Saturday 2 May 2009

About a year ago I was called as second councillor to the Bishop in Wakefield Ward.

One of my responsibilities is to arrange the meeting programme and to give out speaking assignments, and then conduct the meeting for four months of the year.

I like to be well prepared for things which would otherwise be embarrassing, so to help me I produced an open office writer template that has four pages.

The first page is a meeting programme, with some grey fields to be filled in with things like,
  • the date and meeting type
  • the person conducting the meeting
  • the speaker names and topics, and duration etc.
By filling this in I get a regularly formatted meeting programme which helps me when conducting the meeting.

The bonus, however, is pages 2-4, which are speaker assignment letters and are automatically filled in for me. They inform each of the speakers of
  • the date and topic
  • how long they should plan to speak for and at what time they should finish
  • what other topics will be addressed in the same meeting
  • some tips on good preparation
  • who to contact for further information
So I write out the meeting programme and the computer generates a helpful invitation letter which I can edit if particular speakers need additional information or encouragement.

And I hit print!

Recently the template broke because I used a variable date internally which now (I guess) seems to conflict with some changes in OpenOffice 3. As OpenOffice documents are zip files, the simplest fix was to unzip the template and do a search and replace on the document xml, to replace date with mdate:

$ mkdir t
$ cd t
$ unzip ../vSacrament\ Meeting\
$ sed -i -e 's/name="date"/name="mdate"/g' content.xml
$ zip -r ../x.odt .

And then open and re-save the document in OpenOffice

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