Make beta testing an opt-in feature in core
|Reported by:||mor10||Owned by:|
Currently beta testing of WordPress core (and feature plugins) is something you have to be aware of to take part in. This limits the reach of beta testing feedback to those who are intimately engaged in the day-to-day development of WordPress core and results in feedback that skews heavily in the direction of those who build WordPress as opposed to those who use WordPress.
To increase participation in end-user testing of WordPress core and feature plugins, active participation in such programs should be surfaced more visibly, either through settings during install, a modal pop-up, or an alert.
To be clear, I'm not talking about testing of bleeding edge nightlies here, but specific features and feature plugins in Beta or RC state.
A simple admin alert saying "WordPress 4.7 beta is available. Would you like to test it?" would be a huge improvement. Similar can be done with select feature plugins, especially if the alert is tied to the feature they change/improve (so for a new media feature, the alert would appear when the media functionality is engaged: "We are working on a new and improved media panel. Would you like to test it?").
This would of course have to be done sparingly to avoid alert overload.
Simplified feedback procedure
Along with the surfacing of beta testing, there should be a way to provide feedback on features directly from within WordPress admin. Asking for feedback to be posted in a Trac ticket or even a Make blog post limits the number of possible responses significantly. An in-app feedback feature activated only for testers would greatly simplify the process and most likely increase the volume of feedback data significantly. Whether this data is mapped to Trac tickets or something else needs to be addressed.