Making WordPress.org

Opened 9 months ago

Last modified 3 weeks ago

#7016 new enhancement

Restore visibility of all WordPress releases in events and news widget

Reported by: ironprogrammer's profile ironprogrammer Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: Planet (planet.wordpress.org) Keywords:
Cc:

Description

With WordPress 6.2, the Marketing team began experimenting with a "two-channel strategy" of posting key milestone release announcements to wp.org/news, with the bulk of other pre-release announcements to make/core. This meant that the Beta 1 announcement was in News, but that Beta 2 and onward were posted to Core.

Why the Change?

The Marketing team observed that News blog release post readership declined after Beta 1, so it was thought that subsequent beta release posts might better fit in the Core blog. It was reasoned that this shift would cut down on heavily technical posts on the main News blog, and hopefully find additional readership (and beta testers) from the Core blog audience. (See additional background of this approach in the Marketing & Communications Release Cycle Guide.)

What Happened?

Anecdotal responses from would-be testers in Make WordPress Slack (e.g. here and here) indicated a lack of visibility for post-Beta 1 announcements, noting in particular that these were not displayed in the "WordPress Events and News" dashboard widget. Additional discussion in Core Slack suggests there is already a deficit of early beta testers, and the lack of beta release visibility from this change may exacerbate the problem.

Possible Update

A possible solution to restoring visibility of these posts would be to utilize the existing news widget's https://planet.wordpress.org feed, which could be updated to include make/core release posts (e.g. via a new dedicated category or tag). In this way, it wouldn't matter to which channel release announcements were posted, as they would appear in one or the other feed in this widget.

WordPress Events and News widget screenshot:
https://cldup.com/SAPuBMgIMT.png

Alternate Considerations

In Core Trac #43441, the widget's News blog feed was updated to display two posts, because the News blog had steadily increased the breadth of content and audience it serves. In that ticket @iandunn mentioned an idea of flagging release and security posts, but due to BC concerns this was deferred and an alternate solution implemented.

While this proposed enhancement is more of a stopgap specific to the news widget, there may be other possibilities opened if there was a dedicated releases feed (e.g. https://wordpress.org/releases/feed/) which might be interesting to explore long term.

Attachments (1)

beta-tester-widget.png (123.8 KB) - added by afragen 9 months ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (10)

#1 @afragen
9 months ago

The WordPress Beta Tester plugin has included a dashboard widget since early 2020 that parses and displays the posts for the current milestoned release. This dashboard widget displays for all users of the Beta Tester plugin and was the primary collated location for these posts.

https://meta.trac.wordpress.org/raw-attachment/ticket/7016/beta-tester-widget.png

While I appreciate the thought that went into making these posts more broadly visible, I think the experiment failed. Without any notice, these began failing in the Beta Tester widget after the 6.2 beta 1 release because these posts were no longer posted to news/development.

As the maintainer of the WordPress Beta Tester plugin a little direct communication would have been appreciated.

If the solution is to also add these to the New and Events widget, I'm not sure why they couldn't be added if they were posted in news/development?

I'm unclear as to why consideration of making these release posts more visible doesn't seem to include use of the Beta Tester dashboard widget.

#2 @dansoschin
9 months ago

Would it be possible to update the Beta Tester dashboard widget to include items with a specific tag from either /core/ or planet.wordpress.org?

This way all the beta and RC release announcements would show up in the dashboard for all users and/or folks specifically using the beta test widget.

This would enable the posts to continue to live in the most appropriate places (major announcements on /news and minor milestone announcements on /core.

#3 follow-up: @afragen
9 months ago

@dansoschin can I ask where the discussion for the experiment of moving the development posts from news/category/development to other locations and tags happened?

Was there any measurement of success or failure of the experiment and what was the metric used?

Is this a permanent or temporary change or are we still experimenting?

This way all the beta and RC release announcements would show up in the dashboard for all users and/or folks specifically using the beta test widget.

Before this change all the users of the Beta Tester plugin saw the Beta and RC announcements in the dashboard widget.

This would enable the posts to continue to live in the most appropriate places (major announcements on /news and minor milestone announcements on /core.

Who determined the most appropriate place for these announcements to live and again, what was the criteria?

If we are going to change how and where we post these announcements it would be nice to have some sort of permanent solution agreed upon before making changes to the Beta Tester plugin.

Last edited 9 months ago by afragen (previous) (diff)

#4 in reply to: ↑ 3 @dansoschin
9 months ago

There were some conversations regarding this change here:
https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C02RQBWTW/p1677011442309209
https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C04JZ199XPG/p1678211547076859
https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C02RQBWTW/p1678211661127259

I'll let folks draw their own conclusions, but what I gathered from the conversations was that the data wasn't very conclusive about a correlation between the location of the posts and a decrease in testing. But that much of observations or subjective vs. objective.

So, to address concerns about testing volume and breadth moving forward, I think that there can be a greater spotlight on testing (how to test, how to get started, what to test) in major announcements (Beta 1, RC1) and minor announcements (other milestone builds). In those announcements, additional emphasis on a few select items that need more testing could also be made (e.g., "spotlight items").

Obviously, there's no downside to emphasizing the importance of testing which is why it will be a greater part of our planned release comms for 6.3.

Replying to afragen:

@dansoschin can I ask where the discussion for the experiment of moving the development posts from news/category/development to other locations and tags happened?

Was there any measurement of success or failure of the experiment and what was the metric used?

Is this a permanent or temporary change or are we still experimenting?

This way all the beta and RC release announcements would show up in the dashboard for all users and/or folks specifically using the beta test widget.

Before this change all the users of the Beta Tester plugin saw the Beta and RC announcements in the dashboard widget.

This would enable the posts to continue to live in the most appropriate places (major announcements on /news and minor milestone announcements on /core.

Who determined the most appropriate place for these announcements to live and again, what was the criteria?

If we are going to change how and where we post these announcements it would be nice to have some sort of permanent solution agreed upon before making changes to the Beta Tester plugin.

#5 @afragen
8 months ago

@dansoschin thanks for the discussion references.

I have to say I still don't have a solid understanding of where the Beta/RC posts will be posted and what tags will be applied.

#6 follow-up: @dansoschin
8 months ago

As it stands now:

Beta 1 --> /news
Betas 2 .. n --> /core
RC 1 --> /news
RCs 2 .. n --> /core

Tags would be the same for each post: release#, development, releases.

And then updating the planet feed to pull in releases from /core so that releases would appear in widget, regardless of source.

This proposed solution reduces the noise on /news while preserving the visibility of having all milestones appear in the wp-admin widget.

#7 in reply to: ↑ 6 @afragen
8 months ago

Replying to dansoschin:

As it stands now:

Beta 1 --> /news
Betas 2 .. n --> /core
RC 1 --> /news
RCs 2 .. n --> /core

Tags would be the same for each post: release#, development, releases.

And then updating the planet feed to pull in releases from /core so that releases would appear in widget, regardless of source.

This proposed solution reduces the noise on /news while preserving the visibility of having all milestones appear in the wp-admin widget.

Does this mean we are only using tags and not categories and that every release post will be tagged as development?

#8 @afragen
8 months ago

Also, where will the Dev Notes and Field Guide be published?

Assuming https://make.wordpress.org/core/tag/dev-notes-6-3/ and https://make.wordpress.org/core/wordpress-6-3-field-guide/ as this was done for 6.2.

Last edited 8 months ago by afragen (previous) (diff)

#9 @dd32
3 weeks ago

  • Component changed from General to Planet (planet.wordpress.org)
Note: See TracTickets for help on using tickets.