Actions from last time

  • PARTIALLY DONE: Lars to look at what it would take to use the pulldown_cmark parser for Markdown, instead of Pandoc, and make a concrete proposal of how to approach that.
    • proposal is not written down, but in summary: we’ll use the Markdown parsing from Lars’s ikiwiki clone, which gives us an AST modeled after HTML, and this will let us not use Pandoc for parsing at all
    • later on, we may choose to generate HTML ourselves, and drop direct support for generating PDF, and thus be able to drop the need for Pandoc at all; however, this is speculative
  • NOT DONE: Lars to discuss Subplot dependencies that aren’t packaged in Debian, and propose concrete steps to reduce the delta.
    • we discussed this, and gave up on the goal of trying to get Subplot into the next Debian release, to avoid putting too much stress on ourselves
  • NOT DONE: Daniel to open an issue with Cargo to discuss binary-only dependencies.
    • not done, due to work travel

Assessment of the iteration that has ended

We extended, by mutual agreement on Matrix, this iteration was extended by several weeks. Life and work intruded. Again.

We had chosen the following issues for this iteration:

  • DONE: subplot#246Split off document YAML metadata to a separate file
  • NOT DONE: subplot#287Needs documentation for Rust step functions for implementing contexts
    • we want a book, hence #291, some discussion about book tooling
    • this issue will be postponed until when we work on the book
  • DONE: subplot#288Should an on-disk filename be captured as a PathBuf?
  • DONE: subplot#298Needs a release with the external YAML metadata file support
  • DONE: subplot#299Rust lib/files “file contains” should print file contents
  • DONE: subplot#306We should not need a template for docgen operations
  • NOT DONE: web#4Review FAQ


The hosting situation

We reviewed the billing page for Subplot on It all looks OK. We’re over the limit on seats, but it seems we can increase the seats for free.

We will review the billing page every iteration or two.

Repository review

We reviewed issues updated since the previous meeting, merge requests, and CI pipelines for all the projects in the Subplot group on

Subplot Container Images

  • Open issues: 3
  • Merge requests: 0
  • Additional branches: 0
  • CI: OK, ran on Friday


  • Open issues: 1
  • Merge requests: 1 (this meeting)
  • Additional branches: 1 (this meeting)
  • CI: Ick, OK.


  • Open issues: 50
  • Merge requests: 0
  • Additional branches:
    • docgen-cmark, Lars is keeping this around for reference for future changes
  • CI: OK

Recurring items issues

There are some issues tagged recurring-agenda-item in the issue tracker, which we discuss in every iteration meeting.

  • subplot#119Subplot is in not in Debian unstable
    • we will work on reducing Subplot dependencies that aren’t already in Debian
    • need the dependence list; we are not targeting bookworm
  • subplot#272Migrate project to issue-based iteration meetings
    • we are effectively doing MR based meetings
    • close this issue
  • subplot#273Perform whole-codebase review and cleanup
    • we don’t feel like doing this
    • we will instead do more frequent refactors


Goal 3: Current goal

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.

(Related issues on gitlab)

Goal 4: Planned

This goal is very likely to change. This is merely an initial sketch.

We’ll improve documentation and generally aim at making Subplot more plausibly usable by people outside of the Subplot project.

(Related issues on gitlab)

Plan for new iteration


We intend to work on the following issues (Subplot milestone 6):

  • container#4Container is based on debian:buster - use bullseye instead?
  • container#5Dockerfile could maybe be simplified
  • web#4Review FAQ
  • subplot#239In metadata, author is a single string
  • subplot#281Parsing markdown with Pandoc doesn’t handle basedir


These are in addition to work on issues chosen for this iteration.

  • Lars to add to decisions document to lower threshold for making refactoring to improve code quality

Meeting participants

  • Daniel Silverstone
  • Lars Wirzenius