Re: Re: Touch screens and wxPython

From: Gene Mosher <gene_at_viewtouch_dot_com>
Date: Wed Dec 03 2003 - 14:43:36 CST

Douglas W. Jones wrote:

> On Dec 2, 2003, at 7:57 PM, Gene Mosher wrote:
>> Karl Auerbach wrote:
>> It's important to allow the local voting officials to configure &
>> define the GUI, without anyone having to learn wxPython.
>> Fortunately, this system exists and is what I'm building a demo on.
>> It will be available very soon.
I wrote that, not Karl.

> NO! Local creativity is illegal in the voting arena, if that creativity
> can lead to differences in the likelyhood that a voter will be successful
> from one locality to another within the state. This is one of the most
> important legal consequences of Bush versus Gore in the Supreme Court
> after the 2000 election.

I should not have presumed to take on the role of policy maker. I am
just helping out with the gui. I may personally favor the principle
that people should be in charge of their voting place instead of putting
the government in charge of what goes on in their voting place but I do
not mean to be a policy maker on that issue. I only have time for gui
issues. Sorry.

> As a general rule, all options for any particular voting system should be
> set according to state law or according to the results of experimental
> human factors studies.
> Human factors research done over the past 2 decades makes it extremely
> clear that allowing the local user to customize a user interface is
> foolish.
> Sure, it's fun to tinker with all those sliders, color options, pressure
> sensitivities, and other stuff that some programmer allowed me to set in
> the config file, but experiment after experiment shows real performance
> benefits of carefully tuning these options based on proper experiment,
> and again and again, we've learned that letting some random smart person
> tinker with the settings almost always leads to performance significantly
> below the best possible.

This is correct. I didn't take the time in my previous posts to explain
the need to place limits on what people can do and I, perhaps, should have.

> So, we've got to tread carefully here! As programmers, yes, let details
> of the GUI be parameterized, but then, proper experiment should be used
> to determine the best parameter settings, and then the parameters should
> be locked down!

No argument there.

> I wrote my first touch-screen application in 1974, and I wrote a
> real bang-up touch-screen demo back in 1978. Based on experience going
> back that far, I can certainly claim that I've been dealing with this
> stuff
> longer than Diebold, but I'll never claim that I can't learn from the
> mistakes of others, and I'll guarantee that looking at user interfaces
> designed by others is a good idea. Those who don't learn from the past
> are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, and all that.
> Doug Jones

I will have to let the work that is submitted speak for itself now and
always. There are no other issues.

I will strive to provide the best support that I can for everyone in the
project, especially those who, like yourself, are carrying on the more
important battles, especially the political battle. A good gui
framework specifically tuned for this project will help to validate the
broad range of efforts of everyone else in the project and providing
that gui framework is my sole focus. Thanks for your comments.

Gene Mosher
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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:04 2003

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