Episode 35: Five for the Future’s True Intentions

Episode 35: Five for the Future’s True Intentions


In the thirty-fifth episode of the WordPress Briefing, Josepha Haden Chomphosy tackles questions on the true intentions of the Five for the Future initiative.

Have a query you’d like answered? You can submit them to You can submit them to wpbriefing@wordpress.org, both written or as a voice recording.


Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Beatriz Fialho
Production: Santana Inniss
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod


  1. New Create Block Theme plugin
  2. Open Sourcing Theme Designs
  3. Exploration in Meta to improve DevHub
  4. Tragedy of the Commons definition


[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:00:10]  

Hello everybody. And welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast the place you’ll be able to catch fast explanations of a few of the concepts behind the WordPress open supply challenge and the group round it, in addition to get a small record of huge issues developing in the subsequent two weeks. I’m your host Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Here we go!

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:00:40]  

Today I’m speaking about Five for the Future– once more. Before we get caught proper into the coronary heart of it, 10 episodes in the past, in episode 25, I centered on the Five for the Future initiative and I like to recommend that you just take heed to that earlier than you be a part of me in at this time’s episode. It’s solely eight minutes and it offers you a historical past of the Five for the Future initiative, in addition to some info on the Five for the Future program.

It then goes on to speak about a few of the authentic intentions behind that authentic initiative. The purpose I carry this again up at this time is partially as a result of one, I’ll speak about each the program and the initiative it’s primarily based on actually anytime. I consider strongly that they’re each an important half of what is going to end in a triumph of the commons of WordPress, and hold this empowering challenge round for years to return. 

But I additionally carry it up at this time as a result of there’s dialog a couple of put up I revealed a few months again that has generated some dialogue round the intentions of this catchy name to contribution. So to be sure that as we transfer via this dialogue collectively, we’re working with as a lot factual info as attainable, I current to you some information.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:01:46]  

First and foremost, the pillars of this initiative. The 5% in Five for the Future is aspirational. Contribution to open supply is a query and indication of privilege. So the 5% shouldn’t be a requirement, however reasonably it’s an goal. It might refer to five% of your time or 5% of your sources, or simply any quantity of your time or sources round. Regardless of the way you’re defining it, it’s an aspiration, not a requirement. 

The second pillar, pledges present your intention and no matter contributions you’ll be able to provide after you’ve made your pledge are all the time welcome. No one is on the market checking for 100% completion of the hours that you just meant to present again to WordPress versus the hours that you just truly succeeded at giving again to WordPress.

There are so many volunteers that be sure that this challenge is working and purposeful and has loads of individuals realizing how you can get issues achieved and how you can train others how you can get issues achieved. It’s all coming from generosity of coronary heart. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:02:52]  

And talking of generosity, the third factor that’s vital about this initiative is that it insists on and desires to have a good time a tradition of generosity. Beyond the idea of a pledge, is the thought of beneficiant collaboration towards the long run well being and stability of our challenge for the future.

As contributors, we perceive that we’re better than the sum of our elements and what we construct inside WordPress empowers those that construct with WordPress. So these are the pillars that went into that preliminary thought, that opening Five for the Future name to motion that Matt gave to all people in 2014.

And so now I need to share with you a few of the pillars of the program that has grown up round it. So the Five for the Future initiative, when you’re not acquainted, was began in 2014 and is a grand name to all of us to recollect to present again to the shared commons of WordPress. Its goal was to assist guard towards what is known as the “tragedy of the commons,” the place sources are regularly taken out and never essentially reinvested in. No one’s essentially placing something again into these.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:04:06]  

So that’s the place to begin for all of this. So the program, the Five for the Future program, in 2018 was constructed as a collaborative effort with full participation and buy-in from the contributors who have been lively in the challenge at the time. It allowed anybody to lift their arms, to point out assist of WordPress through a pledge and likewise began a multi-year dialogue of how you can outline contributions in a manner that allow us mechanically present props and subsequently extra successfully put badges on individuals’s wordpress.org profiles. 

And then in 2019, there was a further pilot of the program, which type of supplied some group construction, which was meant to not solely tackle work that I don’t prefer to ask volunteers to do, but additionally to offer some checks and balances to an absolute raft of sponsored contributor hours that we had began to see present up. 

Which brings us then to the put up that I discussed at the begin. Knowledgeable supporters of the WordPress open supply challenge have debated subsequent iterations to Five for the Future exercise and programming. So, to carry the dialog to a central set of questions, or reasonably to carry the dialog to a central spot, I raised these two questions. One, what actions can we see inside our contributor networks? So wordpress.org, make.wordpress.org, the Rosetta websites that we’ve got, Slack, et cetera. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:05:30]  

So what actions can we see inside the contributor networks that we are able to flag to allow simpler distribution of props and subsequently badges? The second query is, what actions can we see additionally in these contributor networks that seem like contributions, however in the finish are solely benefiting the particular person or firm that gives the contributions?

For what it’s price that dialogue then additionally raised a 3rd query that I don’t suppose we’ve even began to deal with, which is what about the actions that aren’t in the contributor community, however nonetheless do transfer WordPress ahead? Cause there are so, so lots of these issues and it’s an excellent query. I don’t have a solution and simply in order that I don’t go away you all with a collection of questions for which there aren’t any solutions supplied on this specific podcast, I do have a number of solutions for questions that I’ve seen floating round this dialogue. 

So the first query is definitely a bunch of questions. There are like three elements to it. What are props, who offers props, and who tracks them? So ‘props’ is a time period utilized in WordPress to explain shared recognition of a contribution. Think of it as like a hat tip or kudos or an help. However you concentrate on it, it’s recognition of the different individuals who helped to resolve an issue alongside the manner. That is what props are. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:06:47]  

The second a part of that query is who offers props and traditionally builders have given props, which tends to imply that it’s largely builders who get props. But now, additionally, any group rep throughout a launch cycle can present props to of us on their group, volunteers on their group who have been actually useful throughout the course of the launch.

And just lately we additionally added the performance for advert hoc props to be given in the Slack props channel, and people get added to your profile exercise. So that somebody can provide you principally a public thanks for having helped on one thing that they have been engaged on. And then that will get logged in your exercise tracker in your WordPress.org profile.

And then the closing query in that first large query is who tracks these props? And the reply is human beings! Which is why of us really feel like they must do a ton of issues earlier than they even get props. And that’s additionally why I’d prefer to automate an increasing number of of them so that you just don’t must do a ton of issues so as for somebody to point out up and acknowledge that you’re a part of an answer.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:07:51]  

So the second query that I’ve seen type of working round is, the place do props begin? And that could be a nice query that has been requested yr after yr. And one which I feel we should always proceed to ask. The actuality is that we gained’t be capable of see each contribution to WordPress, however that doesn’t imply that they aren’t useful. And it doesn’t imply that they don’t matter. 

Building our tradition of generosity helps us to raised acknowledge and have a good time one another for all of our contributions, whether or not they’re for a serious launch or a serious occasion, or one in every of these new advert hoc props you could provide to individuals. And if we see an increasing number of of the similar sort of contributions being celebrated, then we are able to additionally work towards automating these as nicely, so that you just don’t must do an excellent ton of them earlier than somebody has seen that you just’ve achieved even one in every of them. 

And the third large query that has been working round is, what about the individuals who don’t need the props? If individuals need to be actually nameless, then deletion requests are in all probability your approach to go. But I truly don’t suppose that’s the query right here. I feel the query is what if a prop holds no intrinsic worth to you after which, you understand, I wanna thanks for that spirit of generosity. And I additionally wanna say that I’m so glad you’re right here. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:09:02]   

Hopefully, all of those solutions make clear what lies at the coronary heart of what’s meant with the Five for the Future initiative and the program that’s constructed on prime of it. And why I care a lot about fixing the methods we provide props to of us. For me, it’s not about assessing the worthiness of individuals or corporations or any of their contributions. For me, it’s about reinvesting in the shared commons of the WordPress ecosystem, by discovering a manner that our financial system can entice of us to place again into WordPress, one thing near the profit that they obtain from it.

And that brings us now to our small record of huge issues. Thank you all for making it into the closing stretches with me. These three issues that I’m sharing even have companion weblog posts to go along with them as a result of they’re very large questions or very large options, very large plugin type of issues that we’re . And so that you’ll be capable of discover these in the present notes, or you’ll be able to go to wordpress.org/information when you’re listening to this in a podcast participant of your selection that’s not wordpress.org. 

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:10:10]   

So the first one on my record is a brand new plugin. It is known as Create Block Theme. And it’s gonna make it simpler for theme builders to make use of the present web site editor instruments to create new block themes. I’m very enthusiastic about this. Uh, you could find it on make.wordpress.org/themes. And I can even embrace a hyperlink to it in the present notes beneath. 

If themes will not be your space of experience, however you have an interest in documentation or the DevHub or to an extent design issues, then the enhancements which can be being labored on for the DevHub are undoubtedly in your space. That’s type of a Meta activity, however has a number of different items concerned as nicely. That might be discovered on make.wordpress.org/meta. But once more, I’ll have a hyperlink to the very, very detailed weblog put up in the present notes. 

It’s received a bunch of hypothetical modifications which can be being instructed for the WordPress developer docs, uh, particularly in terms of the perform reference. And so there are gonna be some slight design questions, however not like, graphic design/visible design, extra in the like, can people learn this design space of issues? And in order that will probably be a superb one to have a look at. If you might be kind of in the Meta or Documentation vein of issues in the manner that you just prefer to contribute to WordPress.

[Josepha Haden Chomphosy 00:011:30]   

And then the closing factor is about open sourcing theme designs. So open sourcing every little thing clearly is vital to us. And the design instrument that we use, this instrument known as Figma, is open to the public. And so it’s attainable for of us to have the ability to type of get in there and use and reuse any design parts.

And so there’s a dialogue occurring over on make.wordpress.org/design about how that may and may look in the future. And so if design is certainly your space, and once more, this type of strains up with themes a bit bit, then wander over into that one, for which there can even be a hyperlink in the present notes. 

And that my associates is your small record of huge issues. Thank you for tuning in at this time for the WordPress Briefing. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. And I’ll see you once more in a few weeks.


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