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Convert YAML meeting descriptions into iCalendar files

Project Description

This tool converts a series of meeting descriptions in YAML format into one or several .ics files suitable for calendaring. It checks for scheduling conflicts in specific locations.


yaml2ical aims to provide an easier way to manage online team meetings.

This project allows to define each meeting with well-defined YAML files, which can be code-reviewed, then continuously-integrated into .ics files for general consumption.

Getting Started

Running Locally from Command Line

To test this project locally, you must have the following requirements installed:

  • Python 3.3+
  • iCalendar python library
  • PyYaml python library

Before running this tool, first edit some meeting YAML files in the meetings directory. To create a new meeting YAML file, read the YAML Meeting File section below.

$ pip install yaml2ical
$ yaml2ical
usage: yaml2ical [-h] -y YAML_DIR (-i ICAL_DIR | -o ICALFILE)
             [-t INDEX_TEMPLATE] [-w INDEX_OUTPUT] [-n CALNAME]
             [-d CALDESCRIPTION] [-f]

A tool that automates the process for testing, integrating, and
publishing changes to online meeting schedules.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -y YAML_DIR, --yamldir YAML_DIR
                        directory containing YAML to process
  -i ICAL_DIR, --icaldir ICAL_DIR
                        output directory (one file per meeting)
  -o ICALFILE, --output ICALFILE
                        output file (one file for all meetings)
                        generate an index from selected meetings
  -w INDEX_OUTPUT, --indexoutput INDEX_OUTPUT
                        output index file
  -n CALNAME, --name CALNAME
                        name of calendar to set within the ical
                        description of calendar to set within the ical
  -f, --force           remove/overwrite previous output files

The following are a few scenarios:

Generate .ics files locally from existing yaml meeting files:

$ yaml2ical -y meetings/ -i icals/

The generated .ics files are not tracked in this git repository, but they are available locally to import into your calendar. Note, to remove stale .ics files, use the --force argument:

$ ls icals/
Barbican Meeting-b58d78a4.ics
Ceilometer Team Meeting-9ed7b5b4.ics
Chef Cookbook Meeting-2418b331.ics

With each .ics file looking something similar to:

$ cat icals/Barbican\ Meeting-b58d78a4.ics
PRODID:-//yaml2ical agendas//EN
SUMMARY:Barbican Meeting (openstack-meeting-alt)
DESCRIPTION:Project:  Barbican Meeting\nChair:  jraim\nIRC:  openstack-meet
 ing-alt\nAgenda:'* malini - update on Security Guide documentation\n\n  *
 alee_/atiwari - Crypto plugin changes\n\n  * arunkant - Target support in
 barbican policy enforcement\n\n  * jaraim - Support for debug mode start i
 n barbican\, can be merged?\n\n  '\n\nDescription:  The Barbican project t
 eam holds a weekly team meeting in\n#openstack-meeting-alt:\n* Weekly on M
 ondays at 2000 UTC\n* The blueprints that are used as a basis for the Barb
 ican project can be\n  found at\
 n* Notes for previous meetings can be found here.\n* Chair (to contact for
  more information): jraim (#openstack-barbican @\n  Freenode)\n

YAML Meeting File

Each meeting consists of:

  • project: the name of the project [MANDATORY]
  • schedule: a list of schedule each consisting of
    • time: time string in UTC [MANDATORY]
    • duration: duration of the meeting in minutes; defaults to 60
    • start_date: the date the first meeting takes place on or after.
      Format YYYYMMDD, all values must be zero-padded.
    • day: the day of week the meeting takes place [MANDATORY]
    • irc: the irc room in which the meeting is held [MANDATORY]
    • frequency: frequent occurrence of the meeting [MANDATORY]
    • skip_dates: A set of dates that the meeting DOES NOT happen on
      • skip_date: Skip the meeting for specified date. Format as start_date
      • reason: A comment for why the meeting was skipped
  • chair: name of the meeting’s chair [MANDATORY]
  • description: a paragraph description about the meeting [MANDATORY]
  • agenda_url: a link to the agenda page for the meeting
  • project_url: a link to the project home page for the meeting

The file name should be a lower-cased, hyphenated version of the meeting name, ending with .yaml . For example, Keystone team meeting should be saved under keystone-team-meeting.yaml.

Any other values listed in the YAML file are also available for use in templates, making it easy to build links to agenda pages for the meeting or logs of past meetings. In the template file, use to access the value.

Example 1

This is an example for the yaml meeting for Nova team meeting. The whole file will be import into Python as a dictionary.

  • The project name is shown below.

    project:  Nova Team Meeting
  • The schedule is a list of dictionaries each consisting of time in UTC, day of the week, the irc meeting room, and the frequency of the meeting. Options for the frequency are weekly, biweekly-even, biweekly-odd, and adhoc at the moment.

    biweekly-odd are weeks where the ISO week number is an odd value. Correspondingly biweekly-even are weeks where the ISO week number is even. This unfortunately will break down on the transition from 2015 to 2016 as 2015 has 53 ISO weeks (an odd value) and then the first week of 2016 is week 1 (also an odd value).

    adhoc can be used to list the possibility of something in the schedule but will not actually generate any calendar events. This can be used for placeholders and will act as a noop when generating the calendar.

        - time:       '1400'
          day:        Thursday
          irc:        openstack-meeting-alt
          frequency:  biweekly-even
        - time:       '2100'
          day:        Thursday
          irc:        openstack-meeting
          frequency:  biweekly-odd
  • The chair is just a one liner.

    chair:  Russell Bryant
  • The project description is as follows. Use > for paragraphs where new lines are folded, or | for paragraphs where new lines are preserved.

    description:  >
        This meeting is a weekly gathering of developers working on OpenStack.
        Compute (Nova). We cover topics such as release planning and status,
        bugs, reviews, and other current topics worthy of real-time discussion.
  • An extra property containing the agenda for the meeting is saved in agenda_url and can be accessed in the template file as meeting.extras.agenda_url.

  • An extra property containing the project URL is saved in project_url and can be accessed in the template file as meeting.extras.project_url.

  • An extra property containing the MeetBot #startmeeting ID for the project is saved in meeting_id and can be accessed in the template file as meeting.extras.meeting_id.

    meeting_id: nova

Example 2

The following shows a complete YAML file for the IRC meetings for “example project”. The project starts holding weekly meetings from October 1st, the project team has a “face to face” meeting on the 26th of October so that IRC meeting should be ommited from the ical schedule

  • This YAML

    project: Example Project Meeting
    meeting_id: example
    chair: A. Random Developer
    description:  >
        This meeting is a weekly gathering of developers working on Example
        - time:       '2100'
          day:        Monday
          irc:        openstack-meeting
          start_date: 20151001
          frequency:  weekly
          - skip_date: 20151026
            reason: Face 2 Face meeting at some location
  • Is converted into this iCal

    PRODID:-//yaml2ical agendas//EN
    SUMMARY:CANCELLED: Example Project Meeting (20151026T210000Z)
    DESCRIPTION:Face 2 Face meeting at some location
    SUMMARY:Example Project Meeting
    DESCRIPTION:Project:  Example Project Meeting\nChair:  A. Random Developer
     \nDescription:  This meeting is a weekly gathering of developers working o
     n Example project.\n\nAgenda URL:
     s/Example\nProject URL:

Release History

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