00:25:33] Courtney Robertson: right, so, so wouldn’t it be great to, to tap into some of these other teams and start collaborating together and understanding What the project needs as a proper proposal, because we’ve seen the blocks page go live recently that didn’t have a proposal ahead of it. Didn’t, there was no awareness. It’s just, there it was.

[00:25:52] Courtney Robertson: And, and that’s been handled and dealt with. And again, these are people that I would call friends. You know, I’ve been hanging in the meta channel and working with these folks for quite a while. I would consider them friends and it’s not for I don’t know if they’re, if they are in the positions they might be suspecting where they’re being pushed to do something in a super timely manner by powers we don’t see.

[00:26:12] Sé Reed: Come now.

[00:26:14] Courtney Robertson: I’m not sure about

[00:26:15] Sé Reed: say that, but

[00:26:16] Courtney Robertson: still, no, but still, the problem is that we’re not communicating internally with teams in the project. We’re not doing well at rebuilding the trust for areas of the project that have been suffering, like the the plug in maintainers that are not thrilled with the behavior of the plug in repo lately.

[00:26:33] Courtney Robertson: So these are major areas of, of concern.

[00:26:36] Aurooba Ahmed: the thing, here’s the thing. We can’t even get to the point where there is inter team communication, because since this thing has happened, I have been watching meta, I have been watching meta playground, and I have not seen it. seen anything there. All the discussions are happening somewhere else.

[00:26:53] Aurooba Ahmed: So I’m just like, okay, these discussions are clearly happening. You

[00:26:56] Sé Reed: somewhere else.

[00:26:57] Aurooba Ahmed: and, you know Adam, everyone’s been talking about it and they

[00:27:00] Sé Reed: Yeah, Alex,

[00:27:01] Aurooba Ahmed: it.

[00:27:02] Sé Reed: Alex is not making that decision, right? Exactly,

[00:27:05] Aurooba Ahmed: where is this happening? Why wasn’t that discussion in that channel where we could comment or follow? So we, we can’t even get to the inter team communication thing. I would like to see a little bit more transparency in how things are happening just within the channel first.

[00:27:21] Courtney Robertson: I, the

[00:27:22] Matt Cromwell: say though, I like.

[00:27:23] Courtney Robertson: making is meta playground is the channel that is dedicated to the features of the playground. I watched there, I watched a plug and review channel, and I watched meta.

[00:27:34] Jason Cosper: This is, this, this reminds me so much of a book that I just reread Hitchhiker’s Guide where the this, this all happened, but. Right, this, you know, the discussion around this happened, but it all happened in a channel. It was publicly posted. However, you had to go to this sub basement in this solar

[00:27:59] Sé Reed: Vogon

[00:28:00] Matt Cromwell: Anybody could have got there. Anybody could have got

[00:28:02] Jason Cosper: right. These

[00:28:04] Aurooba Ahmed: let’s be clear, a track ticket is not public. I’m sorry, it’s not. It is, but it’s not.

[00:28:09] Jason Cosper: Yeah. These, these processes

[00:28:12] Sé Reed: wait, I just realized something. I just realized something. This whole time, Code is Poetry was… A Vogon statement. I didn’t, I just, my mind just exploded. I was like, Oh wow. Anyway, talk about lizard people. Now there’s Vogon people. That’s all I’m

[00:28:29] Jason Tucker: so should we have tested this on wordpress. com first before wordpress. org? I’m just curious.

[00:28:35] Sé Reed: Why do you have to throw fuel, throw gasoline on the fire? We’re all

[00:28:40] Jason Tucker: I’m just, I’m just curious. Get a bid.

[00:28:42] Sé Reed: This is, but actually, this, that’s a great segue because this is the problem. And I’m not trying to apply like relationship or interpersonal like psychology understanding to this, but at the, at the, even at scale, that’s what humans are, right?

[00:28:57] Sé Reed: We’re not… We’re not repairing the damage. We are continuing on and pretending it’s not happening. This is why, not to like, not to reference any other things, but this is why I published my code of conduct violation, because continually we, something happened, everyone’s upset. We’re all hurt in some way, whether we’re a plugin developer or.

[00:29:20] Sé Reed: You know, it’s something on Twitter or whatever it is, active growth charts. And then we just like, kind of forget about it. And some stuff came up in the recent Twitter stuff where people started, actually since the Twitter stuff, where people have started like commenting in on past hurts, like three years ago, apparently WP was banned from any plugin name and, you know, Mika could probably speak to this in there.

[00:29:45] Sé Reed: But and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I’m just saying these old wounds. are not being dealt with. It’s still like this unanswered track ticket. It’s an unresponded to email. Even in William’s, William Bay’s thing that we posted in the show notes or that Courtney linked to, you know, he said he messaged Matthias about the media library because, you know, and I also would really like to know what’s going on with the media library, but, you know, William is a photographer and has been talking about this.

[00:30:20] Sé Reed: You know, for like literally a decade. And he wants to be involved just, just for fun. Just not even for fun, for his own use, for his own future. And he hasn’t gotten the ping back from the lead of the project.

[00:30:35] Matt Cromwell: I will say though, like, that it, today, this morning, literally, did feel reminiscent of other things where I was like, crap, are they really pulling this on me again? But it did go differently than other times, and that is encouraging.

[00:30:52] Sé Reed: Okay. I like that.

[00:30:53] Matt Cromwell: I literally, last year, when they pulled the plugin stats away, I was like, they have to be reasonable.

[00:30:59] Matt Cromwell: They have to understand that this was a bad move. They have to turn. I would, I am still bothered that nobody understood how unreasonable that that move was that it, that it was done at all, that it was done without announcement, that it was done without conversation, and that all the conversations that happened after that resulted in zero fruit.

[00:31:18] Matt Cromwell: That to me is still very, very painful. Today wasn’t

[00:31:21] Sé Reed: what I mean. Right. Well, I mean, that’s really

[00:31:25] Matt Cromwell: they listened, and they acted very quickly. And that to me is encouraging. That’s what I want to see the plugin directory be more of. I want to believe that if I speak up and that I’m not alone in my, my position with a bunch of other plugin authors, that everyone is reasonable.

[00:31:41] Matt Cromwell: Like, oh yeah, good point. You’re right. We screwed up. Like, we’ll do it better next time. Like, that’s great. I,

[00:31:46] Aurooba Ahmed: Yeah,

[00:31:47] Sé Reed: that is great.

[00:31:48] Aurooba Ahmed: extra emphasizing. I just really do appreciate the way Adam, Alex, and Stephen, how they handled it. They handled it with incredible grace, because people were upset. Rightly so. But the people were upset, and maybe they didn’t understand the perspective, but then they made that effort to do that.

[00:32:03] Aurooba Ahmed: And I think that deserves so much more kudos than they have so far gotten. So,

[00:32:08] Sé Reed: think you’re right. And I think, I think that’s great because we aren’t aware of the pressures that they’re facing on the, wherever these decisions are taking place. And so I think that anyone who’s able to handle that with grace and also take those actions is probably having some really difficult conversations, not…

[00:32:30] Sé Reed: that aren’t visible, and I appreciate… People, you know, doing that and bringing, you know, I think they’re probably, you know, being reasonable at the, and I appreciate that, but, you know, they’re not being, like, not listening to you. So, that’s, that’s what we want more of. However, I would like to say that I think this is you know, there are some folks in the meta channel paying attention.

[00:32:56] Sé Reed: There are, you know, hopefully now there are more folks in those channels. It’s really important for there to be plug in developers and plug in authors contributing to this. To the make world, and to be paying attention, because it can’t just be on, you know, the people who are continually trying to surface information, like, for example, Courtney and myself.

[00:33:21] Sé Reed: I know that plugins, as a team, you can’t join, basically, right? Like, you can’t, it’s,

[00:33:26] Courtney Robertson: You can apply.

[00:33:28] Sé Reed: right, you can apply now, but it’s… It is, understandably, its own thing, but again, yeah, exactly, that’s, it’s the plugin review team, but there are still other areas that discuss plugins. We discuss plugins every two weeks during the meta meeting, so there are places for plugin developers to be…

[00:33:47] Sé Reed: To, to, to contribute in terms of like being there and paying attention and offering the developer perspective from outside the bubble. And I think that is extreme because of all the, all the, you know, not welcome signs that are up around the plug and review team around, you know, a lot of meta in general, it’s easy to stay away.

[00:34:09] Sé Reed: I get it, but we have made it a nicer place. And even if we’re not finding out the information still, we’re closer. Right? We’re closer to accountability, we’re closer to that. So if there were more of us, there are more people outside the bubble there, then the bubble gets bigger. And maybe we can even get to a point where we are able to catch this stuff before it goes out.

[00:34:33] Sé Reed: And someone can just say, Hey, I’m going to flag this for the marketing team to put in their what’s new in WordPress. It’s a monthly newsletter, or to put just a ticket about, or to make an amplification post about, or whatever. Like, in theory the resources are there, in theory the structure is there, we, we don’t have enough, nearly enough eyeballs.

[00:34:55] Sé Reed: Looking and being a part of this. So this, this is what I hope we all take out of this. And maybe, you know, if you could spread that word amongst your colleagues.

[00:35:06] Matt Cromwell: I got a special at mention in WordPress, slack, just today or yesterday from, say, Reed. So

[00:35:13] Sé Reed: I did, I

[00:35:14] Matt Cromwell: adequately, adequately lambasted.

[00:35:17] Sé Reed: We moved the we moved the the meta team meeting will now be in two weeks on at 1900 hours UTC in the meta channel. So feel free to show up. I tried to tag everyone who said they were pledged to meta that I recognized that had been involved,

[00:35:33] Matt Cromwell: have been in those meetings before. That’s

[00:35:34] Sé Reed: yeah, so

[00:35:35] Matt Cromwell: I got the little badge on purpose. I’ve been there.

[00:35:38] Sé Reed: I tagged everybody.

[00:35:39] Sé Reed: So please try to join. That’s all I can say. Like, that’s my takeaway is

[00:35:45] Matt Cromwell: Participate,

[00:35:46] Jason Cosper: I, I feel, I feel like a nerd for, for kind of doing this, but effectively say, I feel like what you’re saying is don’t boo vote.

[00:35:59] Sé Reed: yeah, that’s basically what I’m saying.

[00:36:01] Matt Cromwell: I’m saying boo and vote. I’m saying boo

[00:36:04] Sé Reed: I am actually, yeah, say boo all you want. Don’t just say boo, also vote. How about that?

[00:36:09] Jason Cosper: Don’t just say boo, like be there, be involved.

[00:36:13] Aurooba Ahmed: Because not everyone has the capacity to do more than sometimes boo, and there can be value in it when it’s done appropriately.

[00:36:20] Sé Reed: All you can do, you need to boo in the right spot,

[00:36:24] Aurooba Ahmed: In the right

[00:36:25] Sé Reed: you don’t, yeah, yeah, but like,

[00:36:27] Aurooba Ahmed: as well.

[00:36:28] Sé Reed: if you come say at the meta meeting, hey, I saw this ticket, and then put it in there, you don’t have to do much else. Or hey, By reading a ticket that’s in the metathings, you say, Hmm, that doesn’t seem like a good idea.

[00:36:40] Sé Reed: Maybe we should do this. Like, I cannot stress how much just being, just reading asynchronous meeting minutes in the various Slack channels can be useful. Because it feels, it feels futile. It feels… It feels like you’re not doing anything, but at the very least, it becomes a, a tracking ca where we can track, sort of like, this person said this, this is some opinion here, maybe we should flag this.

[00:37:07] Sé Reed: And it’s, it’s not all just, oh, Courtney thinks this, and Sé thinks this. Like, we can represent people, but we need all those voices, even if they’re

[00:37:17] Matt Cromwell: totally. Even this morning when, when it all was going down, like before I chimed in at all, I went and I tried to search for meetings where that ticket was mentioned. I tried to search for anywhere where Plug Playground was mentioned in meta in any way whatsoever. Just in order, because I didn’t want to be like, what the heck people, nobody’s talking about this and here it is.

[00:37:38] Matt Cromwell: And I didn’t want to be wrong and be like, actually, no, everybody did talk about it. I just wasn’t paying attention.

[00:37:44] Sé Reed: I mean, that’s how I felt about the blocks page, because literally, facilitating the meta meetings, which is supposed to be oversee the website, and facilitating and being present for every single thing that’s going on in marketing, I’m like, I know we did not talk about this, like, unless it was like last year and this is just like, I know we did not talk about it.

[00:38:05] Sé Reed: So the fact that you went in there and looked like, you know, is, is that next step, like maybe people are talking about it and you could join that

[00:38:12] Matt Cromwell: yeah,

[00:38:14] Sé Reed: But sometimes they’re just not talking about it.

[00:38:16] Matt Cromwell: yeah. Like today, I was like there, I saw the track ticket. That was the only mention I saw.

[00:38:21] Aurooba Ahmed: Yeah, and it was mentioned outside of like the auto post thing, right, that

[00:38:26] Matt Cromwell: Yeah, the Audible thing.

[00:38:27] Courtney Robertson: Automatic post, not autos post, because we’re talking

[00:38:31] Aurooba Ahmed: sorry, yeah, not autos post, but yeah, the automatic posting. Outside of that, I think there was one mention, just one, in a Playground meeting

[00:38:40] Matt Cromwell: yeah, in the playground. Yeah, but I was definitely not looking in that channel.

[00:38:44] Aurooba Ahmed: Oh, definitely. And I wouldn’t expect it to be there, right? Like,

[00:38:47] Courtney Robertson: I was out with COVID during that.

[00:38:49] Matt Cromwell: That’s the, that’s Cosper’s point, is like, go down to the basement, turn left, like, and there it is. It’s like, totally public for

[00:38:56] Aurooba Ahmed: feature, but it’s on the Plugin repo, so it shouldn’t really be a Playground decision, it should be a Plugin and Playground decision, but primarily led by people who are meta. Anyway, I have a whole thing of feelings about that too, so there’s

[00:39:08] Sé Reed: There’s a, there’s some feelings. Fun fact, I actually have started a track ticket to diagram the Slack channels. So if you want to help me do that, I would love your help with that because they’re There are

[00:39:20] Aurooba Ahmed: Okay, you’re gonna have to share the ticket.

[00:39:22] Sé Reed: I will share the ticket in the show notes and in the chat, but I have started a, let’s document the Slack channels because I mean, the whole reason I’m in meta is because when I had a conversation one on one with Matt Mullenweg about the political plugins in the, in the, in the repo I asked, The same conversation, question, which I keep asking everyone constantly is, where are we having these conversations?

[00:39:47] Sé Reed: Even, even Matt Cromwell here asked that on Twitter a couple weeks ago. He’s like, this isn’t the right place for this conversation. And I’m like, look, man, I don’t know where the

[00:39:56] Courtney Robertson: I remember even

[00:39:57] Sé Reed: to talk about

[00:39:58] Courtney Robertson: to that, like, like, hey, I’m in the

[00:40:00] Matt Cromwell: You both had a good point.

[00:40:02] Courtney Robertson: Matt. Like, we’re not talking there.

[00:40:04] Matt Cromwell: and today too, I didn’t go to Twitter again today because I’m just like, I don’t, I like, I can gripe and complain about it and people will be like, yeah, that sucks.

[00:40:13] Sé Reed: Well, Twitter is if you need people to know about something.

[00:40:16] Matt Cromwell: make, because I feel like that’s where they’re going to make a decision to change it.

[00:40:20] Sé Reed: I think the

[00:40:21] Jason Tucker: back to Aruba’s point, you, you have to have, you have to, you have to communicate in public and the most public that we’ve found so far is some type of social media place that you can start posting these things at,

[00:40:36] Sé Reed: Or, or in

[00:40:38] Courtney Robertson: WordPress. org social media were able to partner with the marketing team, get some stuff written that reaches out to the plugin devs across social media saying, come in here to have the conversation, please call them in.

[00:40:51] Jason Tucker: have a

[00:40:51] Sé Reed: What world do you live in, Courtney? It’s like rainbows and sunshine over there, I’m just

[00:40:56] Matt Cromwell: I will

[00:40:56] Sé Reed: I live in your world, too.

[00:40:58] Courtney Robertson: This

[00:40:58] Matt Cromwell: if we all expended all of our efforts today in the make channel and tried to make change happen, and they were like, Oh, we hear you, but nah, we’re going to leave it there tomorrow or Monday, you better believe I’d be on Twitter. Like at that stage, I’d be like. I did what I could do, just like you have been, Ben, that was your point.

[00:41:17] Matt Cromwell: It’s

[00:41:17] Sé Reed: That was

[00:41:18] Matt Cromwell: done that thing, Matt, like, yes,

[00:41:20] Sé Reed: done so many of that thing.

[00:41:22] Matt Cromwell: those things.

[00:41:23] Sé Reed: Yeah. And that’s…

[00:41:24] Matt Cromwell: folks are like, when it’s like you’re talking to a wall, then you gotta be like, hey folks, everybody needs to pay attention to this issue now.

[00:41:31] Sé Reed: Well, just to continue that analogy, we need more people here so we can boost ourselves over this wall. And that’s what we go to social media or blog posts or, you know, group chats or whatever. And we need to tell people, like, I know, I had this conversation actually at WordCamp US, I think it was part of the summit, I don’t, it was in an unofficial, you know, side chat.

[00:41:53] Sé Reed: Someone was talking about making another. And I’m like, can you just please do this in make, like, I know it sucks. I know it’s like molasses. I know it’s hard because we, no one knows who to ask permission from. But the truth is if we don’t make the things there, then we are seeding all of our control, all of our, I mean, that is.

[00:42:17] Sé Reed: That’s, that’s the official place where this stuff is happening, and if we don’t have the conversations there, or bring the conversation there, then we don’t, like, it’s not going to happen through Twitter. I mean, and Joseph and I had a conversation recently about this, with regard to the annual survey that none of the marketing team even knows anything about, which we’re going to talk about next Tuesday at the Make Marketing meeting.

[00:42:42] Sé Reed: You know, she said, Oh, we’re not doing you know, let’s not do business on Twitter or whatever. And I was like, okay, but let’s have you come to the meeting here at this time. And so ironically, we were doing business on Twitter because I drew attention to it, like me having a one on one conversation about that is not public.

[00:43:03] Sé Reed: So I am against just DMing people for those conversations. I’m done with that. I’m done with the DMs. I’m done saying, Hey, what about this? Because then it’s just me versus everybody, like the entire apparatus that operates with this weird, you know, kind of Borg like force, right? Like, as opposed to when I bring, you know, all of us into the conversation, I’m not fighting this battle by myself.

[00:43:32] Sé Reed: And even if it’s not a battle, it’s not just like Sé’s problem. You know, I’m willing to be the lightning rod here, but not for much longer. So everyone needs to like, hurry the F up and get in here. I am tired of being lightning rod. Anyone who’s in this, listening to this podcast or commenting on this podcast, like I am asking you, I’ve been asking you for the last time.

[00:43:58] Sé Reed: Well, I’m asking you for the, what’s that Bernie, Bernie thing. I’m asking you for yet another time, please come to some freaking meetings. So,

[00:44:09] Courtney Robertson: Yeah,

[00:44:10] Sé Reed: chime in, sign into your make slack. It’s really annoying because you’ve got to figure out what email it’s attached to with your WP thing. Get into your make slack, you know, ping me and say, say, tag me where you need me.

[00:44:23] Sé Reed: And I will tag you where I need you.

[00:44:25] Matt Cromwell: I think the, the most important, the most important issue that we circled on is the, the way in which this whole thing is, has eroded trust in the community and the, in the plugin ecosystem community. And like, I would love for folks to get into make, to have investment in there so that whatever the next big move is, let’s say like we are pushing some new stats out to the plugin pages.

[00:44:48] Matt Cromwell: Maybe we’re going to do that. Like if we all did that and it. And it was like something that actually was communicated and had some sort of consensus. And it actually happened. Like that would, that would push trust up so much. Like it would really do it. It wouldn’t do everything cause there’s too much, but it would do a lot.

[00:45:07] Matt Cromwell: It would really bring us a long ways. It really does take folks to actually show up and do it and to actually have something that actually makes it. physical change in one way or another because we’ve had too many instances where we just get side slapped and like, ah, crap, not

[00:45:23] Sé Reed: Yeah. And,

[00:45:24] Courtney Robertson: giving a shout out to what, what Sé, Sé used the specific word asynchronous. If the reason that you’re not in the meetings is that you can’t be in the meetings because you were in work at that time, like, whatever the reason. Asynchronous is also totally fine with a lot of us because asynchronous means that you read it when you come back to the time span to read it.

[00:45:45] Courtney Robertson: What really is important is that you do make the time to do that. Especially if it is really relevant to your work. I would advocate for devs to talk with their managers. Hopefully they get time to experiment with the calls for testing that go out to test some of these new features. I remember Just a couple hours.

[00:46:06] Courtney Robertson: yeah, first time I might be publicly airing this.

[00:46:08] Courtney Robertson: After going through one of the calls for testing, I remember specifically thinking, because I was still working at the events calendar just about wrapping up my tenure there, and I basically was like, the events calendar hooks into Customizer, and if Customizer is gone from, The first block theme that we’re rolling out, then how do people get to change the settings that are in the customizer?

[00:46:27] Courtney Robertson: So I was anonymously in comms with people at the tavern to make sure that that got featured. Well, I figured that out because I went through the call for testing. So talk to whoever you need to talk to so that you get some time to focus on this. If this is very correlated to your job and if it matters to the company that they know what’s going on, start talking to them.

[00:46:48] Courtney Robertson: I’m happy to advocate and speak to whomever. I can help speak to, I don’t care if it’s my company or somebody else’s company, why it really matters to do these things why it matters

[00:46:57] Sé Reed: like an hour a week. If you read the show notes. The show notes, the meeting notes, like that’s, you don’t have to even like do

[00:47:04] Matt Cromwell: a show, kind of a show.

[00:47:06] Sé Reed: kind of a show, just read through it and be like, this is what’s happening. That’s, that’s literally it. Like I, like people feel so much that contribution has to be making something, but it is not.

[00:47:19] Sé Reed: It is knowing something, like

[00:47:21] Courtney Robertson: being informed to have a good opinion.

[00:47:23] Sé Reed: Yeah. And

[00:47:24] Jason Cosper: if only we knew,

[00:47:25] Matt Cromwell: stalk all the things.

[00:47:27] Jason Cosper: if only we knew somebody,

[00:47:28] Aurooba Ahmed: the reaction emojis everywhere. What?

[00:47:30] Sé Reed: Yeah,

[00:47:32] Jason Cosper: if only we knew somebody who does a regular update on what’s happening in the make world, I, I

[00:47:39] Aurooba Ahmed: We don’t know

[00:47:40] Courtney Robertson: Wait, what? What? Actually, this week I will say, I, as soon as today’s episode of Watercooler wraps, I will be publishing my post status weekly roundup. The reason being, I had some family members that were in the hospital this week others that were dealing with recovering from COVID. My kiddos have been battling all sorts of things, so if you’ve noticed that I might be sporadic and not quite on my game since, like, the middle of

[00:48:04] Sé Reed: feeling bad. She’s like, Oh, I’m two days late on my complete love, labor of love that like summarizes everything that’s happening in WordPress.

[00:48:12] Courtney Robertson: To be clear, I get to do this on the clock. Like,

[00:48:15] Sé Reed: still like. You’ve created this thing and, you know, you put it on post status because it doesn’t exist in Made Make.

[00:48:24] Sé Reed: First of all, actually, not first of all, but I want to take this moment to say that the other thing that you created in Make on Make WordPress is actually very valuable for people who don’t have a lot of time, which is make. wordpress. org slash latest, where you can literally see all of the posts that have happened.

[00:48:46] Sé Reed: On make,

[00:48:48] Courtney Robertson: And if I’ve got anybody that would volunteer

[00:48:51] Sé Reed: to fix the file for the

[00:48:52] Courtney Robertson: help, no, no, no, it’s about the slash latest. Slash latest, one of the things I’m going to do is filter down the RSS so that for Polyglots I’m not getting, Polyglots team uses it kind of weird, we want to filter it down so that it’s only their like agendas and recaps that show up it, their team site, and there’s other ones that are also a little bit strange that way.

[00:49:11] Courtney Robertson: Plus there are some GitHub repos that I watch that aren’t attached directly to a team. And I want GitHub issues to

[00:49:18] Sé Reed: Where a lot of the meta stuff happens, I gotta tell you a lot of meta stuff happens in GitHub these days. I,

[00:49:24] Courtney Robertson: I would like to have GitHub issues come in over r s s. There is a custom plugin, meta builts. Also, we are using the classic theme until we get all of the make sites redesigned.

[00:49:36] Courtney Robertson: So with the classic theme, we’re a bit limited in what the block editor tools allow us to do in terms of designing on this site. So if we’ve got people that are like, wow, we really believe this slash latest belongs in a nav menu somewhere, so people know about it, because they can refer to it, come in and do the last bit of polish volunteer some time for the last bit of polish to get it over that line so that we can get it in a nav bar.

[00:49:59] Courtney Robertson: If you think it valuable enough that others can benefit from it. What it

[00:50:02] Sé Reed: I wanna,

[00:50:02] Courtney Robertson: RSS board of all the teams. And also in the footer, I’ve got some links. I’m going to append some more. I’ve got some links to the obscure places, like the old IRC logs. But, and, and Browse Happy, and the Swag Store, and a few other things that people don’t know about.

[00:50:19] Courtney Robertson: But I also want to link to a lot of the common dependencies that we have in WordPress. So I do this in the post status version. And in the post status version of it, I I

[00:50:30] Sé Reed: See there’s that broken

[00:50:31] Courtney Robertson: What’s the versions of PHP for devs, some other things like that. So these are all the official sites and sources and down at the bottom there’s some extra helpful links.

[00:50:39] Courtney Robertson: But it’s just the RSS of all the things so that I have a tool. Frankly, I built this so that I could track the things to help elevate through the post status version of this, which has happened this last week. In the post status version, you’ll see that I curate it down a little. I separate meetings out from agendas and, and those things.

[00:50:57] Courtney Robertson: And I, I direct send this to Sé and a few others. If you have any questions in the project I can’t do it for everyone, so please just try and watch Twitter and or post status for kind of links to the things. And one other shout out I’d like to give real quick is that there is a Chrome extension for InstaWP that if you’d really, if you as a user want to spin up a demo it still doesn’t give the plugin owners too much control, but I think it solves the PHP issues that we were seeing yesterday.

[00:51:25] Courtney Robertson: You can actually run a Chrome extension, use it at your own discretion, but there is a Chrome extension for InstaWP to launch a demo site that way, until we see that the Playground… That would be a suitable option for everything.

[00:51:38] Jason Cosper: And that, and,

[00:51:39] Aurooba Ahmed: will be, because it is amazing. Thanks http: serverpress. com

[00:51:42] Jason Cosper: and InstaWP does offer MySQL and PHP with most of the extensions enabled and everything else. So

[00:51:52] Matt Cromwell: Yeah.

[00:51:52] Jason Cosper: yeah.

[00:51:55] Jason Tucker: That’s

[00:51:55] Sé Reed: I just wanna point out, ’cause you were talking about the nav bar that that’s actually something that is one of those kind of like, hidden things that’s happening. There was just a Analysis done by a Automatic Sponsored Contributor which is a nice analysis of all the H1s and the navbar header tags.

[00:52:11] Sé Reed: I’m assuming in in, in preparation for the continued redesigns. And… Not only is that happening from a SEO standpoint, but I also found somewhere else, these are just like threads that you have to like weave together into understanding what is happening somewhere else that the showcase, which is the much beleaguered showcase, which has had open comment happening in a lot of places is going to be…

[00:52:41] Sé Reed: is going to be, and I don’t know who made this decision, because I was not part of it, but I did just see it yesterday, that it is going to be in a top, a top nav item. So it will be next to news, presumably, so it’ll be like news, and then showcase, to show off everything that’s going on in there. I do have some belated comments to make about that in a thread somewhere, because WordPress VIP is one of the flavors that’s mentioned.

[00:53:06] Sé Reed: So, I think that it’s very important for us to pay attention to these things. In the Vogon sense, because even if there isn’t an announcement or something, you know, in the case that this stuff has been being discussed in some track or some GitHub repo somewhere, you know, we could say it’s not public, but other people can say that it is public.

[00:53:31] Sé Reed: Right? So we can define what standards we want for announcements and information and decisions that are being made in the project, but as it is right now, you know, those are, that’s where we’re noticing. So, that is why we need to, you know, really be watching. Like, if we don’t want the showcase to be in the main nav, I don’t know where that decision is being made.

[00:53:54] Sé Reed: I mean, I, I can speculate. Same decisions about where this… You know, live Playground was made, and you could take, you know, maybe the state of the word from December, which, in which the Playground made its debut, as the what might be important to look at. So, you know, how JavaScript was like our clue for the gluten, Glutenberg, that Gutenberg’s coming, and we were gonna go, you know, all JavaScript and react in fun times.

[00:54:23] Sé Reed: So, you know, it’s not, it isn’t being done. And it’s all completely behind the scenes. It’s, those decisions are being made, et cetera, et cetera. But we, we got to bridge that gap in the

[00:54:37] Matt Cromwell: but those, when they post into, like, the, when I was looking around for, like, what was, what, like, what conversations were happening and whatnot, I stumbled on another controversial thing where SiteGround was just removed from the hosting page on org that happening at a,

[00:54:53] Sé Reed: Yeah, we saw that happening in lifetime. And I

[00:54:55] Matt Cromwell: it just happened, but that’s the thing, like, it’s getting posted there as done.

[00:55:01] Matt Cromwell: So all of a sudden now it’s all just reactive stuff. There’s

[00:55:05] Courtney Robertson: that wasn’t even a track ticket, that was just a track change

[00:55:07] Matt Cromwell: That

[00:55:08] Sé Reed: That was a, just a commit message.

[00:55:09] Matt Cromwell: just like,

[00:55:10] Sé Reed: That commit message

[00:55:11] Matt Cromwell: public, but it’s like after the fact at this stage.

[00:55:14] Sé Reed: yeah, that, that track, that commit message was actually mentioned in, just as, because it’s an issue, so we’re just tracking things neutrally, not for any specific purposes, but that was something that we mentioned in Wednesday’s meeting.

[00:55:30] Sé Reed: Yeah, the last couple of weeks, but specifically this Wednesday, where there is some dialogue about that, that I have respectfully removed myself from. But it is in, I don’t know if there’s getting more comments, because I unnotified myself of that thread. But if you want to go back, anyone who’s interested can go back to Wednesday’s meeting in meta and see it, because it’s all there. You can go look at it, why that decision was made, and it, you know, it is, the dev who did it says what the decision was and how it was made. So, I mean… We can be as, as, as as, as generous as we want with these interpretations, but unless we are holding ourselves and our project accountable, that’s it.

[00:56:12] Sé Reed: That’s the only, like, the, the project is not, like, governing itself. We are the ones who need to hold ourselves accountable. And when I say ourselves, I mean our entire community, which includes everybody in it, from the BDFL, To the paid devs, to the you know, whomever it is. That’s the community, and our, we need to help hold ourselves accountable.

[00:56:39] Matt Cromwell: Yeah. I do want at some point, somebody to help. To quantify the lift that the plugin and theme community gives to the WordPress project as a whole. Like, one way or another, we need to quantify this, because these voices are not just voices that are just like, Hey, I don’t like this. It’s, they actually represent how the project itself gets adopted in many, many, many ways.

[00:57:05] Sé Reed: That is a really important point.

[00:57:07] Matt Cromwell: Yeah, folks don’t jump onto WordPress because they like posts and pages. They jump on WordPress because they want an events calendar, because they want a donation form, because they want a really sexy theme. Like that’s why they jump onto

[00:57:21] Sé Reed: They want dynamic content.

[00:57:23] Matt Cromwell: Yeah. You

[00:57:24] Sé Reed: want, they want to be able to showcase things and show cool maps, and like, you know, have dashboards for their various users and…

[00:57:32] Matt Cromwell: the consequences of continuing to just like push the project and ignore whatever. The plug in ecosystem believes and wants and feels is that it’s going to hurt the project long term. Like I was

[00:57:47] Sé Reed: is

[00:57:47] Matt Cromwell: hoping that, that Mike, that Mike McAllister with Ollie would actually prefer to distribute on his own.

[00:57:55] Matt Cromwell: Mostly like, that’s just selfish of me. Like he should do what’s best for him. But like, selfishly, I was like, I want to see how this goes. I really want to see how it goes for him to like, have this trouble and then just be like. Dammit, I’m doing it on my own, and then see how it goes. Because I have a feeling, as long as we continue to have these types of issues, more and more folks who are plugin authors and theme authors are gonna be like, Dammit, I’m gonna do it on my own.

[00:58:19] Matt Cromwell: Because I just don’t want the innovation that I’ve created to become a public controversy around the theme development, the theme directory. Like, why should I have to deal with that? I should just be able to serve my users and my customers the way I want to. So, I don’t know, I, I do, I am worried about that reality, that, that the more that things get eroded, the harder it is for the project going forward of the day,

[00:58:44] Matt Cromwell: believe you, though, would say that the answer to that is that blogging authors should have more involvement in Make, for

[00:58:50] Sé Reed: at the end of the day, this is an open source project. At the end of the day, it has its rules and its, its structures set up. And whether or not those structures are being taken advantage of, or there’s loopholes, or whatever, in having a, you know, an army of people, you know, paid to do what you tell them to do, like, it’s still just a loophole.

[00:59:11] Sé Reed: Open source is open source. That’s what this is. And, you know, Wherever the sponsorships come from, or whatever the corporate ties are, you know, those are, those are valuable, but it is not what makes the project itself. And it is you know, we make the project. I cannot, like, there is, there is no project without all of this, you know?

[00:59:36] Sé Reed: There is just, there is just WordPress. com, right? So, but that’s not what we are all using. That’s not what we’re all making stuff for, right? We’re making stuff for something else. So at the end of the day, this project is open source. And if we hold it accountable to its open sorcery, then, you know,

[00:59:57] Matt Cromwell: Yeah.

[00:59:58] Sé Reed: I don’t see, at the end of the day, I do not see how we can actually lose.

[01:00:04] Sé Reed: It’s kind of like if we held our own government in the U S, you know, accountable, but we don’t, that’s the problem.

[01:00:11] Matt Cromwell: Yeah.

[01:00:12] Sé Reed: Let’s do it. A couple years ago, governance was the watchword, but I think the watchword should be accountability. So,

[01:00:20] Jason Tucker: And that folks is a show.

[01:00:22] Courtney Robertson: Transparency.

[01:00:23] Jason Tucker: Thank you very much for coming and hanging out with us. We really appreciate it. I got to go. We got to go and we need to wrap up. So thank you very much, folks. Talk to y’all later. You have a good one. See you in our show notes.

[01:00:34] Sé Reed: Thanks for a long chat.

[01:00:35] Jason Tucker: See ya.

[01:00:44] Sé Reed: Hey, listen to us wherever you get your podcasts. Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify the YouTube, the Facebook. We’re not on that weird one anymore. But tune in. This is DevBranch, and we’re here for you.

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One response to “EP32 – WP Playground’s Plugin Problem”

  1. Aurooba Avatar

    […] Podcasts I was featured on25: Learning Out Loud with Aurooba Ahmed & Brian Coords – Blackbird Digitalblackbird.digitalTorque Social Hour: Talking WordPress 6.2 with Aurooba Ahmed | @thetorquemagIn this episode of the Torque Social Hour we talk to Aurooba Ahmed about WordPress 6.2 and the lessons she learned while doing her daily podcast.torquemag.ioBlock Editor vs. Page Builder – MasterWPmasterwp.comWordPress’ 20th Anniversary, a Mini Series. Episode 1 With Sarah Gooding, Aurooba Ahmed, Masestro Stevens and Jess Frick. – WP Tavernwptavern.comEP32 – WP Playground’s Plugin Problem – Dev BranchThis month on Dev Branch we discuss the the … […]


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