Making WordPress.org

Opened 12 months ago

Last modified 12 months ago

#7025 new enhancement

Field "Contributor Focuses" likely actually means "Contribution Focuses" as in "Focuses of this issue"

Reported by: abitofmind's profile abitofmind Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: Trac Keywords:
Cc:

Description

Reproduction

  • When you file a new issue in Trac, there's a field called "Contributor Focuses".

What is this field about?

  1. The focus of the contribution (as in the focus of this issue) ?
  2. Or the focus/specialization of the contributor (= the person who contributes to the ticket)?

Semantic Interpretation

  • I strongly think the intended meaning is 1.
  • Because if you wanted to learn about the contributor focuses (aka interests/strengths/specialization of the WordPress community member contributing to the issue, one would rather set that in the user profile, not state that per each ticket).
  • So very clearly this is about the focus(es) of this ticket.
  • And "focus" in its plural also is linguistically quite dubious. A focus usually is a laser sharp SINGLE point. So more synonymous with a category!
  • This quite non-sensical label certainly was already misunderstood dozens of time (from 60k total tickets), and filled wrongly for that reason.

Proposed Change

  • Change the label at least to: "Issue focuses" or "Contribution focuses"
  • And if you want to get rid of the plural form "focuses", which I recommend, then I propose the label to be: "Issue topic(s)" or just "Tag(s)".
    • The "s" in brackets to indicate that stating a single tag is also accepted, extra tags are optional.

Attachments (1)

WordPress TRAC label Contributer Focuses is bad wording.png (41.5 KB) - added by abitofmind 12 months ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (5)

#1 @sabernhardt
12 months ago

"Contributor Focuses" should be accurate, though probably not the best word choice in this context.

"Contributor" does not refer to the reporter opening the ticket. For example, selecting the accessibility focus means that contributors who focus on accessibility issues would want to know about that report. See #287.

The Trac handbook page is outdated. The components section lists UI and Accessibility, which are now focuses that cover multiple components. "Focus" is not on the glossary page either.

#2 follow-up: @abitofmind
12 months ago

Thanks for explaining the origins.

Now on the wording itself: If "Contributor Focuses" was not a grammar mistake by a non-native English speaker, as I had guessed, but indeed a conscious decision as in "this issue targets contributors with a focus on X, Y, Z" this is extremely awkward!

It's an example of "putting the cart before the horse". Analog to that would be that instead of describing the essence of an apartment as "4 rooms, kitchen with wood oven" and leave it up to readers whether that meets their needs, you instead complicatedly advertise the target group for an apartment: "Suited for those in need for 4 rooms, no more and no less, and with a favor for oldschool cooking on an wood oven".

The contributors may have extra specializations A, B, C in addition to the X, Y, Z which are needed for the current issue.

And again no person or issue on this world has focuses. Ugly plural! It's interests, specializations, etc. But a focus is a single point! That's a natural science fact.

This label is just so plain wrong on all levels.

Could we please change the label?

#3 in reply to: ↑ 2 @SergeyBiryukov
12 months ago

Replying to abitofmind:

The contributors may have extra specializations A, B, C in addition to the X, Y, Z which are needed for the current issue.

Indeed, but that should not stop them from contributing to tickets with a particular focus. Perhaps “ticket focus” would be a better label here?

And again no person or issue on this world has focuses. Ugly plural! It's interests, specializations, etc. But a focus is a single point! That's a natural science fact.

I might be missing something, but a few popular dictionaries all list “focuses” as a valid plural of “focus”:

#4 @abitofmind
12 months ago

1) Yes the term should describe the issue/ticket and not its target audience. If on the target audience, then clearer. Proposals below.

2) Ad "Focuses" (plural form): Your source Grammarhow: Focuses or Foci – What is The Plural of “Focus”? already gives us a clear indication in its first sentence:

It’s not very common to see the plural form of “Focus”

It then states that the Latin plural "Foci" or the regular English plural "Focuses" are both valid in English. Thats irrelevant for our discussion. Relevant is the fact that the plural for focus is "not very common". For good reasons:

The only semantically meaningful plural forms of "focus" are sentences like "We tried different focus lengths on the microscope the whole forenoon. All those focuses didn't work".

But at the subject matter at hand, the plural form makes little to no sense. In the context of professional life you may have multiple skills, specializations, interests, etc but you only ever have one focus. Also in psychology/medicine, etc the focus of attention can only ever be on one thing (though frequently hopping for people with high multi-tasking abilities). The term "focus" comes from the world of optics/physics. And there a light beam is is sharp at a single point (the focal point).

The plural makes only sense when comparing multiple beams, or the same beam over different points in time.

3) TRAC and WordPress use the word "issue" rather than "ticket".

4) Proposals (with arguments 1-3 in mind):

Wording that targets the contributors for the issue at hand:

Suited for contributors skilled in:
Required Dev Skill(s):
Required Contributor Skill(s):
Needed Implementation Skill(s):

Targeting more on the needed contribution skills or the issue's domain

Skill(s) needed for this issue:
Needed skill(s):
Tag(s)
Issue concerns:
Implementation requirement(s):
Required Knowhow:

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