Staff Absences

Staff Send E-mail to "cscf-away@cs"

Staff who will not be coming in are requested to send email to cscf-away@cs to let management know that they will be away and provide a brief summary of the reason. This can include for illness, courses and other ProfessionalDevelopment, vacation, etc.

Updating the "away" File

Updates are usually done by the manager of the person who is away.

Find the File

Since many absences are due to vacations, there is a separate "away" file for each vacation year. The files reside near the page which may be edited on any of the general.cs Unix systems. The "away" file for the vacation year starting in July of Y1 and ending in June of Y2 resides in
with a name of the form
E.g. for the 2010-2011 vacation year, that's

Create the File

Each year, a new file is created. This happens no later than the first time that an absence for the upcoming vacation year needs to be recorded. There is a template in ./.template that can be used for this. Note that the "Holiday" entry has to be filled in. And vacation time that has been carried forward from the previous vacation year has to be recorded in the "Carried Forward" field (it's just a copy of the "Carry Forward" field from the previous year's file).

Update the File

Since multiple people may be updating these files, we use RCS to avoid collisions. Files should be checked in quickly.

For each person, there is a stanza describing days away, and reason, as well as some other data.

The general form of absence dates is:

      Month: Day,...,Day
where Day is of the form
where h means a half-day absence, and the commented a or p refer to the morning (A.M.) or afternoon (P.M.). e.g.
  Vacation Dates:
      Jul: 20h(p),21
means away the afternoon of the 20th, and all day the 21st.

There is a template in ./.ReadMe showing all possible headings, and provides some details about the fields. Comments may be appended to any line by enclosing the comments in parentheses "()".

The fields:

Total Used:
Total Left:
Total Days Sick:
may be left blank, as they can be computed from the absence dates. See ./.Readme for details. If they are non-empty, make sure that they are accurate.

Although not critical, indentation is currently done with a single tab per column, rather than spaces.

Update the WWW Page

Once the file has been updated, run `make` in the containing directory to update the data in ./vacation-staff, which is included by the WWW page ./index.shtml. E.g.

cd ..

Tell Staff of the Update

Let cscf-staff@cs know who's away.

Explicit Example for 2010-2011

ssh www.cs
cd /software/
co -l 2010-2011
vi 2010-2011
ci -u 2010-2011
cd ..


The illness history of staff isn't considered public, so the contents of the "away" files are private. Write access is controlled by membership in group "mgmt". Read access is controlled by group "cscf-abs".

Querying the "away" File

On linux.cs and www.cs there is a command to report on absences; it's called `absences`. E.g.

  linux.cs% absences | align
  Trevor    39.8
  Ed        13.5
  Adrian      10
  Clayton    8.5
  Fraser     7.5
  Dan          5
  Ronaldo      4
  Lawrence   3.5
  Phil         3
  Dave         2
  Isaac        2
  Guoxiang     1
  Gord         0
  Lori         0
  Mike         0
  Omar         0
  Stephen      0
  Bill         0
  Daniel    -3.5

It defaults to time left to take. Use `absences -v -h` for various options.

Because it exists, one needn't use these fields:

  Total Left           - use `absences left`
  Total Used           - use `absences planned`
  Total Days Sick      - use `absences illness`
in the data.

There's also vacation-left-mail that's used to send reminder mail. And a few other things in /software/absences/maintenance/

Topic revision: r16 - 2016-06-15 - AdrianPepper
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