Petitions Update – Let Your Voice Be Heard
We are now asking everyone in our community to visit our new petitions site and vote on your favorite petitions (even if you had already voted on the previous site).
Read on for more information…
Contrary to popular belief, the introduction of Gutenberg in WordPress core wasn’t the only reason for the creation of ClassicPress.
Another reason was the lack of a decision-making process that values community feedback, rather than just one person or a handful of contributors at the top making all the decisions.
The latest update from WordPress on the status of the Classic Editor plugin shows very clearly how WordPress makes decisions: “After discussing this with Matt, it’s clear that continuing to support the plugin through 2022 is the right call for the project as well as the community.”
This is why ClassicPress exists now: we don’t think it’s right for there to be a single person who determines the direction of a project that is meant to be used by many thousands of people with diverse backgrounds and needs.
ClassicPress is built by the community for the community, and the community’s feedback is critical to the success of the project. That’s why ClassicPress introduced a transparent and public petitions process early on, which enables all stakeholders to shape the direction that the project takes.
In this post, “we” should be understood to mean the ClassicPress community, and the Directors of The ClassicPress Initiative, the non-profit organization which is responsible for managing the ClassicPress project and “supporting and leading ClassicPress based on the needs of the community.” For more information about our governance model, see the Governance page.
A new home for petitions
The first iteration of the petitions website used a service called Fider. Unfortunately, they stopped offering a hosted version at the end of 2020 and we had to come up with a new way to handle community petitions.
After careful evaluation and discussions, we decided to migrate the petitions process to our existing community forum (using the Discourse forum software). Since our forum is already the most active and most publicly visible part of our community, it is our hope that bringing petitions to the forum will help our community users discover and vote for more petitions, and participate in implementing petitions they’re passionate about.
All petitions and historical discussions were migrated to the forum, and there is also a read-only archive of the previous petitions site. However, we were not able to migrate original vote counts for the petitions to the forum’s voting feature.
Therefore, we are now asking everyone in our community to visit the new petitions site and vote on their favorite petitions (even if you had already voted on the previous site).
The petitions process
The petitions process is simple. Anyone can create a petition to make a change to ClassicPress, be it a new feature in the core, removal of a feature, or changes to an existing feature. Once petitions are created, anyone in the community can vote and start a discussion about the petition.
There is no specific voting threshold that would automatically warrant petitions for inclusion in ClassicPress core. Instead, we review petitions based on their merits, alignment with the overall direction of the ClassicPress project, and whether or not the petitioner or other community members are able to provide help developing the feature.
Developers creating petitions are encouraged to offer help implementing the petition. You don’t necessarily have to work directly on ClassicPress itself: many new features begin their life as a research plugin. You can see all of our current research plugins on our ClassicPress Research GitHub page, and we’re happy to provide a GitHub repository for you and other community members to work on your favorite petition.
A good example of this process is the TinyMCE upgrade petition. The petitioner and a few other community members are currently working on upgrading TinyMCE version 4 to the new version 5 using the research plugin.
All petitions go through several stages (in order):
- Open – the petition was created and the community is voting on it and discussing it.
- Research Plugin or Pull Request – once someone decides to work on the petition they can either start working using a research plugin (for complex features) or submit a pull request directly to the ClassicPress core repository (for small, simple features and fixes).
- Planned – the research plugin or the pull request is slated for inclusion into ClassicPress core and is scheduled to be released in one of the upcoming versions.
- Completed – the core version which includes this petition has been publicly released.
- Declined – we manage petitions actively. We decline petitions that should be plugins instead, may already be possible in the core, or may not be feasible. Declined petitions can be reopened if community members ask.
Let your voice be heard
Now it’s your turn. Check out existing petitions, start a discussion to agree or disagree, and don’t forget to vote on your favorite petitions.
New forum users start with 10 votes to spread across all petitions as they see fit (maximum 1 vote per petition). Once you participate in the forums and your trust level increases, you will get an additional 10 votes to cast (20 votes total).
If you run out of votes you can remove your vote from any petition and re-cast it on another petition. You can also wait for petitions to be completed or declined, which causes all votes for that petition to be returned to the users.
We’ll continue to revise the voting system according to what works best for our community, but we think this system is a good next step to keep ClassicPress moving forward based on your feedback.
If you created or commented on petitions on our previous petitions site, we encourage you to find your petition and either vote for it again to bump it, or comment on it and let us know you no longer want the petition to be open. Things change, opinions change.
There are a couple of easy ways to quickly find your favorite petitions on the new site.
First, you can go to the archive of the previous petitions site and find your favorite petition(s) there. This method has the advantage that you will see the most popular petitions at the top, according to the number of votes on the old site. Each archived petition has a link back to the active petition on our forums:
Or, you can go directly to the petitions category on our forums and either browse around or use the search function in the top right corner. Type in a search term, or to find petitions that you had previously created, try “Author: FirstName” or “Author: Username”. Make sure “Search the #Petitions category” is checked to limit the search to this category:
Let your voice be heard. Please vote on existing petitions and leave comments (explaining your thought process for or against the petition, and indicating whether you can help with implementation) to help us understand what you want, what’s important to you as a user. Your feedback is critical to the success of ClassicPress.
We’re building it together, so help us shape ClassicPress to your needs. Let your voice be heard.