Meeting agenda robot

From: Ian Jackson <ijackson(at)chiark(dot)greenend(dot)org(dot)uk>
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Meeting agenda robot
Date: 2008-12-19 23:48:34
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Bdale Garbee writes ("Re: Meeting log for 2008-12-17"):
> That's a really interesting idea. On general principles, I would use such
> a thing. Are you up for drafting some sort of specification the current
> board and officers could review to see if it's something we agree would be
> an improvement in process? If it made doing the right things easier and
> didn't overly burden folks with process details, it could be a genuinely
> good thing for SPI.

Here's a draft:

* Data structure maintained is
For each meeting:
- Meeting date
- Whether the meeting is forthcoming or past
- List of agenda items, which have a title (normally
the Subject line of some email)
- Each agenda item may have zero or more draft resolutions
or zero or more formal reports, each of is
a message-id of an email on spi-general; normally emails
in the same thread (done by Subject line) are counted as
the same agenda item.
- Because reports may exist on the agenda before a draft
is available they have a `report name' too (see below).
Also maintains a list of reports to have by default, so that
a new meeting cycle starts by default with a Treasurer's report
and perhaps some other report(s).

* Scans incoming emails on spi-general.
If you put some magic keyword at the beginning of one of the
first ten lines of the body,
perhaps, it treats the thread that your email was posted
to as an agenda item and adds your email to the list
of documents.

* Web interface for Board members (nominally Secretary's job,
but other members should be encouraged to be proactive
particularly when there is a short window for actions to
be confirmed):
- enter date of next meeting
- add/remove a proposed report from the agenda
in advance of the report being available
- manually link/unlink a previous email to an agenda item
as a draft resolution or as a draft report
(eg if it wasn't really a draft resolution, or
conversely if the magic keyword was misspelled)
- merge and unmerge agenda items
- manually add emergency agenda items
- manually add secret agenda items (these show up as
`[confidential business; please see ...]')
- manually add notes to parts of the announcements
- indicate that the meeting is about to start and
to send the final agenda
- cancel a meeting (makes it `past' and therefore
inactive without sending any emails)

* At the following times
- entry of meeting date
- T-14
- T-10
sends announcement to spi-announce with current
draft agenda and instructions for adding items
to agenda
- T-7
sends announcement to spi-general and spi-private
containing current draft agenda and instructions
for notifying the Board of any mistakes
(Secretary and board members should proactively
fix up any problems in these two days.)
- T-5
sends announcement to spi-general containing
final agenda listing all non-emergency business
but still possibly with placeholders for reports
- T-2
sends announcement to spi-general containing
final agenda listing all non-emergency business
including all reports
- T-0
when Secretary says meeting is to start, sends
final agenda listing all business (and makes
meeting be `past')

* Also of course agenda on web page.

Personally I would like to see reports 7 days in advance if for no
other reason than that it would make this simpler.

What if there are two forthcoming meetings in quick succession ?

My implementation language of choice would be Perl (or perhaps Python)
but I'm happy to use something else if that would make
co-maintainership with th4e Secretary and others, or interoperability
with the rest of the website, easier.

Do we already have an https server and user management system that I
can piggyback on for the `board members' part ?

If this meets people's rough approval I can write a set of quick hack
code and set some test instance up on my own colo.



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