[theme-reviewers] Public Redress of Theme Reviewers

Chip Bennett chip at chipbennett.net
Wed Sep 1 16:03:25 UTC 2010

On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 10:39 AM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 10:29 AM, Chip Bennett <chip at chipbennett.net>
> wrote:
> > Otto (and anyone else in a similar capacity who has made rather public
> > statements critical of the Theme Review process, guidelines, and team),
> > I find it completely unacceptable for anyone in any official (or
> > quasi-official) capacity to publicly redress *volunteers* who are making
> a
> > good-faith effort to perform the task of reviewing Themes.
> > Frumph's review of Matala was a good-faith effort, in line with the
> > Guidelines as they currently exist. To call his "behavior" (a
> characteristic
> > that plays no part in reviews; perhaps you mean "performance"?)
> > "unacceptable" is itself unacceptable, and flat-out wrong.
> I'm finding the theme review process itself unacceptable at this
> point. While it's true that theme reviews are necessary, I'm seeing
> themes get rejected for little, piddly, nonsensical things.

I've asked before, and I'll ask again: please point out the Themes that are
being "rejected", and for merely "little, piddly, nonsensical things."

In reality, they are "not accepted" in their current form, and the developer
is asked to address certain issues, and re-submit the Theme. Hardly a
"rejection", that. Further, the vast majority of "not-accepted" Themes have
issues that exceed "little, piddly, nonsensical".

> And those
> theme authors will likely never come back, and we've lost people to
> our community more or less forever.
> This is acceptable to you? You want the process to turn people away
> from our site?

If such people are utterly unwilling to support the community's efforts to
ensure high-quality, supported Themes are available in the official Theme
repository, what does that say about their willingness to be contributing
members of the community?

Further, the vast majority of the complaints from Theme developers - at
least the vocal, high-profile developers who have criticized the review
process - have been related to the process itself (the things we don't
control), as opposed to the Guidelines and conduct of reviews (the things we
do control).

> > Feedback and criticism is ALWAYS welcome. We're trying to do our best.
> > Please be respectful to our time and effort (and good faith) as
> volunteers.
> Theme authors aren't going to always be that way.

Of course not. But *you* can be. And, given your capacity, I daresay we can
*expect* you to be.

> > Bring criticism first to the team (ideally, using this mail list), rather
> > than making team members look bad publicly, as well as publicly
> undercutting
> > our efforts here.
> Well then you tell me? How can I change things? I thought we'd had
> this discussion a week ago and that the problem wouldn't recur. But
> now both you and Phil have essentially done the same thing, and I'm
> wondering if there is some kind of underlying problem with the process
> itself here.

What specific problem has re-occurred?

If you're talking about resolving tickets as "not-accepted", well then,
you're just going to have to accept that, until you get all of the Trac/SVN
changes implemented, we don't have a whole lot of choice.

> Are you guys only applying some list of guidelines rigidly? Or are you
> simply not wanting to help theme authors at all, and close down and
> reject all discussion based on that?

What you call "rigid", I call "objective".

And, please: will you dispense with the term "reject"? It doesn't appear
anywhere in this process, except for your own continued, specious use. Far
from rejecting all discussion, we actively solicit discussion.

> You tell me, man. I'm frustrated and annoyed here, and yet also
> saddened because I can see what this sort of thing can do to a
> community.
> I don't know how to solve the problem. So help me.

Keep bringing up - to the team directly - specific issues and problems. We
can't really work effectively through nebulous and universal proclamations
of the overall broken-ness of the system.

> > We understand that you have criticism - much of which is valid, and that
> we
> > are (again) doing our best to address. But you acting like a bully with
> > respect to your criticism isn't going to help anyone. Quite honestly, it
> > comes across like mortar fire, and I can't imagine any of us being all
> that
> > amenable to such friendly fire.
> These are just words here, expressing my opinions. Relax. I'm
> frustrated, I'm annoyed, and I'm exasperated with trying to
> communicate the problems I'm seeing here. If I use strong language,
> then that's because I feel strongly about it.

That you recognize that your words represent frustration, annoyance, and
exasperation is all the more reason to ensure that they are delivered in the
appropriate venue.

We all feel strongly about it, or we wouldn't be volunteering on the Theme
review team. We all have the same, ultimate objectives.

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