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My first contribution to WordPress

Lately I’ve been trying to get more active in the community of Orlando developers. Specifically for WordPress, since that’s what we’re using the most at Highforge. I’ve been attending WordPress meetups and felt it was time to start putting my coding skills to good use on the software we use and love.

WordPress has various ways for people to contribute. From Core contributions, to support, to documentation, there’s something to do for everyone. I can recommend heading over to Make WordPress and finding out what you can do.

Since I’m not a hardcore programming dude (yet) and am of more use on the front end of things, I decided to start out contributing to accessibility. This, in theory, should work out really well for me since it will help expand on my knowledge of accessibility by absorbing the expertise of the people at the a11y project while at the same time being able to fix the bugs we find.

Earlier this week WordPress 4.0-RC1 was released, making for the perfect jump in point to get started with testing, fixing, and contributing. Right off the bat I had found a bug: When using the tab key to browse through the admin section, I was unable to get to my multisite’s Network Admin page(My Sites -> Network Admin -> Dashboard). Instead, when selecting “Network Admin”, it seemed to close the menu completely.

“Excellent!” I thought. I had first read this thread and followed the instructions on posting my findings in the Alpha/Beta support forum. It quickly became apparent that this issue has been around longer and as such wasn’t technically an Alpha/Beta type issue.

In either case I would have had to create a ticket in the WordPress issue system “trac”. The main difference is that I’d be reporting the bug for version 3.9.2, as opposed to trunk (the most recent development version in SVN).

For those interested, here’s the link to my ticket: 29422.

The best part about the bug I’ve found, really, is the fact that it’s also fairly simple to fix. And so, not only did I get to contribute by filing a bug report, but I also got some experience with submitting patches for review.

Getting set up and actually fixing the bug is a story for another time, though. As I’ve just found out, I can easily keep rambling on the details of the fix and triple this post in size. But since it’s mostly code-related, I’ll end this post here and I’ll owe you the code stuff.

As always, feel free to ask me anything. If you need more help getting involved with WordPress, I may not be the perfect person to ask, but I will do my best to at least set you on the right path.