Scribe Conventions

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Before scribing

  • Invite Zakim and RRSagent
/invite Zakim
/invite RRSagent
  • Set the topic of the meeting to the meeting agenda
/topic <URL of meeting agenda>
  • Set the meeting
Zakim, this will be owlwg
  • Set the scribe ("scribe" vs "scribenick" doesn't matter for our current tools)
ScribeNick: <scribe>
  • Make records public
RRSAgent, make records public

While scribing

This is a subset of all the features supported by Scribe.perl. This should be all about scribing an OWL-WG scribe needs to know. See also Scribe List and Etiquette.

Scribe Activity IRC syntax Example
Declare who is scribing ScribeNick: <irc nickname of scribe> ScribeNick: alanr
Recording what someone says <name>: <text of what they said> Sandro: I don't think that's a good idea
Shortcut for more from the same speaker ... <additional text> ... because it will never work
Correcting mistakes s/<old text>/<new text>/ s/it will/it would/
Assigning Action Items ACTION: <name> to <what they are supposed to do> ACTION: sandro to make a wiki page about scribe conventions
Setting Topic Topic: <title of new topic> Topic: How to Scribe Effectively
Proposals PROPOSED: <proposal text> PROPOSED: The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
Resolutions (after voting) RESOLVED: <proposal text reiterated> RESOLVED: The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.

More advanced commands (often used after the meeting, when editing the log). Don't worry about learning them before scribing.

Scribe Activity IRC syntax Example
Provide a summary of the current (sub)topic (often added after-the-fact) summary: <text of summary> summary: Four proposals were considered, but none had consensus
Setting Sub-topic Subtopic: <title of new sub-topic> subtopic: Location of Dinner during F2F
Setting Sub-Sub-Topic Subsubtopic: <title of new sub-sub-topic> subsubtopic: Importance of good desert menu
Recording Attendance Present: <list of people who are present> present: sandro, ian, evan, bijan
Recording Remote Attendance (for F2F meetings) Remote: <list of people attending remotely> remote: dave, deborah
Recording Regrets Regrets: <list of people unable to attend> regrets: frank, jim
Recording Chair Chair: <list of people chairing the meeting> chair: Ian
Making a note which does not appear in final record Omit: <text which does not appear> omit: This line is sort of commented out; it's logged but not usually displayed

After scribing

See Common Scribe Manual for full details. Summary:

  • Copy the chat log to the wiki. The easiest way is to use the Common Scribe control panel. If you want/need to do it the hard way, then:
    1. Let ?yyyy, ?mm and ?dd be the year, month and date of the teleconf
      • e.g., if the teleconf was on 18 June 2008, then we have ?yyyy=2008, ?mm=06 and ?dd=18
    2. Copy the RSS agent log at:
      to a wiki page at:
  • Add list of attendees
    1. Find "Zakim, who is here?" command
    2. Let ?names be the list of attendees from the above command. (If there is none, you will need to construct it yourself from other meeting records.)
    3. Add the line
      <scribenick> PRESENT: ?names
      near the top of the chatlog.
      • The names in this list should be unambiguous with respect to Participants2. In addition to showing who was at the meeting, this line tells CommonScribe which names to match against in disambiguating names.
  • Do some cleanup:
    1. If someone writes a line of the form "word: text" that is not really a scribe-assist, then insert a space before the word.
    2. Optionally add "Subtopic:" and even "Subsubtopic:" entries
    3. Optionally use "omit:" to "comment out" lines which you don't want to delete (because you're not sure they should be gone).
    4. Optionally add "summary:" lines (one per topic/subtopic) giving a summary of that section
    5. Check the agenda for regrets, and add them to the minutes, by adding a line of the form:
      00:00:00 <scribenick> REGRETS: ?names
    6. Add the chair:
      00:00:00 <scribenick> CHAIR: ?name
  • Look at your work by clicking on the "preview nicely formatted version" link.
    • Correct any "scribe errors" shown there. Typically they involve name ambiguity and typos.
  • Use the "Save" button on that page. Edit and repeat as necessary.
  • Send e-mail to the group when you're satisfied.
  • Move you name to the bottom of the Scribe List, adding the date of this meeting.