EmacsConf backstage: capturing submissions from e-mails

| emacsconf, emacs, org

2023-09-11: Updated code for recognizing fields.

People submit proposals for EmacsConf sessions via e-mail following this submission template. (You can still submit a proposal until Sept 14!) I mostly handle acceptance and scheduling, so I copy this information into our private conf.org file so that we can use it to plan the draft schedule, mail-merge speakers, and so on. I used to do this manually, but I'm experimenting with using functions to create the heading automatically so that it includes the date, talk title, and e-mail address from the e-mail, and it calculates the notification date for early acceptances as well. I use Notmuch for e-mail, so I can get the properties from (notmuch-show-get-message-properties).

Figure 1: E-mail submission

emacsconf-mail-add-submission: Add the submission from the current e-mail.
(defun emacsconf-mail-add-submission (slug)
  "Add the submission from the current e-mail."
  (interactive "MTalk ID: ")
  (let* ((props (notmuch-show-get-message-properties))
         (from (or (plist-get (plist-get props :headers) :Reply-To)
                   (plist-get (plist-get props :headers) :From)))
         (body (plist-get
                 (plist-get props :body))
         (date (format-time-string "%Y-%m-%d"
                                   (date-to-time (plist-get (plist-get props :headers) :Date))))
         (to-notify (format-time-string
                      (days-to-time emacsconf-review-days)
                      (date-to-time (plist-get (plist-get props :headers) :Date)))))
         (data (emacsconf-mail-parse-submission body)))
    (when (string-match "<\\(.*\\)>" from)
      (setq from (match-string 1 from)))
        (find-file emacsconf-org-file)
      ;;  go to the submissions entry
      (goto-char (org-find-property "CUSTOM_ID" "submissions"))
      (when (org-find-property "CUSTOM_ID" slug)
        (error "Duplicate talk ID")))
    (find-file emacsconf-org-file)
    (insert " " (or (plist-get data :title) "") "\n")
    (org-todo "TO_REVIEW")
    (org-entry-put (point) "CUSTOM_ID" slug)
    (org-entry-put (point) "SLUG" slug)
    (org-entry-put (point) "TRACK" "General")
    (org-entry-put (point) "EMAIL" from)
    (org-entry-put (point) "DATE_SUBMITTED" date)
    (org-entry-put (point) "DATE_TO_NOTIFY" to-notify)
    (when (plist-get data :time)
      (org-entry-put (point) "TIME" (plist-get data :time)))
    (when (plist-get data :availability)
      (org-entry-put (point) "AVAILABILITY"
                     (replace-regexp-in-string "\n+" " "
                                               (plist-get data :availability))))
    (when (plist-get data :public)
      (org-entry-put (point) "PUBLIC_CONTACT"
                     (replace-regexp-in-string "\n+" " "
                                               (plist-get data :public))))
    (when (plist-get data :private)
      (org-entry-put (point) "EMERGENCY"
                     (replace-regexp-in-string "\n+" " "
                                               (plist-get data :private))))
    (when (plist-get data :q-and-a)
      (org-entry-put (point) "Q_AND_A"
                     (replace-regexp-in-string "\n+" " "
                                               (plist-get data :q-and-a))))
      (insert (plist-get data :body)))
    (re-search-backward org-drawer-regexp)
    (org-fold-hide-drawer-toggle 'off)

emacsconf-mail-parse-submission: Extract data from EmacsConf 2023 submissions in BODY.
(defun emacsconf-mail-parse-submission (body)
  "Extract data from EmacsConf 2023 submissions in BODY."
  (when (listp body) (setq body (plist-get (car body) :content)))
  (let ((data (list :body body))
        (fields '((:title "^[* ]*Talk title")
                  (:description "^[* ]*Talk description")
                  (:format "^[* ]*Format")
                  (:intro "^[* ]*Introduction for you and your talk")
                  (:name "^[* ]*Speaker name")
                  (:availability "^[* ]*Speaker availability")
                  (:q-and-a "^[* ]*Preferred Q&A approach")
                  (:public "^[* ]*Public contact information")
                  (:private "^[* ]*Private emergency contact information")
                  (:release "^[* ]*Please include this speaker release"))))
      (insert body)
      (goto-char (point-min))
      ;; Try to parse it
      (while fields
        ;; skip the field title
        (when (and (or (looking-at (cadar fields))
                       (re-search-forward (cadar fields) nil t))
                   (re-search-forward "\\(:[ \t\n]+\\|\n\n\\)" nil t))
          ;; get the text between this and the next field
          (setq data (plist-put data (caar fields)
                                (buffer-substring (point)
                                                   (when (and (cdr fields)
                                                              (re-search-forward (cadr (cadr fields)) nil t))
                                                     (goto-char (match-beginning 0))
        (setq fields (cdr fields)))
      (if (string-match "[0-9]+" (or (plist-get data :format) ""))
          (plist-put data :time (match-string 0 (or (plist-get data :format) ""))))

The functions above are in the emacsconf-el repository. When I call emacsconf-mail-parse-submission and give it the talk ID I want to use, it makes the Org entry.

Figure 2: Creating the entry

We store structured data in Org Mode properties such as NAME, EMAIL and EMERGENCY. I tend to make mistakes when typing, so I have a short function that sets an Org property based on a region. This is the code from my personal config:

my-org-set-property: In the current entry, set PROPERTY to VALUE.
(defun my-org-set-property (property value)
  "In the current entry, set PROPERTY to VALUE.
Use the region if active."
  (interactive (list (org-read-property-name)
                     (when (region-active-p) (replace-regexp-in-string "[ \n\t]+" " " (buffer-substring (point) (mark))))))
  (org-set-property property value))

I've bound it to C-c C-x p. This is what it looks like when I use it:

Figure 3: Setting Org properties from the region

That helps me reduce errors in entering data. I sometimes forget details, so I ask other people to double-check my work, especially when it comes to speaker availability. That's how I copy the submission e-mails into our Org file.

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