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Final Report for 2017-02-03 WordPress Plugin Developer Work-project

By w̶i̶e̶l̶d̶l̶i̶n̶u̶x̶.̶c̶o̶m̶ author Morgan Jassen

This is the final report for the work project described here:
"Plan for 2017-02-03 WordPress Plugin Developer Volunteer-work-project" (http://w̶i̶e̶l̶d̶l̶i̶n̶u̶x̶.̶c̶o̶m̶/2017.php?2017-01-26#2017-01-26)

What happened during the work project, and what did I learn?

- I read this forum post: "DE-Translation: spelling mistake" https://wordpress.org/support/topic/de-translation-spelling-mistake/#post-8782398 , did some research, and wanted to reply that they could suggest the author get the plugin ready for glotpress/translate.wordpress.org translation, and share some links to those resources for the topic poster. However then I realized this would just complicate things. I decided instead to not respond, and let the author repsond if able. I realized I couldn't add value, so I didn't reply. Then, later, I checked back and saw that the author did indeed reply, and indicated they would make the requested correction! Way to go -- I was glad to see they got it resolved without me -- feels like in this case I made the right move by not replying!

- I read a discussion here that I liked. Turns out in the end that just needed some back-and-forth of messaging to clarifiy what to expect the plugin to do. And then what to do, as a manual workaround each time, to get it to do what one wants it to do. This thread: "Permalink – sample-page" https://wordpress.org/support/topic/permalink-sample-page/#post-8784848

- Then, there was another forum post I enjoyed reading, but I didn't reply. in this one the person looks like they are really rocking the timeline express plugin, on the page that they linked! https://wordpress.org/support/topic/fuzzy-images-2/#post-8794869 I like to see when people have a good looking website, and link to it to show what they mean. I looked on it and it didn't look too fuzzy. so either they fixed it, or they are more picky than me for fuzziness. Update: I checked back later and it looks like during the last three days the OP (Original Poster) didn't reply, and it also looks like the plugin author confirmed that they thought the OP had fixed it. I suspect they may have seen what I saw -- the images don't look fuzzy. Case closed! Joy!

- Then, another day, working on the initial post of this thread: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/change-date-formatting/. I Install the plugin, create a LinkedIn app, install WordPress on an internet-reachable website. I get it working up until the point where I need a LinkedIn company. Which I don't have. So figuring that out. Seems I need an email address at a url which is not gmail.com. *Sigh*. Unfortunately, this is another thread where I worked on it a bit, and then didn't reach a point where I had any valuable input to help the thread. So I'm leaving it without replying. (However, I am clicking "Subscribe" to the thread, so I can see if someone else replies!)

- I also reply to this support thread: "WP Reviews – Not working on Mobile" https://wordpress.org/support/topic/wp-reviews-not-working-on-mobile/#post-8804084. Update: as of this writing, I had the last post where I asked the OP a question, and it's been three days and I haven't yet heard reply. In this situation, I'll probably stay subscribed to the thread, and not reply. Why? Because as I said in my blog post entitled "Web Development with an Interest in Mind": "...when someone doesn't reply to follow-up questions. For whatever reason their drive and interest doesn't come through in the forum dialogue...." (http://wieldlinux.com/2017.php?2017-02-13#2017-02-13)

- I also reply to: "Custom css for using widget with different styling on different pages" (https://wordpress.org/support/topic/custom-css-for-using-widget-with-different-styling-on-different-pages/#post-8800361 I was glad to see the poster posted back, and in their reply they indicated they had a solution that they were actively pursuing. I read from their tone that they were satisfied that this issue was resolved for them. Also though, in their reply they shared that they had opened a second thread on the same topic. In general this is frowned upon in the forums, however, In this case I'm judging that it's already been resolved, and so mentioning this wouldn't help anything, and would just sour the thread! So I'm judging good to leave it as it is. Case closed!

- During this two-week work-project, especially towards the second week, I stopped checking in on the #forums slack channel, even though my Plan outline said this was one goal. Why did I stop? Because I found that I spent most of my allotted daily time reading and commenting (emojis etc.) on the slack channel. Which is fun and I can also learn there -- indeed I learn a lot on one of the conversations in the first few days of this project, from some of the fellow support people, in a conversation there. However I felt that my primary focus is to develop and support specific WordPress plugins, and that this was taking away from me being able to do that. Next time around, I'll probaly continue this habit, and continue *not* logging into the w.org #forums slack channel. (at least until I can find a way to start it up again more effectively, without detracting from my main plugin dev + support goal!)

- On a more positive note, during this two-week work-project I did end up reading and replying a bunch of plugin forum support threads! I'm *especially* glad that I've been able to *reply* to more threads.  People say "pictures or it didn't happen", and in this case I'd say "write a forum reply or it didn't happen!"

- During this two-week-long work-project, I realized that the rss feed for a plugin doesn't update for replies on a thread! Just for the original post that started the thread. For example for any plugin, for example the rss feed for the gold-price plugin (https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/gold-price/feed/) With this new discovery in mind, I started to try to think how to not miss replies. My workaround for now is to click "subscribe" on every thread that I read. Therefore I'll be emailed with subsequent posts. I'm afraid that it'll spam me with email. However by this time I've already got my list of plugins that I'm following down to about two dozen or so. And I'm not usually reading/subscribing more than 10 threads per day. So I'll see how it goes.

- Halfway through this work-project, I did decide to go ahead and do another 2-week-long Work-project! I blogged the details here: "Plan for 2017-02-17 WordPress Plugin Developer Volunteer-work-project" (http://w̶i̶e̶l̶d̶l̶i̶n̶u̶x̶.̶c̶o̶m̶/2017.php?2017-02-11#2017-02-11) This iteration is much more concise than previous ones.

- During this two-week-long work-project, I kept narrowing the scope of which plugins I'd support. It took a long time, but did become much more focused on plugins that either/or/and 1.) plugins where I admire the organization that authored the plugin for their professionalism, 2.) plugins which have vocal user-bases (in the support forums), 3.) plugins that I understand well enough to support.

- Towards the middle of the second (the last) week, I'm really bumming about something totally unrelated to this work-project, and the life-imbalance is terrible. I'm feeling that I'll need to focus on a very important project that is separate from this work-project, so I'm putting everything else on the back burner, including putting the work-project on the back burner. Could be temporarily, could be permanently. If the work-project is truly important then it will come back naturally and organically onto my calendar by itself. So I suddenly put this work-project on the back burner.

- Following on the next days, I get my wind back (get my determination back), and am able to finish through the end of the two-week-long work project, including replying to at least three more threads:
- Finally, I noticed something at the very end of this two-week work-project. I'm noticing that as I go over my daily notes, that I wrote each day during the two weeks, and using them to write this "Final Report" blog post, I'm learning even more about the threads, and learning even more about plugin development and plugin support. This is because I'm again following the links to most of the threads, re-reading most of them, and seeing some details that I hadn't before. Also, it's because I'm not in the thick of it, trying to think how to solve the case -- instead I have a clear head, and am looking back on each of the cases in hindsight, and I see some things I didn't before. It feels luxurious. I like the perspective the hindsight gives me, into what is really happening on some of these support threads! For example the thread listed above where a poster opened a second thread on the same topic. The day when I saw that, it irked me. But a week later in hindsight, I didn't care one bit! And That was a good
feeling. Also a good feeling to realize that I had made the right decision to leave it as it was!

In conclusion, this has been my Final Report of what happened, and what I learned, during my 2017-02-03 WordPress Plugin Developer Work-project. I learned much about WordPress plugin development and support, and had a great time on the w.org forums!


[2019-03-11 edit: Moved to: https://investorworker.com/2017/... .html.]