Checkbox feature for action items in meeting minutes?

When Discourse is used for meeting minutes, one can imagine posts including lists of action items. I’m wondering what a good Discourse-y way of handling those might be - one that facilitates reporting on work that’s been completed (work that, let’s say, is too small-scale to merit the creation of a JIRA story).

If action items are just included as Markdown bullet lists, the temptation would be to select the text of a completed action and reply to it with “Done”. I fear that this might run afoul of the too-few-words rule, but I haven’t tried it.

If the original post were made a wiki and there were a checkbox macro available (is there?) it might be possible to have this “just work” by checking checkboxes. It looks like there was once at least one Discourse plugin for checkboxes, but it seems to have fallen into disrepair.

I have to confess some fondness for the Confluence action-item support. It’s so easy to use and works quite elegantly.

GitHub has a nice Markdown syntax for action lists:

Unfortunately this syntax isn’t available in Discourse’s markdown parser.

For marking tasks as completed, the Discourse thing to do would actually be to just make the post/agenda a wiki and then check off the completed item.

Update: unfortunately wiki-ifying a post seems to be a trust level 4 thing, and I can’t change that. I might be able to give all LSST people that permission. I’ll update on that…

In the absence of the Github MD syntax for checkboxes, what would you suggesting for “checking off” an item in a wiki-fied post.

And yes, I also just discovered my inability to wikify my own posts…

Why is it inappropriate to just use Confluence for the meeting minutes? We should use the right tool for the job, not try to fit everything into one tool.

In the larger DM context that is reasonable - and we do tend to use Confluence for meeting minutes there and in systems engineering, TOWG, etc.

In the context of the Camera-DM visualization collaboration, I am trying to move the effort from ad-hoc emails to a system where we can easily provide an archive for peripheral participants who cannot attend the weekly meetings, supporting discussions that attract feedback from relevant experts in DM and beyond (e.g., sims).

Some of the people in the collaboration are part-timers and not otherwise closely integrated into the daily multi-tool life of DM and may not be maximally effective when asked to use a wide variety of tools. So, in this case, I was trying to make the best possible one-stop-shop arrangements available to try to get quick adoption and avoid “it’s all too complicated, I’ll just send an email” behavior.

Discourse, among our tools, is probably the best for “discussion thread” types of interactions. Meeting minutes often start threads - the minutes say “X was slow / didn’t work” and someone not at the meeting will respond with “well, did you try this?” or “can you post the logs”. Those will often spawn threads.

So if the minutes were on Discourse, this would be very natural. If they were on Confluence, people would have to be socialized into a pattern of choosing when to use Confluence edits, when to use page comments, when to use inline comments, and when to go to Discourse. People outside the “go to every meeting” core group would have to go to both Confluence and Discourse when trying to ask “what’s been happening recently”.

And - although I’m not a huge fan of Discourse(*) - I was making an effort to take it seriously and see how to make the best use of it.


(*) I am not cured of HyperNews-nostalgia.

People can reply with status updates. Then if you wish, you as the original post’s author can edit your post with a checkmark to summarize the status of tasks. I’d suggest putting a :white_check_mark: (the emoji is typed via :white_check_mark:) at the end of each item in your task list.

I will say that I’ve quietly begun investigating whether to promote everyone in LSST to Level 4 trust. If I do, I will RFC that. But first I’m consulting with the Discourse cognoscenti on whether this is will have unintended consequences.