Assessment of the iteration that has ended

Actions from the previous meeting:

  • DONE: Daniel to determine what happened and ensure we won’t lose our OSS SaaS subscription.
    • we’re good for another year
  • NOT DONE: Lars to produce a list of dependencies of Subplot, for subplot#119.
    • carried over to this new iteration
  • DONE: Lars to change the MRSV CI pipeline to NOT run clippy or formatting checks.

We made progress, if not quite all we planned in the previous planning meeting. The highlight of the past month is that Subplot now allows any number of markdown files to be used (subplot#318).

We’re getting close reaching the current goal. This feels good.

We had an in-person meeting and decided to extend the iteration until today. There were pancakes.


Async meeting

Due to scheduling problems, we couldn’t do a synchronous video meeting today, so we’re doing this async using a merge request.

The hosting situation

We reviewed the billing page for Subplot on It all looks OK.

We will review the billing page every iteration or two.

Repository review

We didn’t review any issues, but did review merge requests, and CI pipelines for all the projects in the Subplot group on

Repository Open issues Closed issues Open MRs Closed MRs CI
subplot-container-images 1 4 0 3 OK (GitLab)
subplot-web 1 3 0 82 OK (Ick)
subplot 51 270 1 320 OK (GitLab)

The open MR in the subplot repository (Subplot merge request 331) didn’t need discussing in the meeting, and is under ongoing review.

Extra branches: none.

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 dependency list; we are not targeting bookworm

What’s remaining for current goal?

We can re-enable, and then make a release. When we do, we should see if we can use GitLab CI to build an executable binary of the release.

There is an optional task to split into multiple files (subplot#235), which may involve rewriting some of it using what we’ve learned about writing good subplots. However, that is a large task, and may need to be postponed, or splitting it into smaller tasks.


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. It will need to be discussed in depth when we finish the previous goal.

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 think we can finish goal 3 this iteration. We intend to work on the following issues (Subplot milestone 10).

  • subplot#119Subplot is in not in Debian unstable
    • Lars to produce a list of crates in the Subplot dependency graph that aren’t in Debian bookworm. This doesn’t fully resolve the issue, but is a necessary step forwards.
  • subplot#268Re-enable
    • Also requires fixing up any problems that crop up.
    • Assigned to Lars, who is eager to finish goal 3.
  • subplot#305Maybe create binary releases?
    • Assigned to both Daniel and Lars. Should be done as part of, or just after the release for this iteration.
  • subplot#323Make release to mark end of goal 3
    • Assigned to Daniel.

Stretch goals for this iteration, to be completed if there’s time and energy, or dropped from the iteration if not:

  • subplot#96Error for “do not understand binding” should say in what file the not-understood binding use is found
    • To implement this, add location information to Scenario and ScenarioStep, and to the BindingUnkown error variant.
    • Assigned to Lars, who has been doing error location changes recently.
  • subplot#235The Subplot subplot ( is too long
    • Lars to split up the long file into shorter ones. This doesn’t necessarily fully resolve the issue as it doesn’t update the contents to follow what we now think are best practices, but it’s a step forward at least.
  • subplot#317Lacks a way to force docgen to produce output
    • Lars keeps being annoyed by this. Might just drop the “do we really need to write output?” feature or turn it into optional behavior.
  • subplot#319 has broken links to examples
    • Lars runs a cron job to check links and will amend it to find the broken links, and then submit an MR anything found by the link checker.
  • subplot#322Subplot should warn in code block has identifier, but no .file attribute
    • Lars will try to do this, as it’s something that recently annoyed him.


No additional actions this time.

Meeting participants

  • Daniel Silverstone
  • Lars Wirzenius