RE: What is Data Model FOR?

From: Mark Winegar <mwinegar_at_mtmc_dot_edu>
Date: Wed Apr 28 2004 - 15:04:55 CDT

David,

What do you mean "substitutable data files?" For that matter, I'm still
not sure what you meant by the term "in a prototype way." Who do you
envision will be determining the collective ballots for elections? In
what ways can we facilitate this process in a user-friendly manner while
maintaining integrity of the data?

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: David Mertz [mailto:voting-project@gnosis.cx]
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2004 2:19 PM
To: voting-project@lists.sonic.net
Cc: OVC-demo-team@lists.sonic.net
Subject: Re: [voting-project] What is Data Model FOR?

On Apr 28, 2004, at 2:56 PM, Mark Winegar wrote:
> Please expound on what you mean by the phrase "in a prototype way."

The demo hard codes a lot of things that should be contained in
substitutable data files, usually by defining named constants (e.g.
Country, State, County, Election_Date) in programs. In other cases,
data values that should be switchable in a production system are
treated as fixed application features (e.g. the single page of the demo
ballot).

These various assumptions were understood by demo developers, and it's
not necessarily difficult to make them more data driven. But the demo
was intended to show a particular realistic sample election, not yet to
demonstrate configurability. Moving forward--which I think means
now--we should start work on generalizing data formats and other
programmatic features.

Obviously, there are many other things to do simultaneously (political
lobbying, fundraising, grant proposals, etc); but I think we are going
to be in positions where we talk to people with some technical savvy,
who will reasonably ask: "How do you configure a ballot/GUI for a new
election (that contains features X,Y,Z)?" I know I will be at an
upcoming Harvard/NSF conference at the beginning of June, for example.
We will not, of necessity, have a final and definitive answer to those
questions yet. But it's not too soon to have a plausible, detailed,
and well-considered answer. E.g. "The configuration of elections
contests is likely to be contained in a file ballot-election.xml that
will contain the following data fields; a front-end tool is being
developed for elections officials to edit the data in this
configuration file to match local elections."

Anyway, if this discussion get into much greater coding detail, we
should carry it out on the OVC-Demo-Team list (which might be renamed
to something more generic like OVC-Dev soon). Voting-Project is great
for working out design principles (and political strategies), but if
you want to talk about "What is the cardinality constraint on field X?"
let's go to the more technical area (still archived and
world-readable).

Yours, David...
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:21 2004

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