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Subject: Scribing intro is attached

Title: Introduction to Scribing

Introduction to Scribing

From time to time, members will be asked to act as scribe the minutes of the working group. Following the guidelines below will produce higher quality minutes and will make the process more productive.

The purpose of Minutes:

Minutes are intended to capture the decisions of the working group. Although it is often informative to understand the context of a decision, it is most important to record precisely what the decisions were. Scribes should concentrate on accurate text that reflects each resolution and each action item.

Scribes are important. If you don't understand who is talking or what has been decided, you have the responsibility to stop the meeting in its tracks until you get a clarification. Don't be shy, your scribing will be the collective memory of the proceedings.

When recording action items, please try to get the name (or nick) of the owner and the due date. You provide a valuable assist to the chair who might me thinking about the next topic.

Flow of the minutes.

Let the chair or the secretary worry about meeting set up and the formatting of the minutes. You will be producing text to feed Schreiber, my pet experimental minutes formatter. If Schreiber appears a bit familiar to those with W3C experience, it is because it is loosely based on David Booth's minute formatter used by rrsagent. Since we don't have rrsagent and we don't have zakim, Schreiber maintains its own list of participants and nicknames. When the chair takes the roll, it goes into one of Schreiber's files so it can produce the attendees list, the scribe list, and the attendance report. This is one good reason to use a reasonably familiar nickname in the chat room. Try not to use nicknames that are too creative since it just confuses Schreiber (actually more likely the chair).

Your duties proceed as follows. This works the same in IRC, Dug's famous chat room, vi, or notepad:

Scribe: your full name -- this records who will get a free trip to the bottom of the scribe list and tells Schreiber who is scribing.

Topic: describe what agenda topic we are talking about

The Topic command creates entries in the table of contents and is useful to orient readers to the minutes.

Action: describe a new action item. Be sure to ask who is the owner and when is it due if the chair is neglectful.


Action: owner=bob due=2006-07-31 Publish some information on how to use Schreiber

Schreiber assigns unique ids for each action of the form CCYY-MM-DD-N

Action: describe an action status change. Be sure to identify the action item and its new status

Valid status values include closed, deferred (optionally with a new due date), pending (which is the default), or reassigned with a new owner


Action id=2006-07-24-2 status=closed Bob finally got around to doing a Schreiber write-up

Action: id=2006-07-22-3 status=reassigned owner=Gil

Resolution: describe the full text of the resolution. Be as accurate as possible. For issue resolution please identify the issue number

Schreiber, in the same manner as with new action items, assigns a unique id to each resolution.


Resolution: minutes from 2006-06-20 meeting were accepted

Resolution: issue=22 Close with no action, we decided that rfc 2119 MAY be just too silly for words

Sometimes, there is an href associated with a resolution. This will be recorded if it is entered as follows:

Resolution issue=17 href="http://www.example.com/index.html" This site is over referenced and under developed

Citing the speaker:

If you wish to cite the speaker it is done thusly:

Bob: (with usual pomposity) extols the virtues of accurate minutes

... he continues his rant while eyes roll

note that it is not necessary to key the speaker's nick on each line. If it is a continuation of the previous citation, simply type "..." instead

What if you make a mistake?

We have the substitution command which can be used to correct a previous entry. just key:

s/<old text>/<new text>

The very first thing that Schreiber does while digesting the minutes is to search backward from the substitution command to the first occurrence of <old text> and replaces it with <new text> If <new text> cannot be found, it will issue a diagnostic so the chair can sort things out later.

If you wish, you may add a flag to the substitution command as follows:


the flag "g' indicates to Schreiber that it should repeat the substitution backwards from the current position to the beginning of the file. the upper case version "G" indicates that the substitution will continue throughout the document both before and after the position of the command.

For the intrepid it should be noted that <old text> is really an xslt 2.0 regex. If you try something like

s/\w+\s/blah /G

the chair will curse you.

We also have an insertion command which looks like this:

i/<search text>/<insertion line>

This will insert the <insertion line> in the minutes before the first preceeding line in which <search text> was found.


Schreiber is a collection of XSLT style sheets and xml data files that have been developed to assist the transformation of scribed text into usable minutes. It can use either raw text captured from an irc or chat based window or it can use text prepared off-line.

Schreiber command summary:

Meeting: <meeting title>
Sets the title of the meeting minutes produced. Defaults to the default working group meeting name
Date: <meeting date>
Sets the meeting date. The format is ISO date (CCYY-MM-DD).
Chair: <chair name>
The full name of the chair. Defaults to the default working group chair
Scribe:<scribe name>
The full name of the Scribe. ScribeNick will be assumed to be the nickname used by the person entering the Scribe command unless overridden by the ScribeNick command
ScribeNick: <scribe nick>
The nickname being used by the scribe. This will override the scribenick assumption made by the Scribe command
Agenda: <agenda href>
A reference to the agenda in the form of a URL
Topic: <topic text>
The topic being discussed
Action:<attributes>? <action item description text>
An action item; "Action Item:" and AI: are synonyms for this command
the issue owner
the due date
one of open, closed, pending, deferred
of the form CCYY-MM-DD-N used to identify an action item from a previous meeting
Resolution:<resolution text>
A resolution; "Resolved:" is a synonym for this command
n the issue number to which this resolution applies
<url> a reference to external material regarding the resolution
Substitution command:
s/<old text>/<new text>

Schreiber Syntax http://members.ws-i.org/dman/Document.phx?documentId=ey21206112710437

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