Managing the talk schedule with Act

Act automatically creates a schedule web page from the talks information. The schedule is also made available in the ICal format.


Once you have enough accepted talks, you can start working out the talk schedule.

Here are a few general tips:

Once you've worked out a rough draft of the schedule, you can start using Act to edit the talks date, time and room. You can also change the duration, but discuss it with the speaker first.


How it looks

People with the orga bit set can always see (and edit) the schedule. It becomes public when the [talks] item named show_schedule is set to 1.

The first time you'll look at the schedule, it'll probably be empty: all the talks that have no assigned room and date/time are in a list at the top of the page.

Once you've assigned a room and a date/time to a talk/event, it will be shown in the schedule. The system tries to show conflicting items (two talks at the same time in the same place) in a nice way.

The HTML table uses as many styles as you have rooms, plus three. Imagine you have three rooms, the table will use the following styles: header, out, sidetrack, venue, r1, r2, r3 and r4. (If you have five rooms, a style r5 will automatically be used, and so on.)

You can either define those styles in your stylesheet, or simply load the style located at /css/schedule.css with <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/css/schedule.css" />. We'll add new colours when a conference has more than four rooms.

If you want to add some static information to the schedule (for example sponsor information), create a new template in actdocs/templates/talk/schedule, based on the following:

    [% WRAPPER ui
       title = { en => 'Schedule', fr => 'Emploi du temps', it => 'Programma', pt => 'Programa', de => 'Programm', hu => 'Idõbeosztás'}
    <!-- The schedule table -->
    [% PROCESS core/talk/schedule %]
    [% END %]

How it works

Act can lay out the schedule when there are talks with a date and room defined. It should gracefully show overlapping talks, so that you can detect there is a problem.

Events are basically talks without a speaker. Only events can happen in rooms out, venue and sidetrack.

Rooms out and venue are special in the sense that events occuring there prevent talks from happening and actually "cut" any overlapping talk in two. One part before the event (usually a coffee break) and the remaining time after.

Only hour-long tutorials should be cut by events.

Room sidetrack is also special. Like out and venue, these are events happening outside of the standard rooms. They denotes events happening elsewhere, and in parallel (for example, a trip as part of the "partner program"). Obviously, it shouldn't be "cut" by anything happening in the out and venue rooms.

There may be some cases for which Act does not display the schedule properly (this should not happen once your schedule is finished, since you shouldn't have any overlapping talks). Please let us know when this happens.

Events are:

Lightning talks sessions

Lightning talks sessions are fully handled by Act. One can submit a lightning talk, which will be accepted or not, as for the other talks. Lightning talks do not have an individual date, time and duration: you'll have to create one or several "lightning talks" events (or talks if you want the name of the master of ceremony to appear in the schedule) in which you'll paste the list of lightning talks.

It's rather easy to link talks from within an event or talk. Simply note the talk id and use it to create a link to the user and talk in the event or talk description.

As an exemple, here is the source description of the lightning talks session of the French Perl Workshop 2005:

    Programme des présentations éclairs :
    - talk:101
    - talk:63
    - talk:201
    - talk:198
    - talk:190
    - Alexandre Buisse - Le GC de Parrot
    - Pierre Weis - Présentation d'OCaml
    - Stéphane Payrard - GreaseMonkey

(The last three talks were last minutes talks that were not registered in the database.)

And here is the result:

Using calendar software

People with the orga bit set can work with Act talks, both pending and accepted, scheduled and unscheduled, using calendar software such as iCal or Google Calendar.


Philippe Bruhat, Éric Cholet


This module is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.