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General Description

RRSAgent is a helpful bot for recording an IRC session. All text sent to the channel by any user is logged except '/me' text and text send with logging explicitly turned off.

In the command descriptions below, optional words in commands are indicated in square brackets. RRSAgent's commands are not case sensitive, but, in general, must be grammatically correct. "Please" can be abbreviated to "pls" if you wish to be polite yet still save keystrokes.

Inviting and Dismissing RRSAgent

To use RRSAgent, you must first invite it to your IRC session. When you're finished, you must dismiss RRSAgent from the channel.

Brings RRSAgent on to your IRC channel. The log will appear in http://www.w3.org/yyyy/mm/dd-<channel>-irc where 'yyyy' is the current year, 'mm' is the current month, and 'dd' is the current day. Three variants of the log are written; .html contains XHTML, .rdf contains RDF, and .txt contains plain text. Do not edit these logs if you expect RRSAgent to continue to write to them. (Your CVS commit will cause RRSAgent's additions to cease to appear in the Web. If you're very lucky, they may not actually be lost. But they're not trivial to recover.)

Some irc clients let you omit the channel name and will fill in the name of current channel. This is a feature of the irc client, not of RRSAgent.

All disconnect the RRSAgent bot from your IRC channel.

RRSAgent will leave the channel if there has been no activity on the channel for more than 2 hours. Should you not want this behaviour you can request that RRSAgent stay regardless of activity:

Each of these disables the automatic departure from the channel. Once this is requested the only way to reset it is to dismiss RRSAgent from the channel and re-invite it.

Talking to RRSAgent

RRSAgent also recognizes several commands during its logging session. Most commands begin with "rrsagent, ", though a few are recognized without this.

Action Item Tracking

RRSAgent will help track action items recorded while a meeting is in progress. Many of the commands in this set need not be directly addressed to RRSAgent; they will be recognized when addressed to no one in particular and also when received as third person ('/me') messages.

The list of action items may be reviewed and modified during the meeting. The action items will be recorded as they are modified in http://www.w3.org/yyyy/mm/dd-<channel>-actions where 'yyyy' is the current year, 'mm' is the current month, and 'dd' is the current day.

Adds an action item described by <text>, assigning it the next sequential number. This command need not be addressed to RRSAgent directly. The keyword 'ACTION' is not case sensitive. Actions may not be assigned in '/me' messages.

Replaces the text of action item <number> with <newtext>. This need not be addressed to RRSAgent directly but will be ignored in '/me' lines. The keyword 'ACTION' must be in all-caps as shown or all lowercase.

Removes action item <number> from the list. This need not be addressed to RRSAgent directly. The keyword 'ACTION' is not case sensitive..

Displays the list of action items. The first set of requests must be addressed specifically to RRSAgent. The last request will respond in /me (third-person or out-of-band) form.

Removes action item <number> from the list. This form must be addressed specifically to RRSAgent

Requests that RRSAgent stop tracking action items. This request must be addressed specifically to RRSAgent

Requests that RRSAgent begin tracking action items. This request must be addressed specifically to RRSAgent. This is the default state when RRSAgent is invited to a channel

Reports a URI to the current location in the log

Searches the log for <text>. The text is interpreted as a perl regex; e.g. "." matches any character, "<char>+" matches one or more consecutive occurrences of <char>, and "<char>*" matches any number of consecutive occurrences of <char>, etc. -i causes the comparison to be case insensitive. first, last, and max limit the reported results to the specified (first and last) results or to at most (max) results.

Pausing and Resuming Log Recording

Stops logging channel text to the log

Any line beginning with [off] and any message sent with the '/me' IRC command will also not be logged. This permits channel participants to interject single-line remarks.

Resumes logging channel text to the log. This is the default state when RRSAgent is invited to a channel

By default, when RRSAgent is sitting on an irc channel a new log for the channel will be started at midnight UTC. If the channel is being used for a meeting that continues past midnight it may be more convenient to keep the meeting record contiguous in a single log. This request will inform RRSAgent to maintain a single log for the current channel if logging continues past midnight. When RRSAgent joins a channel within 75 minutes of midnight the current log will continue past midnight just as if this request had been issued.

This restores the default behavior of RRSAgent when logging to a channel and midnight UTC is crossed. When RRSAgent joins a channel within 75 minutes of midnight the current log will continue past midnight unless this request has been issued.

Setting Log Access

Sets the access control on the logs, recorded action items, and draft minutes (if any). The group 'world' may also be written as 'public'. The suffix -visible may also be written as -access, -conf, -confidential, -only, -read, or -readable or may be omitted entirely. Record is recognized as a synonym for log.

Formatting Minutes

Runs a script to reformat the current irc log into HTML-ized minutes. If the access control of the logs has been previously set the formatted minutes will receive the same access. These formatted minutes should subsequently be edited by hand to improve them as a permanent meeting record. This command may be repeated, with RRSAgent over-writing the previously generated minutes. Repeating the request is useful if the diagnostics produced at the bottom of the formatted minutes suggest additional formatting commands that could usefully be added to the log.

The script recognizes instructions found in the irc log, including:

Meeting: <name>
Specifies the name (title) of the meeting
Chair: <name>
Specifies the chairperson's name
Agenda: <URI>
Specifies the Web address of the agenda
Scribe: <name>
Specifies the scribe's name
ScribeNick: <nick>

Specifies the irc nick of the scribe

Refer to the scribe Quick Start Guide for additional details.

Help

Displays an abbreviated list of commands. Due to "flood control" in IRC, this may be slow.

Tracker by Dean Jackson is an issue, action and resolution tracking tool for W3C Working Groups.

Zakim is a Semantic Web agent ("swagent") that helps facilitate meetings using IRC in conjunction with the W3C's Zakim audio teleconference bridge.

Acknowledgements

The RRSAgent IRC bot was written by Dave Beckett then of ILRT Bristol (Dave calls it 'logger') and Ralph Swick of W3C/MIT. The name comes from earlier variants on the same theme by Ralph. David Booth of Hewlett-Packard wrote the log reformatting script that generates formatted draft minutes.


Valid HTML 4.0! Ralph R. Swick
2007/07/16 12:28:45