Zinebot Operations

Zinebot is a chatbot designed to help the editor of the week run the weekly meetings. Importantly, Zinebot is just an aid. It is not required to run the meetings. Its main purpose is to fetch information from various sources to save the meeting chair from having to jump between several browser tabs or applications and copy-paste information to or from the meeting chatroom. The meetings can still be run in the traditional way if Zinebot crashes or otherwise fails to function.


See the Fedora Magazine chatbot repo for installation instructions. A good way to test Zinebot outside of meeting times is to create a private room on the Fedora Project Matrix homeserver and invite the zinebot user to the room. You will need to assign the room a local address. You can then configure Zinebot to join that room.


Most of the Zinebot commands operate against the Fedora Magazine kanban board. Notable exceptions include the show, post and eotw commands.

All of the Zinebot commands must be prefixed with Zinebot’s call sign and a space character. Zinebot’s call sign is the unicode diamond operator (โ‹„). A convenient way to enter the diamond operator is by using the compose key. For example, if the compose key is enabled and configured to be the right-alt key, then tapping the Alt, < and > keys in sequence should yield the diamond operator. If so desired, Zinebot’s call sign can be changed by editing its run script.

Add the line:

<Multi_key> <less> <greater> : "๐Ÿ”น" U1F539 # SMALL BLUE DIAMOND

to your ~/.XCompose file to remap the normal diamond operator compose sequence to generate a small blue diamond instead. You will need to restart your X11 or Wayland session for the change to take effect. Zinebot will accept the small blue diamond character (๐Ÿ”น) as an alternative call sign. You can still enter the normal diamond operator by tapping Alt, >, <.
The full list of predefined compose keys can be found in the /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose system file.
You can customize the single character codes that Zinebot will respond to by editing the ~/.local/opt/zinebot/commands/hotkeys.pm file.

๐Ÿ”น next topic

Included with Zinebot is a topics.txt file containing a copy of the meeting script. The next topic command will iteratively read the blocks of text listed in the topics.txt file and write them out in the chatroom. The text blocks in the file are separated by blank lines.

Some topics correlate with specific columns on the kanban board. When appropriate, Zinebot will scan the cards from the corresponding kanban board column and write them out to the chatroom as a summarized list. Included in the summary for each card will be an indication of whether or not the author has signed the Fedora Project Contributor Agreement (FPCA). The status of the author’s FPCA signature is retrieved directly from the Fedora Account System each time a card is retrieved from the kanban board.

๐Ÿ”น next col[umn]

Internally, Zinebot keeps track of which kanban column is currently being viewed. This command advances to the next column on the kanban board and lists its cards. Normally, this command should not be needed since the next topic command will take care of advancing to the appropriate column.

๐Ÿ”น next card

Internally, Zinebot keeps track of which card on the current kanban column is being viewed. This command advances to the next card in the column and displays its summary. If you want to view a specific card rather than iterating through them in order, see the view command below.

As a shorthand for this command, Zinebot will accept a lone unicode right-pointing arrow (โ†’). The call sign should be omitted when using the shorthand.

๐Ÿ”น skip topic <number|text>

This command allows you to skip to a specific topic. For example, skip topic agenda or skip topic 7. This command will reset the internal topic counter such that the result of a subsequent next topic command will be changed. Otherwise, this command behaves exactly like the next topic command.

๐Ÿ”น show proposed

When the to-edit column is loaded in the current internal card deck, this command will read the scheduled publication dates from all the cards in the deck and list them out along with the card titles and assigned editors as a proposed editing and publication schedule.

As a shorthand for this command, Zinebot will accept a lone unicode because symbol (โˆต). The call sign should be omitted when using the shorthand.

The default compose key sequence for the because symbol is <compose-key>, ., :.

๐Ÿ”น show agreed

This command generates the same output as the proposed command described above. However, instead of starting with #proposed, the output will begin with #agreed.

In the background, this command will also post the agreed-upon publication schedule to Fedora Magazine’s channel on the Fedora Project Discourse forum. The success or failure of each attempted post is indicated by a respective ๐Ÿ”น or ๐Ÿ”ธ at the end of each scheduled card. Only articles that are scheduled for the upcoming week should post successfully. Anything that is scheduled for an earlier or later date should automatically fail to post.

As a shorthand for this command, Zinebot will accept a lone unicode therefore symbol (โˆด). The call sign should be omitted when using the shorthand.

The default compose key sequence for the therefore symbol is <compose-key>, :, ..

๐Ÿ”น show testdays

This command scans the Fedora Project QA calendar for test day events and displays them in the chatroom. The scan is limited to a three-week period that begins on Sunday of the current week. Test day events are identified as those whose meeting location is set to fedora-test-day*.

๐Ÿ”น show schedule

This command scans the Fedora Project schedule for scheduled Fedora Magazine publications such as beta and final release announcements. The results are then listed in the chatroom.

๐Ÿ”น list [column]

This command generates a summarized list of kanban cards from either the current kanban column or, if specified, the requested kanban column. The next topic, skip topic and next column commands call this command automatically. When a specific column is requested, all subsequent Zinebot commands will consider it the current column.

Internally, the next card and view Zinebot commands operate against a cache of cards retrieved from the current kanban column rather than fetching them from Pagure each time. This command repopulates the internal cache whenever it is called. The current card is also reset to the first card in the list. If you modify any of the cards that are cached, you may need to rerun this command to update the internal cache.

๐Ÿ”น view [number]

This command does exactly the same thing as the next card command. However, unlike the latter, it allows you to specify a specific card number to display. The requested card must be loaded in the current card cache from a prior run of the list command. When a specific card is requested, the current card index for the next run of the next card command is not advanced.

๐Ÿ”น card <number> <property> [<property> …​]

This is a low-level command that allows you to access individual card properties. When provided a card number, this command operates directly against Pagure. This command can access cards that are not in the current column. The following card properties are accessible through this command.

 ๐Ÿž„ id
 ๐Ÿž„ title
 ๐Ÿž„ full_url
 ๐Ÿž„ content
 ๐Ÿž„ comments[:N]
 ๐Ÿž„ <any-custom-field-name>

By default, the last three comments are retrieved from the card when the comments property is requested. The number of comments to retrieve can be specified by appending :N to the property name where N is a positive integer. All card comments can be requested by appending :0 to the property name.

๐Ÿ”น move <number> <column> [row]

This command moves the specified card to the specified kanban column. Optionally, the row offset at which the card should be placed in the target column can be specified. By default, cards are moved to the top of the target column (row 1).

As a shorthand, you can use the unicode characters โ† or โ†’ in place of the column name to signify the previous or next column respectively.

The default compose key sequence for the leftwards arrow symbol is <compose-key>, <, -.
The default compose key sequence for the rightwards arrow symbol is <compose-key>, -, >.

๐Ÿ”น ping <number> <comment>

This command adds a one-line comment to the specified card. Pagure should send an email notification to the card’s assignee containing the comment. The comment does not need to be quoted. Everything after the card number is considered part of the comment.

๐Ÿ”น post <title> [date [time]]

This command posts an event to the Fedora Magazine calendar on Fedora’s Discourse forum. If the date is not specified, it defaults to one week from the current day. If the time is not specified, it defaults to the beginning of the current hour. Dates must be specified as YYYY-MM-DD. Times must be specified as HH:MM:SS. Times are in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The title does not need to be quoted. Anything that does not match a date or time pattern is considered part of the event title.

This command is called automatically by the show agreed command to add the agreed-upon articles to the publication calendar.

๐Ÿ”น eotw <username>

This command posts the editor of the week line. Just for fun, king and queen are aliases for this command. They may be easier to remember.