Actions from last time

  • Daniel to ping about making Subplot an approved open source project. DONE
  • Daniel to review his marked Markdown/YAML approach and make a plan for getting into a state where Subplot can use it. DONE
  • Lars to add an Ikiwiki shortcut for referring to the new group level milestones. DONE
  • Lars to reach out to Hillel Wayne about having a look at Subplot. DONE

Assessment of the iteration that has ended

We had planned to work on the following issues for the previous iteration, and finished them:

We didn’t finish this issue:

  • subplot#283YAML metadata is not in its own file
    • No progress on this

Lars was very busy with real-life during this extended iteration, and Daniel was mostly focussed on marked-data related prep work.

Repository review

We reviewed the open issues, merge requests, and CI pipelines for all the projects in the Subplot group on

The subplot repository

There were 45 open issues and we opted to review everything, including those tagged someday-maybe.

  • We linked subplot#186 to subplot#36
  • subplot#223 - We removed actively-discussed and added someday-maybe as while we both agree this would be useful, we’re still not sure exactly what we need, nor if we want it.
  • subplot#232 - Windows and macos… we dropped actively-discussed and added someday-maybe as while we know what we need to do, we lack Windows or macos systems to do it with for now.
  • We linked subplot#138 to subplot#267 as both are related to stdin handling in runcmd and made 267 someday-maybe.
  • subplot#283YAML metadata is not… we added the label for the current goal.
  • subplot#286Tests sometimes fail was new this iteration. Lars encountered it with Ick builds, it’s not easily reproduced and we have filled a bunch of speculation and notes into the issue. We tentatively added this to the iteration, assigned to Lars.

There are no open merge requests.

There is one open, old branch:

  • docgen-cmarkprototype to use another Markdown parser
    • Lars wants keep this until the current goal is finished

CI pipelines are OK.

The subplot-web repository

There were no open issues, no open merge requests, no extra branches, and no CI enabled.

The subplot-container-images repository

There was one open issue.

  • subplot-container-images#2There is no Docker image for using Subplot
    • we’re not going to work on this until we stop making breaking changes

Additionally, Daniel pointed out that our Docker image has an extra version of Rust included. He created container#3 to get this fixed.

There were no open merge requests, no extra branches, and the latest run of CI was successful. (That’s the run that was automatically triggered recently.)

Discussion and decisions

Group level milestones

We decided to use GitLab’s group level milestones.

Recurring agenda items

  • subplot#119Subplot is in not in Debian unstable
    • we’re not going to work on this until we are done with goal 3
  • subplot#272Migrate project to issue-based iteration meetings
    • We won’t make this change without other contributors
    • But we filed web#3 to cover a need to document current iteration meeting activity so that newcomers can understand what we currently do. We added that to the iteration, assigned to Daniel.
  • subplot#273Perform whole-codebase review and cleanup
    • we agreed that during goal 3 we may end up making MRs which are related to this, and that we hope by the end of goal 3 to have reviewed at least a large part of the code base.

Reaching out for feedback

We won’t be reaching out for feedback until goal 3 is done. We didn’t open issue for this, to avoid naming people in public.

New iteration

Current goal

The current development goal is:

Subplot is altered to treat a YAML document as the root of any subplot document, permitting multiple markdown files to be joined into a single scenario set or output document. We remove our dependency on Pandoc’s AST for internal document representation, and support a better range of document metadata as a result. We will use marked data types where possible to permit better provenance information in error and warning messages; and we will strive to reenable the reference tests such that we can make a statement to the effect that post goal 3, we do not intend to make further breaking changes to the input formats or primary behaviours of Subplot.

This is represented as label goal::3 in the issue tracker.

Issues for this iteration

We collected issues for this iteration in Subplot milestone 1.

  • subplot#283YAML metadata is not in its own file
    • assigned to Lars
  • web#3Document how we do meetings
    • assigned to Daniel
  • subplot#286Tests sometimes fail
    • assigned to Lars


We decided not to make a release for this iteration. We will make a release after the YAML metadata loading change is done.

Any other business

Gitlab approved open source project

We achieved access to the OSS SaaS plan, and as such we need to review this in early April 2023 in order that we do not expire our subscription which would happen on May 13th 2023.

We need to remember that if one of the team decides to try and do consultancy around Subplot, we may have to review our membership of the OSS SaaS plan.


  • Lars will reach out to Hillel Wayne once more during this iteration.

Meeting participants

  • Daniel Silverstone
  • Lars Wirzenius